CYC-Net on Facebook CYC-Net on Twitter Search CYC-Net

Join Our Mailing List

ListenListen to this

A quick background of CYC-Net

CYC-Net was founded in 1997 by Brian Gannon and Thom Garfat, initially as an email listserv group of 8 members. These Child and Youth Care practitioners, teachers and writers were located in South Africa, North America, Europe, the Middle-East and Australasia. Prior to this, Brian had developed an intranet for the South African CYC Association (NACCW) and, in many ways, CYC-Net was an extension of this, his initial work. By 1998 this intial group had grown to around 200 and today this number stands at thousands of members.

In the early years CYC-Net was a fledgling organisation sponsored by a small grant from the Dutch government through its embassy in South Africa, and by both Thom and Brian working to support it. Over time, it became supported by many organisations and institutions, especially from Canada.

Following the simple email discussion group came a fully-fledged Child and Youth Care web site, The simple web site with which we started in the late 1990s has grown today into a repository of many thousands of resource files. One might safely say it evolved from the needs of the field. The site is regularly updated at least every 48 hours and receives over 1 500 unique visitors on average each day (2022 average: Google Analytics).

With the increased attraction of social media, in 2017 CYC-Net established a presence on Facebook which carries news, events and current affairs. It also transitioned it's discussion group to Facebook.

However, since its inception, while evolving to respond to changing members needs, its core activities have remained essentially unchanged.

CYC-Net was founded on the idea that helpful resources should be available to everyone, worldwide, without the need to pay for access.  The idea was to provide information, connections and learning to the widest CYC network possible without people having to ‘buy’ a membership or otherwise pay for the resources. After all, even 5$ per month is a lot of money in some contexts.

CYC-Net has now evolved to a place where it is visited by thousands of people every month, from all corners of the globe.  As Carol Stuart said, it is the go-to resource for anyone working with troubled youth. And as Kiaras Gharabaghi has stated, it is the greatest social innovation in our field in the last 30 years. 


CYC-Net's main objectives are to promote and facilitate reading, learning, information sharing, discussion, networking, support and accountable practice amongst all who work with children, youth and families in difficulty. See the CYC-Net Constitution here.

The field of Child and Youth Care work, almost universally, is an under-funded and precarious enterprise often characterised by its “charity” status and its dependence, where available, on state grants. In very few countries is it regarded as an independent profession with dedicated training institutions and professional regulation. Canada, the UK, USA and South Africa have been notable exceptions in terms of their experience, academic status and state regulation, with the added support of professional associations.

However, even in these countries, at the practice level, resources and delivery are varied. CYC-Net was developed with the intention of supporting Child and Youth Care workers, who often are isolated and unsupported in geographically underserved and dispersed parts of the world, where limited access to libraries and low salary levels frequently prevents them from accessing any training whatsoever.


CYC-NET operates in terms of its Constitution which was approved by the Board of Governors in December 2000.

CYC-NET is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation in South Africa and a registered Not-For-Profit Corporation in Canada. CYC-Net is also approved by the South African Revenue Service to be exempt from paying taxes and duties [Section 10(1) (cN) of the Act]. As an approved public benefit organisation, donations to CYC-Net made in South Africa are tax deductible in the hands of the donors [Section 18A(1)(a)].


CYC-Net is provided open access to all its users. However, it is only through financial support received by universities, colleges, training facilities, service organisations and agencies, professional associations and individuals that CYC-Net is able to provide a valuable resource serving the learning needs of the wider Child and Youth Care community.

Go here for further information on our funding and how we use our funds.

Go here for see our list of supports and our financial statements.

People and Infrastructure

CYC-Net was founded by Thom Garfat (Canada) and Brian Gannon (South Africa).

CYC-Net operates under the guidance of a Board of Governors and employs a single person. Everything CYC-Net provides is largely through goodwill and volunteer efforts.

Professional skilled services (eg. coding development) is contracted out on a fee-for-service basis.

The International Child and Youth Care Network

Registered Public Benefit Organisation in the Republic of South Africa (PBO 930015296)
Incorporated as a Not-for-Profit in Canada: Corporation Number 1284643-8

P.O. Box 23199, Claremont 7735, Cape Town, South Africa | P.O. Box 21464, MacDonald Drive, St. John's, NL A1A 5G6, Canada

Board of Governors | Constitution | Funding | Site Content and Usage | Advertising | Privacy Policy | Contact us

iOS App Android App