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52 MAY 2003
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Thanks for all the fish

Grant Charles

I received my first copy of Relational Child and Youth Care Practice in the mail the other day. What a stunning new journal. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I think it is a wonderful step in our field. It is a new development at a time when so much of what we do appears somewhat stuck in time. I think it is a statement of optimism at a time when we need one. However, looking at it was a bitter-sweet experience for me. The arrival of this journal meant the disappearance of the Journal of Child and Youth Care. I suppose it was time for renewal but JCYC (or the Journal of Child Care as it was known in the beginning) has been such a part of my life that I couldnít let it disappear without some comment.

It was the brainchild of Gerry Fewster and Chris Bagley both of whom lived in Calgary at the time it was founded. Mary Arbique-Vogel was an associate editor in the early years as was someone else (I think) but for the life of me I canít remember who (sorry). Thom Garfat later replaced Chris and Leanne Rose Sladde came in on some kind of official/unofficial capacity which I never really understood but much appreciated because I knew that it meant that the thing would come out on a regular basis. Numerous support staff at the University of Calgary, Malaspina University College and what was then Hull Home helped in the production of the journal. Each of them also deserve a thank you.

The Journal of Child of Youth Care has to be the only journal that I have read every edition of cover to cover since the beginning. It is the only journal that I noticed if it arrived late (which wasnít an uncommon occurrence). It was the only journal through which I got to know people from around the world many of whom have become my friends. It was the journal in which I first published as it was for so many of us in the field. It was the journal that first gave me a connection to a larger world of fellow travelers in the field of Child and Youth Care. As a guest editor on a few occasions it allowed me the opportunity to bring people together to write articles who had never worked together and publish for the first time people who had never previously written articles. What a treat that was to be part of over the years. I have been honoured to be a consulting editor.

I grew up with the Journal. I mean this literally not just figuratively. Awhile ago I was going through past issues for some articles I wanted to refer to in something I was writing and soon found myself looking at the pictures of people at the end of the articles. For those of us that have published in the JCYC over the years it has become the Child and Youth Care equivalent of the Portrait of Dorian Gray (without the ongoing youthful looks in public) as the pictures have captured our aging. It is truly frightening. As an aside I would recommend to anyone submitting work to the new journal to never, never, never let them publish a picture of you in it at the end of your article. If they ask for one tell them it is in the mail enough times that they will start to worry about deadlines and have to just put in your name and affiliation at the end of the article. Trust me on this one.

I learned so much from the journal. I think it helped me become a better practitioner. I know it helped others to do so. I canít express enough appreciation to all of the authors who wrote for it over the years. I want to particularly thank Gerry who always wrote such thought provoking work. There hasnít been an article or editorial in the JCYC that he wrote that I havenít read at least twice. I thought it most fitting that the last edition was a collection of his work. From the beginning it has been his baby Ė although like all good parents he made sure that this child had lots of people involved to help it grow.

So, for those who worked on the journal thanks for taking the time. Thanks for the impact you have had on the field in general and children and families in particular. Thanks for your dedication. It has been a wonderful. Thereís a great closing line from the four book trilogy (I love that the author has a four book trilogy) that starts with The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that goes ďthanks for all the fish". I wonít go into how the line fits into the book or the series (or even into this column) except to say that it absolutely fits and that Iíve always wanted to use it. So here it is. Gerry, Chris, Thom, Mary and Leanne and everyone else ever connected with the Journal of Child and Youth Care: Thanks for all the fish.

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