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CYC-Online 100 MAY 2007
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Celebrating CYC-Online

Niall McElwee

"Direction is more important than speed. We are so busy looking at our speedometers that we forget the milestone.”

Well, here we are. Can you believe that we have reached 100 issues of CYC-Online? For sure, that is a significant milestone. Our virtual community is getting more solid per issue. More and more people are coming into our site to learn and share Child and Youth Care ways of being. And that should be celebrated. Just take a look at the names of the contributors, their agency or college affiliations and the country designation on their e-mails and articles.

I have just spent the month of April in my now spiritual home of Canada at the University of Victoria’s Child and Youth Care Faculty, and this 100 issue milestone has given me cause to reflect on where are we as a field – in an international context. Indeed, I had a conversation with a colleague recently who said that she was somewhat tired of the “same old issues in the field” and was looking for some inspiration. These “same old issues” are present to greater or lesser extents in all of the Child and Youth Care systems I have visited and they deserve to be debated until we reach some point of closure. Some systems pay more than others. Some systems honor families more than others. Some systems make resources available early in a career whilst others make them available later. And we, in Child and Youth Care, navigate this complex terrain.

Speaking of inspiration, I had the opportunity to present two days of workshops in Calgary and Edmonton as part of my Canadian tour and the experience was, as they say over here, awesome. My brief was to try to provide some inspiration to the delegates, but I came away inspired. I was inspired because I found, once again, an overwhelming friendship and positivity amongst the Child and Youth Care community that I just do not experience in other contexts. The comments from the floor at Hull Homes and Grant MacEwan College were insightful, amusing, heartfelt, probing and honest.

The fact is that in many countries around the world, Child and Youth Care workers are not valued anywhere near the extent they should be. The families and children we work with and write with are not valued. But, this is only part of the script, part of the story. They are valued by us in the CYC-Net community. And so, too, are those who work with them.

Child and Youth Care Workers are a breed apart. They are special. They are frontierspersons. Here’s to another 100 issues about Child and Youth Care from Child and Youth Care people.

The International Child and Youth Care Network

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