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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

ListenListen to this

On 'cheaping' ourselves

Okay, maybe this will annoy people – maybe not.

There are a number of us in the field who support ourselves by working for ourselves – we have no salary and so what we live on is what people pay us to work – training, talks, consultation, etc.

Now, we find it interesting (we, because this email comes from a number of us) that while on the one hand we are willing to pay lovely fees to those from other professions to come and talk with (or to) us, like psychologists, doctors, academics, we do not argue 'fees' with them. Yet when it comes to asking someone from our field to do the same we often offer them nothing above accommodation, travel and meals. And when they ask for some fee – like what we pay others from outside the field, we are shocked as if somehow this is contrary to our values. Yet these people have to live too.

It is an interesting phenomena – as if somehow we, within the field, value our own members less that we value those from outside.

Why is that, we wonder. How is it that others who 'inform us' are worth more than those who know us from the inside?

We – yes we – wonder if this is not a simple example of how we value 'others' more than we value ourselves.


While I am not one of the "we," since I have secure employment, I am in total support of the gist of this post. The field of Child and Youth Care often seems to have a dismissive, ambivalent if not overtly hostile relationship to its organic intellectuals (also towards its own academics -but we'll leave that aside here). This is very concerning and something that needs serious reflection and I would hope changes in practices and attitudes.

Hans Skott-Myhre

One way of describing weaknesses is to think of them as overdone strengths. Perhaps one of our strengths as a field is giving, supporting, and doing whatever it takes to improve others lives. That may show up as an overdone strength (or expectation) when the financial responsibility is somehow viewed as separate, optional, or negotiable.

In my organization we work hard to access federal grant funds for Child and Youth Care training that are typically allocated to social work. We also invest substantially more in the training of CYCs because of the importance and value of their impact on children and families.

We do need to value ourselves more across the field of Child and Youth Care. And every act of doing so adds to the momentum of making the world a better place.

James Freeman
California, USA

Anon I am actually one of you and earn a large part of my living doing private practice, workshops etc.. There is a part of me that has experienced the issue you are speaking about and I agree that the `outside expert' is as valued in Child and Youth Care as it is in many fields. The funny thing, as you say, is that often our outside experts are not even from our field. I think this is in part based on the reality that our field is relatively new and thus has, for many years had to rely and shape ourselves through the expertise offered to us by other professions.

Most of our teachers/profs were in fact not from this field which caused this to be seen as normal.

At the same time I think we have to hold ourselves to some account and consider what we may need to do differently; in order to be able to offer more of what people are `buying'. For example I have challenged myself for years with my writing and am now moving to a place of trying to create a video library of my work. It doesn't take the place of writing a book, or articles etc. however I know that one of the things I can work on is to establish more of a sense of my credentials so that people have more clarity of why they should pay for what I have to offer. I recently did a tedx talk with this in mind and have smiled at how just being able to have that, as a place people can check me out, has been helpful.

As well there is little financial support in so many ways in this field; for example for things like conferences. It forces us, as presenters, to either pay the whole shot or not go. When I first started to present we got free entrance to the conference, expenses paid and an honorarium. Now there is not even free entrance to the conference. Thus it is also a place where there needs to be consideration given, I believe, to the fact that we, as Child and Youth Care professionals, continue to `buy in' to this being the best that can be done.

So good point and yet also a place where we, the ones who live by doing what you speak to doing, can consider what we may need to consider doing differently on a few levels.


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