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Discussion Threads

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

How CYC-Net impacts you and your work

As we start to prepare our annual report, we would be delighted to hear from you about how you use, and value, CYC-Net. We are interested in, for example:

• How it helps you in your daily practice
• How it impacts you as a professional
• What it means to you
• How it may have impacted your work with a specific young person or family
• Ways in which you use it
• Examples of how it might have influenced your thinking or actions
• How it keeps you connected

Or anything else which might show the value of CYC-Net to you and to the larger Child and Youth Care community.

Please help us out, let us know.

Thom and James

My goodness how it helps!!

I live and work in a child and youth caring desert here in progressive MN, USA. Youth work here is very control oriented around behavior modification. There are the mental health professional class and the frontline direct care class and ne'er the two shall collaborate.

CYC-Net keeps hope alive that there are professionals working to engage people who happen to be children and youth in insight oriented care in the life space of the person helping the person become more effective themselves. CYC-Net is where I can at least hypothetically dream of engaging the work of Fritz Redl, Paulo Freire, Mike Baizerman, Henry Maier, Jerry Beker and others who view the self in relationship in or with the world. A site of revolutionary change.

It is uniquely indispensable. I wish I could contribute more... and in fact I will send my check along.

I've been reading CYC-Net since the mid 1990s and dreaming of working in the ways folks write about.... From a development and therapeutic care approach that doesn’t idolize the professional hierarchy which appears to exist so strongly in current managed healthcare and child welfare/ juvenile correction systems.

Thanks for being here CYC-Net!

Peter deLong
Minneapolis, mn. USA!

Thom and James,

Ways in which the CYC-Net has assisted and impacted me are:

I utilized the CYC-Net when I was instructing as a research tool regarding topics I may not have had a variety of perspectives to speak from.

I asked students to read different topic discussions and engage in debate/discussion within the classroom.

To ask questions of other practitioners.

To share my voice.

As an example of professional dialogue (opinions not judgemental).

Awareness of new topics or programs nationally and internationally.


Thank you and be well.


For a field that is constantly growing and evolving, there has been nothing more satisfying for me than connecting with other CYCPs. I’ve read and referenced CYC-Net for most of my academic and professional career and it has really helped me to grow into a more knowledgeable CYCP. I remember early into my career, I would go onto CYC-Net and save articles or print them off when I found something that really resonated with me. Over the years I’ve made a diverse and fantastic collection of articles that have motivated me through pivotal points in my career.

I love reading stories from people who have experienced the field differently than I have i.e. those outside of Ontario, who work in completely different environments, and those who have ideas that are fresh to me. Some stories make me laugh, feel emotionally connected or generally help me to relate to the experiences of someone else. The beautiful thing about CYC-Net is that you can read an article on literally every topic in Child and Youth Care practice! I’ve read short stories and long essays that are so different from one another yet are each incredibly meaningful. I love seeing the discussion posts and reading all the awesome advice and insight other professionals offer one another. The level of engagement and sharing that happens in these discussion posts is very impressive.

CYCPs can feel isolated in our practice and we don’t always have opportunities to connect with one another. Being able to contribute to CYC-Net has been a rewarding and invigorating experience for me and I’m grateful to feel included in this community.

Yvonne Bristow

Hello All,

I love CYC-Net. It is an invaluable resource and I use it lot when I am trying to find different perspectives or solutions to a particular issue I might be experiencing with children or youth I am working with. It is also enjoyable to be able to participate in discussion threads, and using the site makes me feel connected to other professionals.

Delphine Amer

Hi everyone and Yvonne,

Yvonne, you shared something that really struck me. "That CYCP's can feel isolated in our practice and we don’t always have opportunities to connect with one another."

I will be graduating soon from obtaining my Child and Youth Care degree and know I will miss the discussion board! Prior to being part of an online course and in-class discussions, there wasn't many opportunities throughout my career to connect with other CYCs. Being a CYW was often a road I walked alone per se with my thoughts, reflections, ideas, etc. as such things can be hard for other professionals to grasp, understand, or even have the desire to. I have been on some pretty amazing teams, but also in places where it felt like there were multiple hurdles to jump over and obstacles to push through. Serving children and youth, and to the best of our ability and skills, is in our bones and hearts. Yet, even the steps to overcome such hurdles and obstacles can help us become stronger professionals. Still, being able to connect can make a difference in our professional and personal path as we engage the field of Child and Youth Care. The support, learning, and listening to the voice of other CYCs can connect us to our practice in ways that cannot always be realized with other professionals.

As a newer member, I am really looking forward to – and already am enjoying – the connectivity here.

Looking forward to engaging and connecting with members here via CYC-Net.

Mary Anne

Although I have been in the field for 40 plus years, it is only more recently that I have become connected to CYC-Net. I think what has been most helpful about the conversations that I have read and occasionally participate in, is that sometimes when I hear so much in my day-to-day work contacts about the risk-averse approach that is pervasive in so much of the work done in human services, I feel renewed in my belief about the approach that we espouse. We do take risks. Hopefully not foolish ones, but we definitely take chances in leaving ourselves open to connect with the people we serve.

To hear others with examples, research, encouragements, failures and successes (often delivered with a sense of humour and always with a sense of self awareness) gives me the courage and commitment to keep on trying to give a relational perspective on all the work we do with families and children. I am bolstered by the words of practitioners, executive directors, teachers and consultants alike.

CYC-Net helps me when I am doing leadership training with Supervisors of both Social Workers and Child and Youth Care Workers and when I am training Child and Youth Care Workers, as it gives me a base of knowledge and exposure to practice that reinforces and grounds the values that I hold to be true for me and how I want to work in the world!

Deb Fast

I am a residential child care worker from Scotland, keen to learn and promote residential care as a positive choice rather than a last resort for some young people who need this.

I believe there is a need to reflect on and share experiences (good and bad) to develop the service we provide and improve to a highly skilled workforce offering a quality of care tailored to suit individuals needs. This means learning from past mistakes and historical abuse inquiries have ensured many lessons have been learned – influencing the many rapid changes to ensure these mistakes are not repeated. But equally it's important to challenge stigma, promote positive examples of how this type of group care can (and does) help and heal relationships and traumatised young people.

This is no easy task but forums like this encourage people to think outside the box, look at world theories, approaches and interventions across the world and seek support and advice from impartial professionals with no pressures to go along with the majority or ingrained in habits. It's a cost effective way to learn and use social forums to connect with people who would otherwise be out of reach. It's interesting and non predictable, and improves and encourages frontline workers to contribute to literature research and publications to tell the world what we do. This is a great forum for raising awareness of residential care as a profession in its own right and not just an expensive last resort within social work services.

Tracey Jarvis

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