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Discussion Threads

Transcripts of some of the discussions on CYC-Net's email discussion group

Knowledge and experience of the CYC field?


In my 21 years of practising CYC work, I have learned that CYC work involves a multiplicity of complexities and requires a combination of both knowledge and relevant experience. I have met many people who claim to understand this field and many times I’m left with unanswered questions. What are the implications for the CYC field and the services provided to children and youth when “anyone” claims to know how to practise child and youth care work, regardless of whether or not they have relevant experience and knowledge of the field? Why can’t people have the same attitude towards other professions like social work, psychiatry or psychology?

Vincent Hlabangana

It is good that you are questioning and are skeptical about the field. I do think we need to take a more philosophical approach to the field. We need to question ourselves and colleagues. We need to ask ourselves about traditional beliefs. We need to rattle the cage a little bit. We cannot be satisfied with the status quo.

Braden Freeman

Hi Vincent

I believe I am hearing that you are frustrated and I have an understanding of how you are viewing the current state of the CYC field. I believe that if we adopt the Competencies of Child and Youth Care Practices as individuals, educational institutions and organizations, we will see our field develop as a professional field.

Charlene Pickren

I think it is because this field like many others cross our everyday life and a skill can build over practice but like many self learners, don’t value the professional.
Let me explain.

Take swimming. If I have been swimming for many years and can do it well it would lead one to believe, that person can teach others. Now there are certifications you can take to become a swimming teacher. Does that certification make you a better teacher than another …yes?…. But what if you only did the minimum to pass or if you were only first introduced to swimming just before the certification class? What if I put a great swimmer, an average swimmer, and a non swimmer into a class would all come out with the same knowledge?

So, I think there are great people out there that are naturals to raising any child or children and there are others that need more instruction or even both need classes but one never was taught the words but has the gift.

Don’t be too hard on help or advice. If someone has an opinion they do care about what you do.

Donna Wilson

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