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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

Is the CYC profession ignored?

In the article ...

Canada: Delivering better care for children’s emotional and mental health needs

they do not make mention of Child and Youth Care professionals working on the team again. It states only social workers and others.

When are we going to be acknowledged? When will people know about Child and Youth Care – we have been around long enough!!

Does this type of stuff drive anyone else nuts!?

Happy thoughts.


Hi Tara,

Try not to stress about it, it sounds like you guys are as well off not being part of this project. I don't know for sure, but the way they are describing it suggests that it will open with a big fanfare, there will be lots of very highly qualified people massaging their own egos, the physical structure will look fantastic, and the children will be researched like lab rats and filled up to their eyes with medication whenever thing get tough.

That's not what we are about. Sit tight for the quiet revolution. It will come!!!!!


John Byrne

Thanks Tara for highlighting this ongoing challenge! Child and youth care professionals have an important role to play in mental health care as part of multi-disciplinary teams. It is unfortunate that we are rarely explicitly mentioned...

I believe there are ways to address this and become a louder voice and presence.

For example, join your provincial Child and Youth Care professional association. I recently reviewed membership across Canada and was surprised to discover in the Child and Youth Care program-rich province of British Columbia, only 75 people were members of the provincial association.

Second, I think we need to become more visible in research – both by having researchers examining Child and Youth Care practice (instead of focusing solely on issues), and by Child and Youth Care professionals participating in research studies. As a researcher, I have experienced significant challenges in recruiting Child and Youth Care professionals to participate in studies, or developing partnerships with Child and Youth Care organizations who wish to study their work with kids and families. Yet, when able to do so, I actively pursue presenting at conferences outside of our field or publishing in journals not specific to CYC. In these circles I am still asked to 'explain' who Child and Youth Care professionals are! But these efforts to explain also makes us visible to others...

Third, I think schools of youth work/Child and Youth Care need to be more sensitive towards the development of emerging Child and Youth Care professionals. I recall Jack Phelan saying years ago that Child and Youth Care faculty often rely on texts and readings outside of our field. Why? Schools in Child and Youth Care could also do a better job of hiring faculty who have front-line Child and Youth Care experience and Child and Youth Care qualifications. This is not to say that ongoing critical reflection of the development of the Child and Youth Care field/profession isn't needed and useful – rather to suggest that we need to value the Child and Youth Care experience/education and not co-construct an attitude of 'social work is similar enough...'! If we position ourselves on the periphery of care, then that is where we will remain.

Lots to work on yet!

Patti Ranahan


Thanks for bringing attention to it.

Julie Clarke

Hi Tara,

I hear you. It is quite frustrating. Systems have an uncanny way of highlighting only particular parts of whole team efforts, in numerous fields. I will say, that I have heard other professionals from this field, or that, say that the Child and Youth Care workers that they have worked alongside have been amazing parts of the team. Additionally, each time a young person mentions that they want to be a Child and Youth Care worker, having been inspired by one, my heart swells a little more.

We have to just keep doing our jobs and, unfortunately, advocating for our profession, ESPECIALLY outside of the GTA is part of our daily grind.

This article is a good example of why I mentioned combining Child and Youth Care Work with Social Work for the degree/job opportunity/pay scale potential. The CYCW opportunities west of the GTA (and I have heard, elsewhere) are not at all what they are like within it. It has to be noted. We have to advocate for each other, and see all sides. So, the tough question, and decision that many have to make, is do we opt for the Child and Youth Care degree first and THEN advocate for our profession, all the while getting turned down for jobs we are so qualified and ready for, and want? Or do we combine professions, diversifying skill sets, get the jobs, get into the systems and THEN advocate for, and show people what true CYW work is all about?

All the best Tara. Keep pushing!

I’m sending my response to the CHEO and will also copy and paste to the article.

Ally Smith

Thanks Tara for the message and the link. I have registered my concern about not being 'included in the list' with the CBC website. Perhaps others should do the same??

Deb Fast

Yup, it drives me nuts just as well Tara. I am thinking we fall in the "others" category which to me is as insulting as not being identified given both the uniqueness of our role and the length of time our profession has existed. I can't count the number of times we (CYCs) have stepped in or been referred a case to take over when other professionals have not been successful in working with such cases (the misunderstood youth and parents that is). The missing piece that surfaces time and time again is the relationship. This work, our work which I, (as I am certain is the same for others as well) take tremendous pride in, deserves the recognition of who we are. So my question is, who is prepared to contact William Gardner and RCI to make them aware?

Perhaps that is the missing piece for us as a profession. This lack of recognition and ignorance of who we are and what we do has continued as long as I have been a Child and Youth Care worker ... 18 years. Is it not time we step up and educate others about our profession, our role and the uniqueness of it? I am thinking that the time is now, to address the "others" piece as has Mayor Tory with CBC news on behalf of the Raptors.

I am curious about others thoughts...


So…check out the link now!

The article was amended and we are listed!!!

Julie Clarke

Advocacy works!

Rick Kelly

Advocacy in action!

John Korsmo

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