Thom Garfat



To read






Consulting and Training

     �The greatest danger for most of us
      is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
      but that it is too low and we reach it.�

                                       � MICHAELANGELO

Welcome to my site

My name is Thom Garfat and I have had the exceptional opportunity of being involved in working with troubled children, their families, and the staff who work with them, for over 30 years � as a practitioner, supervisor, director, teacher, trainer, consultant and writer. It has been a rewarding and affirming journey.

Since beginning as a child and youth care worker in an emergency placement program for adolescents, I have been the director of a community-based family intervention program, taught child care and family work at the University of Victoria, supervised group living and alternative programs, and was the director of treatment for one of Canada's largest child and youth care agencies. As a speaker, trainer and consultant, I have had the opportunity to be involved with Child and Youth Care people from around the world.

As you will see from my history, I have developed residential and non-residential programs; created training programs for professionals; helped organizations to conceptualize, develop and implement programs and services; delivered numerous keynote addresses; and worked with governments at various levels to review services, develop standards and create new directions in their services to young people and their families. You can find other information about me here on this site if you are interested.

On these pages you will also find references to my publications, including my most recent books, Working with Families, A Child and Youth Care Approach, and Developing Effective Interventions with Families. You will also find links to the International Child and Youth Care Network, and the Relational Child and Youth Care Practice journal, which I co-edit, the first with Brian Gannon of South Africa and the second with Gerry Fewster in British Columbia.

My experience in Child and Youth Care has offered me opportunities I could only have imagined when I first started out. It is a life-enriching field and the journey within it can be as fulfilling as one chooses to make it. The opportunities to learn and grow and to be helpful are endless. But only if we act. Because it is action, more than thought, which transforms.

We have tried to make this site as straight-forward and practical as possible. I hope you find the information of interest and of use to you. And if you have any questions, please don�t hesitate to email me.



Thom's research into the effective youth care intervention won a Governor General's Gold Medal for outstanding research. It is this research which forms the basis for staff training.