Child and Youth Care…Definition and Personal Meaning…..

Good Morning Readers,

As we trip and stumble and skip and dance our way through this blogging/connecting/networking/advocating process….particular matters and topics find their way from hidden corners of my brain, through the fingertips and voila! here to take root on our screens.

Matters is an extremely eclectic combination of issues, topics, information and resources that somehow form a tidy, yet far reaching comfort zone.  Bear with me as I finetune the sorting, processing, organizing and purging of thoughts and ideas…the messages and matters.

This brings me to this particular post.  As I finish up my third and final year of Child and Youth Care (formerly known as worker), I am counting the hours to completion.  After the years in school and thousands of hours in internship and volunteer settings, I have to admit that I am chomping at the bit to be free to practice, and create, and reform.

The Office of Interprofessional Health Education and Research defines the role of a Child and Youth Care Worker on their website. You can follow this link to read the full description.

http://www.ipe.uwo.ca/Professionals/nPosters/Child%20and%20Youth%20Worker.pdf

In a few words from my own personal and (soon to be) professional view….

As a Child and Youth Care Worker, (CYC) I am a professionally trained advocate, experienced in assessing strengths and needs, implementing therapeutic programs and plans, and supporting children, youth and their families through the process of empowerment from risk to resilience.

As a CYC, I form trusting and supportive relationships with children and youth who are experiencing difficulties related to mental and physical or developmental health issues, academics, addictions, abuse, trouble with the law, or trauma and more.

No matter what the child or youth’s experiences, circumstances, or abilities, my mission as a CYC is to ensure that strength and interest based interventions are set in motion according to the client’s environment, support system, and abilities.  As a CYC, I act as an advocate for the client and his or her family to ensure their voices are heard, the gaps between other professional resources are filled, and the client moves to individual empowerment.

During my time volunteering or in placement settings, I learned that being a good CYC is taking a step back to observe and really listen.  It is meeting the child or youth right where they are in the present and understanding where they are coming from, and why. It is laughing and crying and being silly together.  It’s telling jokes and wiping noses and being sworn at or swatted at.  It’s singing songs and rocking out.  Reading stories and telling tales.  It’s dancing and daring to break out of your zone…..that comfortable little place that we all think we are supposed to be. It’s being a role model, and inspiration and most often….most definitely, being inspired by the children and youth with whom you spend time with. It’s becoming friends and allies with your colleagues because through similar experiences and from similar perspectives of hope, you “get it.” It’s being a thorn in the side of the system.  Your persistence and poking and prodding for change is always there! (side note quote from the Dalai Lama….”If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito” ) You understand that even in great stress and difficulty….in the screaming and swearing and seething…there is a kind and caring, and sweet and innocent soul desperately trying to be noticed……to be loved and accepted and paid attention to.

Being a CYC is seeing what most others don’t.  It’s not about the appearance, the actions or the outbursts.

It starts in the past and works from the inside moving forward.  

Please visit http://www.ontariocolleges.ca/home to learn about the training and education a student receieves on their way to becoming a CYC.

You can also visit http://www.oacyc.org/ to learn about our association, what we have done, what we are doing, and where we are going from here.  Please consider signing the petition to have CYC be a regulated profession. You can find the link to the petition on the website or right here http://www.oacyc.org/legislation/the-petition

You can also visit the CYC-net to see how as students and professionals, we network with each other in order to ensure continuous professional and personal growth, in order to offer the latest successful and evidenced based or innovative interventions to our clients.

Visit the link here http://www.cyc-net.org/

Have a great day all.  Stay tuned for much more information!

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