Prices for Admission
Education Day (June 4th, 2024)
General Admission $50.00
Limited Seating available
*Breakfast & Lunch are included for Education Day - If you have a dietary restriction/special accomodation, please take note while registering.
2024 CYC National Conference (General Tickets)
Group discount pricing for groups of 10 or more
*Please contact for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Admission (January 22, 2024 - April 10, 2024)
Regular Admission (April 11, 2024 - May 10, 2024)
*Student and Association Memberships will be verified
*Breakfast, Lunches and nutrition breaks are included for the National CYC Conference - If you have a dietary restriction/special accommodations, please take note while registering.
Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Mix and Mingle Wine and Cheese Welcome Reception 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the conference venue. Registration required. Event fee $5.00. You will receive a drink ticket at check in.
Thursday, June 6, 2024
Social Gathering 7:00 – 9:00 pm. No registration or fee required.
June 5th (10:45 AM - 12:15 PM) Session 1 - 1.5 Hours
Select 1 of the following:
“4 “ships” to Indigenous Engagement – How we can be active allies to Indigenous peoples
Through building Partner ”ship”, Relations ”ship”, Friendship “ship” and ally “ship”, we can start to meaningfully engage with Indigenous youth, Elders, organizations and communities. Roy’s lived experience as a Metis/Cree person with ties to the Red River and Northwest Saskatchewan will be on display through story telling. His personal/professional journey, the teachings of his nohkom and through Red River Jigging, Roy will share knowledge on how we can be meaningful allies in the space of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility and in Truth and Reconciliation.
Participating with others as they live their lives: Walking with Families and Young People in Allyship
Jessica Hadley, Christine Gaitens
Participating with others as they live their lives is one of the characteristics of a relational child and youth care approach (Garfat, et al., 2019). CYC practitioners are with young people in their life spaces and engage in all of the activities and moments of daily life. We work in the co-created space of relationships of safety where young people live their lives. We meet them where they are at, recognizing and honouring who they are, as we support growth and change.
To participate is to take part in and, oftentimes, we do not add the concepts of oppression, marginalization, and intersectionality to that lens. We need to recognize that there are implications for our practice when we do this.
We need to acknowledge that we as a profession have been participating and continue to participate in systems of oppression. It is our responsibility to shift our focus in where we participate to ensure that we are participating as allies with the marginalized communities, families, and youth people that we walk with. In other words, we need to ask ourselves some hard questions and reflect on those answers. Questions like, what is allyship and how do ensure that allyship is a part of participating in the lives of the young people we work with?
In this workshop we will explore what it means to participate with others as they live their lives in the context of allyship. Through our discussions we will share and enhance the description and general understanding of this characteristic of a relational child and youth care approach. We will aim to support participants to further develop their approach to being with others and including allyship and anti-oppressive practices in the way they think and care for others in their everyday work. Practitioners must “recognize that in today’s world, enduring change requires enduring advocacy through committed partnership with young people, their families and their communities” (Garfat et al., 2019, p. 21).
Trauma Informed Healing Plans.. A Collaboration in Ally-ship
Thom Garfat, Andy Leggett, Kerri Irvin-Ross
An individualized Healing Plan (sometimes called an intervention or development plan) provides all staff with the framework for their daily interactions with youth and their families. The Healing Plan identifies goals with the youth and forms a therapeutic contract between care givers, young people, family, and other professionals which includes the responsibilities of each in the process of healing and / or development. Through the purposeful use of everyday life events (DLE) opportunities are created for the direct care practitioner to make moments meaningful and to connect those to the overall goals established with young people and families. This training will identify the elements of content and process associated with developing an individualized Healing Plan and focus on how we can integrate our knowledge about how to use daily life events to facilitate positive change, into our Healing Plan development process. The Healing Plan connects the youth and family’s past experiences to the present and sets the stage for their future.
Innovative Treatment: A wheel approach to wholeness
Being led by Michelle Basarab Executive Director, the newly formed Campus Based Treatment Centers (CBTC) was created in May 2023 by the province of Alberta. Working together to provide a new wholistic treatment modality for youth, the CBTC’s located in High Prairie, Lac La Biche, Lethbridge and Edmonton have a unique treatment path that focuses not only on the youth’s need for treatment but their wholistic way of living. Spirit Journey brings all parts of the Medicine Wheel into the forefront of practice. We utilize addictions, occupational health, neuro-sequential model, traditional Indigenous ceremony, nurse oversight and animal therapy for our youth. Utilizing the understanding of oneself as more than just emotional but focusing on mental, physical and spiritual self. Youth are able to build a Spirit path that keeps them connected to their home community and offers them the ability to use Elders and western theology in their healing. This presentation will be in circle with participants, The video will play different photos of cultural teachings and land- based activities that our youth are utilizing in their treatment program. We will have some statistics to share quantitative data from youth who have been in the treatment path. Elders review of the CBTC program and suggestions moving forward. Michelle will explain the Medicine wheel format of the treatment plan and invite participants to look at their own personal wheel in a fun activity. Will end with a door prize of a Painting from one of our treatment service dogs named Indy who is an official Government of Alberta employee.
June 5th (1:15 PM - 2:45 PM) Session 2 - 1.5 Hours
* Select either Session 2 & 4 or Session 3
Select 1 of the following:
Family Connections and Reunifications: Creating resources that maintain and unite family connections
At The Link, a Youth Care Practitioner lead the development a Family Connection Home to offer home like family visits with supervision. In partnership with families and case workers, the Family Connection Team create an opportunity for families to meet in a community setting with wrap around services that adapt to family needs. Although a new initiative, it has been successful in preventing children from being removed from their family home and has successfully reunited families. The relationships of the home’s team with families and the home setting has lead to the identified outcomes being met. In this presentation we will discuss why Family Connection home was developed and how it was created and implemented with a family reunification focus.
Noticing: An essential component of ally-ship
Caroline Moore, Thom Garfat
Any effective intervention must start with noticing. After all, if you don’t notice what’s happening in the moment, how can you attend to it? There are several factors which can cause us to focus on certain things happening around us and miss other things. Some of these factors may be intentional and some are unintentional. However, it does not end with just noticing what is happening around us. Noticing what is happening within ourselves during an intervention is just as important, if not more, than noticing what is happening with the youth. How well we notice and attend to our internal responses will either help or hinder any interaction we’re enter into. As child and youth care workers, we have the responsibility to be intentional with our notices, question them, discuss them with others for additional perspectives and then notice some more. This presentation will identify why we notice certain aspects of our surroundings and interactions and not others. We will discuss both the external and internal notices around us every day, in every moment, as well the opportunities these notices provide in our work with youth. If we do not notice Self, how can we be certain we are noticing Other?
June 5th (1:15 PM - 4:30 PM) Session 3 - 3 Hours
This session will include a 15 min break
* Select Session 2 & 4 or Session 3
Select 1 of the following:
Undiagnose me: how systems that are meant to help instead create more damage and what professionals could do to change that and empower youth who experienced complex trauma.
Youth who grow up in the system statistically are in a disadvantage and at risk when it comes to transitioning to adulthood. Despite the involvement of numerous resources that are available for support, youth’s well-being continues to deteriorate which leads to mental health epidemic and addictions crisis. Systems that play a significant role in providing services to youth do not recognize that the dominant approaches they take create barriers for youth’s thriving; moreover, they contribute into disempowerment and disability. In this workshop we will explore reasons why current mainstream systemic approaches do not work and discuss solutions and specific strategies on how to help stop mental health epidemic and addictions crisis. It is critical in order to help youth to address their traumas in meaningful ways to be able to move forward with their lives.
Ally-ship in Flux: Leading in a Liminal Space
Heather Modlin + Kerri Hayley
Liminal space refers to the space or time in which we shift from one phase to the next, between what is and what will be. There are different types of liminal spaces – physical and psychological – and the state of unknowing associated with these spaces can be difficult for many individuals to navigate. It can be argued that child and youth care practice occurs primarily in liminal spaces, in which young people, families, practitioners and organizations are in a constant state of flux. True ally-ship requires us to provide leadership in ways that meet the needs of practitioners and, ultimately, the young people and families they serve, and this includes understanding the shifting contexts in which they are functioning. In this session we will talk about the characteristics of liminal spaces and the ways in which these connect to child and youth care practice. We will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with operating in the midst of uncertainly and discuss ways in which practitioners can be supported to navigate these complexities.
June 5th (3:00 PM - 4:30 PM) Session 4 - 1.5 Hours
* Select options 2 & 4 or Session 3
Select 1 of the following:
A Needs Based Approach to Everyday Life in Your Program
Thom Garfat, Andy Leggett, Jessica Hadley, Christine Gaitens
Relational Child & Youth Care Practice has been described, among other things, as a needs-based approach, based on the belief that when someone learns to meet their needs in a more satisfying, less painful manner then the old way of meeting the need is no longer necessary. This presentation will open up the idea of a needs-based approach to CYC practice and look at how such an approach applies in the everyday life in a program for both young people and those who support them. It is a very reflective workshop.
Hope Through Allyship: The Privilege of Being an Ally for and with Families
Lesley Goodyear + others
One of the main goals with this conference is to reconnect professionals and educators with the stories of those we walk with - amplify the voices of the communities we serve. Our Family Engagement team ( with representatives from the cross provincial team) from AMAL Youth and Family Centre will pull together a workshop to share the stories of the different types of families we support, the unique and customized way we support them, how the support varies across the regions and communities we serve. There are clear messages which will weave a powerful story to represent the families we are lucky enough to walk with on their journey and the hope for change across lifespan and generation.
Muslim + Indigenous Ally-ship Through Collaborative Research
Kelsey Reed, Shemine Gulamhusein
Over the past several years, Dr. Shemine Gulamhusein and I have been working alongside each other as we engage in culturally grounded research within our respective Indigenous and Muslim communities. As we both are interested in cultural identity development, community engagement, recreation, and advocacy, we began collaborating on several projects. To bring our two worldviews together, we were required to deeply reflect on how we were going to bridge our Indigenous and Muslim identities and cultures to enrich our community-based research projects. Our conversations moved beyond methodology to sharing our cultural ways of knowing and being to find points of connection over several years.
In alignment with the conference’s theme of allyship, we will explore our investment into the ongoing process of understanding each other’s worldview, lessons learned through our Indigenous-Muslim collaborations, and how cross-cultural engagement and collaboration can enrich our relationships and research within the Child and Youth Care profession. Allyship, in the context of our research, has been a process of both sharing and genuine curiosity in culturally understanding each other’s positioning in the world. Nearing the end of the session, participants (audience members) are welcome to join the conversation on allyship within Child and Youth Care and how we can continue these conversations across institutions.
June 6th (10:45 AM - 12:15 PM) Session 5 - 1.5 Hours
Select 1 of the following:
One Voice One Team.......A example of Allyship in Action" - How to create safe & brave spaces for youth of all backgrounds, cultures, ways of life, abilities and socioeconomic status to cometogether and thrive in the spirit of Ubuntu.
OVOT: Orlando Bowen, Jermaine Frazer, Sherri Sanjurjo, Roy Pogorzelski
"This session will look into necessary approaches to create safe/brave spaces for youth of all backgrounds, cultures, ways of life, abilities and source of income. Through storytelling, the One Voice One Team facilitators will show the value of their lived experiences on programming for a diverse range of youth. This session will delve into meaningful allyship in action, using/trusting your unique gifts to model the way forward as a leader, the importance of leaving a legacy and having a positive impact on the world and all this within the spirit of Ubuntu “I am because we are”. Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of the importance of building community in their programming and the need for community in a young person’s life.
Finally, something that's for me: A staff-focused intervention to increase self-regulation and amplify trauma-informed care
Beth Carsarjian, Jessica Linick
There is perhaps no other job that requires similarly high levels of self-awareness, effective relationship skills, and behavioral and emotional regulation as directly caring for trauma- impacted youth. Many direct care staff know intuitively that “good relationships” with safe and responsive adults help youth recover from trauma. And in fact, recent research is validating that warm, positive relationships with direct care staff help youth heal on a neurobiological level. However, maintaining the patience, perspective, and balance required to build these healing relationships and deliver high-quality care is often easier said than done. Until recently, the critical importance of staff’s own social and emotional skills in building healing alliances with youth has been largely overlooked.
The proposed presentation provides an overview of an emotion coaching approach designed to help staff not only build their understanding of trauma, create nurturing relationships with youth, and expand their crisis intervention knowledge, but to develop the complex self- regulatory capacities they must possess to deliver this care effectively. Many trauma-informed interventions operate under the assumption that staff come to their positions having already cultivated the core emotional regulation skills that serve as the platform for higher order trauma techniques. Yet, research suggests that many adults serving trauma-impacted youth have experienced significant trauma histories themselves, undermining their stress management capacities and relationship expectancies and behaviors.
Key direct-care staff social-emotional regulation skills will be explored including effectively managing responses to anger and stress triggers, building self-awareness of one’s emotional state, returning to “emotional baseline” after a stressful incident, and repairing relationships. A range of proven approaches to support staff and build self-regulatory capacities will be explored including Restorative Justice Circles – a process in which staff are able to voice their concerns, frustrations, and successes in a forum that promotes deep listening and acknowledgement among participants. Circles not only provide a forum to be heard, but a context that promotes the transmission of skills, insight, and self-reflection. Participants will often be led through a guided mindfulness meditation, an evidence-based approach shown to build emotional regulation abilities, lower stress, and serve as a protective factor against burnout, secondary traumatic stress and turnover. Participants will also be led through a powerful, practical, self-reflective exercise called Stop, Breathe, and Choose designed to identify triggers that often lead to crisis with youth and cognitive-behavioral approaches to effectively manages those triggers.
Dark Secrets: Student to student abuse in the Canadian Indian Residential School System
Grant Charles, Hailey Bird Matheson
It is known that in oppressive residential environments there is a strong likelihood abuse will occur not only by those with power but also by some of those who are forced to live in these places. That is one of the characteristics of oppressive milieus. People turn against each other sometimes as a means of survival and other times as an externalization of the pain they are experiencing. This happened in the Canadian Indian Residential School System. The perpetrators and victims of this violence then returned to their home communities in many cases continuing the dynamics that originated in the schools. The ramifications of this continues today. This workshop will present the findings of a research project by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, students and community members who examined this issue using a Research Theatre Based methodology. The workshop will involve listening to a short podcast about student-to- student abuse followed by a dialogue on multi-generational and vicarious abuse along with the ramification of what this means today for practice and reconciliation. The workshop will assist in the understanding of the manifestations of trauma based on multi-generational abuse, the rethinking our understanding of right and wrong in our work and in the understanding our relationship to historical wrongs in our current work.
June 6th (1:15 PM - 2:45 PM) Session 6 - 1.5 Hours
*Select Session 6 & 8 or Session 7
Select 1 of the following:
Lived Experience on the Frontlines: Growing into our roles as adult allies
Young people in and from care often choose to pursue a career on the front lines of child welfare, as social workers, child and youth care workers, shelter staff, and foster parents. During this presentation we will talk about the motivation behind those decisions, the pros and cons to being a person with lived experience on the front lines, and the resources and support needed to help folks with lived experience flourish in their roles (if any). My goal is to have a panel of lived experts who are now working front line share their experiences.
Allyship in Practice: Strengthening Relationships with Families in Child and Youth Care
Jenny McGrath, Rebecca Stiller
In the Child and Youth Care field, building strong partnerships with families is essential to supporting the development and well-being of children and adolescents. With an eye to experiential and interactive learning, this presentation will delve into the concept of family allyship and its profound potential to boost family engagement and thereby enhance the care and support of young people. Participants will come away with a stronger understanding of the value of family allyship in CYC work, professional language to underpin an approach of allyship when working with families, and practical strategies for engaging in authentic allyship in their practice. Allyship is not merely a buzzword; in the context of family work, it is a powerful practice of reflexively acknowledging privilege and actively combatting inequity that fosters trust, collaboration, and mutual respect between CYC practitioners and families. Allyship isn't a one- size-fits-all approach but a dynamic and evolving journey toward building strong, collaborative relationships. This presentation will highlight key principles and strategies to effectively promote allyship within a variety of Child and Youth Care practice contexts, including community outreach, education, youth justice, and residential care. By positioning allyship with families as a core element of our work, Child and Youth Care practitioners will be better able to support nurturing environments that benefit the children and adolescents in our care while also battling the systemic inequity with which so many families are faced. When practitioners and families work together as allies, the experiences, perceptions, strengths, and needs of all parties to the relationship are better seen and valued: it's a win-win situation that transforms the Child and Youth Care landscape for the better.
June 6th (1:15 PM - 4:30 PM) Session 7 - 3 Hours
* Select Session 6 & 8 or Session 7
Select 1 of the following:
Empowering Youth Worker Voices in family-professional partnerships and allyship across sectors.
Through facilitated dialogic and art-based methods, participants will be invited to explore experiences as youth workers in family-professional partnerships across sectors and re-imagine these partnerships in the future as allyship. Family-Professional Partnerships in are described in the literature as the schools’ most important collaborative partnerships. In my work as a child and youth worker, I have often found myself on the edge of this partnership, witnessing inequalities and tension that hinder the process of supporting school professionals, students, and their families in the school system. This system, founded and rooted in hierarchical practices, has undergone major and important changes, however power structures persist and by their nature maintain imbalances that privilege some and marginalize others. Although the system advocates for the integration of new visions, inclusion and caring stakeholders, structures represent barriers to the integration of equitable, participatory, and inclusive practices. With the voices of families and professionals being heard in the literature, I wonder if youth care workers come together and map out their hidden experiences, new solutions and perspectives. What are you noticing? What is working? What is not? How can we help? How do we move towards anti- oppressive practice and allyship?
Examining How Power Impacts Supervisory Relationships Across Cultures & Generations
Frank Delano & Noor Almaoui
The Supervisory relationship is extremely important in providing support, a vehicle for growth, learning and professional development for CYC Practitioners. It is often said that “People don’t leave a job, they leave a supervisor”. Quality supervision is crucial in a program for retaining quality workers and, most of all, in providing high quality services to the children and families we serve. The Supervisory relationship is also a very complex one. Every supervisor has a supervisor of their own and all of these dynamics are influenced by agency structures and agency culture.
The Supervisory relationship is also laden with power. Pretty much all of the structural power favors the supervisor. The structural power includes the agency hierarchical structure, writing performance evaluations, approving time off, etc. More importantly there are many levels of more subtle power that are important for both parties in the relationship to be aware of, and be in touch with. No relationship can be healthy with that much of a power imbalance. Therefore, it is important for both parties to work collaboratively to positively, better balance the power in the relationship. If the power is not balanced well then one or the other parties may begin to play manipulative “games” in an attempt to re-balance the power. The supervisor has a clear ethical responsibility to be in in touch the power they have, and use it in a thoughtful manner. Supervisees also have a variety of subtle powers in the relationship and they should also be responsible to use it thoughtfully and positively.
All of these power dynamics get dramatically more complex when the parties in the Supervisory
relationship are cross generational, or cross cultural. Each generation, and each cultural variation, can view power very differently and have different life histories regarding power. In this highly interactive workshop the presenters (Cross generational and cross cultural themselves) will examine the many types of power involved, how it can impact the Supervisory relationship, and present a number of strategies to positively better balance the power involved. They will also present particular strategies for supervisors to use a collaborative “coaching” style of supervision. Participants are encouraged to bring real life issues from their practice to class for discussion. The presentation will be delivered in the presenters’ unique “coaching style” of training (see www.frankdelanotraining.com for description) which encourages collaborative learning and critical thinking as we address the material and issues
Ally-ship Through a Trauma Informed Lens: A PersonBrain Approach
Paul Baker, Heather Modlin
Ally-ship involves engaging young people, families, and each other from a place of curiosity, understanding, and purposeful interaction. In this session we will review The PersonBrain Model,™ a powerful, trauma informed approach that is strengths-based and provides essential positive behavior support skills within a NeuroTransactional Model. Participants will learn therapeutic support strategies intended to help individuals flourish and live a life that is safe, significant, respected and related. We will also explore The PersonBrain Model’s NeuroTransactional Reimbursements that support self-regulation, successful exposure to new experiences, positive interpersonal relationships, meeting basic biological needs, the acquisition of educational fundamentals and the importance of cultural responsiveness and integration in the transformation process. Applications of this approach in various contexts will be discussed.
June 6th (3:00 PM - 4:30 PM) Session 8 - 1.5 Hours
* Select Sessions 6 & 8 or Session 7
Select 1 of the following:
Approaches for Critical Allyship for Social Justice
Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, Amy Cooper
Allyship is critiqued for being performative and/or limited to individual actions, thus missing the fact that equity and meaningful inclusion requires a multi-level engagement across generations, identity groups, and sectors. Young people’s participatory rights have also been lagging, given narrow and adultist framing which limits pluralism and young people’s agency as knowers and partners in contributing to community social justice efforts. Critical allyship as a relational approach to social justice efforts which partners powerholders with more marginalized groups in equitable and inclusive collective actions offers unforeseen opportunities. This is part of a growing recognition that there is a need to shift away from binary and generational divisions between youth and adults, underscoring the reality that social justice issues are shared struggles that require relationality, ethics of care, and recognition of the interdependence of people of all age groups.
This presentation will share and discuss approaches to critical allyship for social justice that are emerging from a research project engaging human rights educators working with diverse young people in community-based actions for social change related to issues such as anti-racism, reconciliation, living in and from care. We will engage with workshop participants on exploring the conditions and constraints for critical allyship to better support more meaningful involvement of young people in organizational, municipal, and regional social justice efforts. What are some good practices and critical success factors that could better support critical allyship? What are the implications for practice, theory and practice?
Perspectives of Frontline Child and Youth Care Staff in Group Homes
This session examines the results of a pilot research study about the perceptions and experiences of front-line child and youth care practitioners in the group care sector that may be influencing staff turnover in group care. The presenter will review her research and the results and facilitate conversation about the next steps of examining the causes and solutions for staff turnover from a broader perspective.
"The truth is not yet fully told": A Dedication to Debbie Nanemahoo
For this presentation I will be discussing and unpacking the long term affects of the Indian Residential Schools. This presentation is dedicated to my partners auntie who was a survivor of residential schools, her name was Debbie & it was sudden that she passed away recently. Debbie was like my own auntie, she treated me as if I was her own blood. I feel growing up Indigenous we all have that person in our lives who took us as their own blood even if we were not related. Debbie always gave me this feeling of being home and being comfortable. It always felt easy like I could be myself, she was so vulnerable with me. She shared many life events that she went through as a child that no child should ever had to go through. I was honoured to have her be open to record her personal experience in residential school, she was so wise and someone I really looked up to. Her recording will continue to be my guide on how we can improve our practice by being trauma informed, dealing with grief and loss & advocating for those those who can’t or don’t know how to advocate for themselves. During the time we spent recording her experience she said to me “ its yours now, you go tell it “ that stuck with me even more when she left. I want to tell her story so that it can encourage practitioners to want to improve there practice by being inclusive and open to new ways of practice, giving care, advocating for those who can’t.
June 7th (9:00 AM - 10:30 AM) Session 9 - 1.5 Hours
Select 1 of the following:
Anti-Oppressive Practice in Post Secondary Child and Youth Care Classrooms: A Work in Progress
While anti-oppressive practice has a long history in post secondary education and pedagogy, it is still underutilized in the field of Child and Youth Care (CYC). I recently explored this topic in a chapter in an upcoming book on anti-oppressive practice in CYC and would like to continue this discussion and exploration further through this presentation/workshop. I am not an expert; the intention here is to share insights from my own learning, both in and out of the classroom, while also leaning into the collective voices from the CYC community through dialogue and other creative ways of interaction. I am hopeful we can start to do the much needed work of anti-oppressive practice in our field by having these conversations and amplifying diverse voices in our field. One such place to start is with the students we come alongside in the classroom. Whether you are a student or an educator, or neither, I hope you will join the conversation in this presentation/workshop.
Promoting Cultural Safety in Child and Youth Care: Insights and Strategies
Incorporating the findings of the presenter’s research project completed to fulfill the requirements of the University of Strathclyde’s MSc in Child and Youth Care Studies program, this discussion will challenge the effectiveness of traditional cultural competency training approaches and consider why, despite being widely adopted throughout the field, they have thus far fallen short in creating culturally safe conditions in CYC practice. Despite significant efforts to promote culturally appropriate service delivery in this field, the presenter’s research suggests possible gaps in current CYC training approaches, as well as systemic barriers that may be inhibiting an organization’s ability to deliver culturally safe programs for racialized children, youth, and families. The pressing need for cultural safety will be presented as an alternative framework for training and service delivery that prioritizes the safety, well- being, and empowerment of service recipients over the mere development of practitioner cultural competency skills. The presentation will include highlights from some of the literature supporting culturally safe service delivery, drawing parallels between culturally safe practice and relational CYC practice. The results of interviews conducted with CYC practitioners who provide care for Indigenous young people will be discussed, and recommendations for practice will be considered.
Allyship within Child and Youth Care: A Qualitative underpinning of the realities and barriers to Solidarity efforts within the sector
As I entered the master’s program at Strathclyde University, I was asked to provide an idea of what area I would potentially like to conduct my research project. Being of Caribbean descent and being acutely aware of the social context we are presently in, I ambitiously wrote about my desire to understand allyship within a Child and Youth Care context. In my journey of un-colonizing myself, I was frustrated with some of the harm I witnessed within the field and was inspired to find answers to what allyship truly means and how it’s applied within Child and Youth Care. I was fortunate enough to receive the support of my supervisor and went on to conduct my research. This presentation will outline my research project, from my literature review, where I break down systemic and structural racism and define allyship and solidarity, to the methodology chapter, the ways I approached this research, and what I considered. I will then discuss my interviews and the questions I asked. I wanted to know what brought participants to allyship and solidarity work and what allyship means. I also wanted to know what they found to help or hinder allyship and solidarity work and what they would change or progress their allyship efforts. I received an overwhelming 19 responses from folks who wanted to participate in the research but could only conduct 12 as agreed on my ethics application. The data I received was rich and filled with insight that our profession would benefit both as individual professionals and within the context of a community agency. As a first-time researcher, my presentation will include things I wish I had known and where I’d like to go further with this research. After this research, I thought I would have all the answers I desired when I began, but I am left with more questions.
Power Shift: Replacing Ego with Humility as a starting point in effective Allyship
Child and Youth Care workers love to talk about the big ‘AHA!’ moment that was so transformative for them. I too have had such a moment. As a non-indigenous settler with ‘all of the privileges’ it has been a lifelong journey to make the required shifts in my worldview to begin to practice effectively with my First Nations clients. In this presentation I will tell the story of my ‘AHA’ moment – an intense first-hand experience of racism – and use it as a case study to introduce my emerging practice model that I am calling Occupational Child and Youth Care Practice.
This model borrows from and builds upon Jack Phelan’s Developmental Practice model as discussed in his book The Long and Short of It (2015). I will discuss his concept of ‘Experience Arranging’ but through a de-colonial, anti-racist lens and merge it with my own developing conceptual practice model. This model digs into the role of the locus of control and power as they relate to the Occupational Practice of CYC practitioners (what do we actually DO? How do we do it?). I will highlight the need for CYC practitioners to do the hard self-work of replacing Ego with Humility as a critical aspect of relational practice, weaving aspects of my personal paradigm-shifting story as a mechanism to workshop the ideas as we go. Audience members can expect to be presented with a moving story that is presented in a bold and creative manner and left with a new conceptual model through which they may examine their own CYC practice.