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Child and Youth Care is a way of life….
Through the journey of becoming a CYC professional, you will develop enriched relationships. As you begin to better understand yourself, and the way in which you relate to the world, your relationships to others are strengthened. This is true of both your personal and professional relationships. This journey allows you the opportunity to grow in ways you never thought imaginable, which in turn will provide you with the self awareness, knowledge and skills needed to support some of the most vulnerable young people in society - through relationship. You will learn to empower these young people to believe in themselves and to reach for more, while also assist them in learning how to protect their rights. Best practices will lead your learning. You will transfer this relational learning into your relationships in general. Your life will be enriched; mine continues to be…
My insight into the CYC program and career opportunities in this field of study…
As a coordinator and faculty member of the CYC program, I am energized to discuss the strengths of this program. As a student, you will be introduced to cutting edge curriculum, and faculty members who are all formally educated in CYC and bring years of practice wisdom to the classroom and placement experiences. We are all invested in the success of our students. CYC is transformative, and we are here to support this learning journey, every step of the way.
Specifically, this program will provide you the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to support vulnerable young people and their families through a variety of experiential learning opportunities. Engaging relationally, while being developmentally responsive, trauma sensitive and self reflective will be the foundational skills that you acquire. An ability to foster resilience and self advocacy with young people and their families, will be nurtured. An ability to identify the social justice context of the challenging life circumstances of marginalized young people, will also be fostered. You will develop a strong understanding of oppression and racism, as it relates to serving Indigenous young people and their families in this community, which may include the opportunity to complete placements within Indigenous Organizations. This program aims to promote efforts toward reconciliation. We are committed to sending graduates into the work force with a solid understanding of their social location and a well developed ability to meet the needs of Indigenous children and families in challenging life contexts.
This program will prepare you for positions in a variety of settings serving vulnerable young people and their families including; child welfare, youth criminal justice, substance use treatment, children’s mental health, school based programs, and Indigenous Organizations to name only a few. CYC students are sought after professionals in our community, often securing employment prior to graduation.
Why I became a Teacher…
Child and Youth Care (CYC) is my passion. Finding Child and Youth Care was like finding home. Relating to others in ways that promotes growth, development and strengths is my natural inclination, and at the core of CYC. These exact relational dynamics fostered my own development as a CYC student and professional - they still do. I have had remarkable experiences of mentorship with some of the most skilled and knowledgeable CYC practitioners in this country, and abroad. My commitment to CYC remains unwavering, as does my commitment toward Reconciliation. I continue to create opportunities for my students lives to be shaped by these same leaders, while creating exceptional learning opportunities in my classrooms.
What I like Most about Teaching…
Fostering learning in CYC practice brings me joy and satisfaction. It is incredibly rewarding to watch the lives of students transform. Being involved in the student’s journey to better understand themselves, including their strengths and sense of resilience, is remarkable. Fostering opportunities for students to develop skills and capacities, to support some of the most marginalized and young people in our community, is beyond rewarding. Learning is also process in which both parties develop and grow. I am learning with my students all the time.
My Educational Background & Qualifications…
I graduated from Malaspina University College (Now Vancouver Island University) with both a diploma in CYC and then a Bachelors degree in CYC (1995 and 1999). In 2005, I graduated from the University of Victoria, with a Masters degree in CYC.
Prior to finding my passion for teaching, I worked as a CYC professional (frontline, management and training) for 20 years. My experience is rich and varied and includes exposure to most service sectors (Addictions, Children’s Mental Health, Youth Justice, School-Based, Early Intervention, and Child Protection) in my quest to support children and families in finding the resources they need to reach their potential. My area of interest has been in assisting youth and students in celebrating their sense of resilience and strengths, in attempt to uncover their potential and manage reactivity in practice.
I have taught CYC for Ryerson University and Grant MacEwan University College. Since, 2007 have been a fulltime faculty member with Confederation College. From 2014 until 2018 I was a provincial Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care board member, where I focussed my time on the professionalization of Child and Youth Care through research and legislation processes. I continue to publish in CYC and pursue conference presentation opportunities.
Awards, Publications and Conference Presentations
- Award of Excellence by the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care - 2016 …
- Can Professionalization Legitimize Relational Child and Youth Care as a Best Practice? … - Relational Child & Youth Care Practice - Volume 29, Issue 4 / 2016
- Podcast: Anti-Oppression in Child and Youth Care with Rebecca Ward and Wanda MacArthur … - C2Y: Discussions on Child and Youth Care
- The Importance of Congruence in Child and Youth Care Education … - EBSCO Host Connection - Oct., 2013
- Safe Guarding the Other 23 Hours: Legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario … - Oct., 2015
My Hobbies & Interests…
I have a 21 year old son. He is what I am most proud of - always. Together we still enjoy snowboarding. I love the outdoors and find time to hike when I can, and I love to travel. I am also committed to self care and attend a gym regularly. I have a full family life with twelve siblings, their partners, their children and now their children’s children. I am also the academic union president at the college, and am committed to issues of social justice beyond CYC as it relates to labour.
Curriculum I have Developed:
- CY 108 Diversity in CYC practice
- CY 311 Recording the Lived Experience of Children/Youth
- CY 318 Youth and Substance Use
- CY 407 Understanding Trauma and Aggression in Children/Youth
- CY 408 Field Placement 11
- CY 502 Barriers in CYC Relational Practice
- CY 503 Field Placement (111)
- CY 507 Social Justice in CYC Practice
- CY 612 Assessment and Intervention in CYC Practice
- CY 614 Professional Issues in CYC Practice