|All rights Reserved 2003-18 Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations/Garth Goodwin
|Nominations for the 2020
Award are now open. The
Award presentation will take
place at the next National in
St. Johns, NL in May 2020.
The Award scheme was
suggested and initiated by
Louella Goodwin, CYCAA
representative to the
Council in the early '90's.
2016 National Child and Youth Care Award Recipient: Art Shaw
|Nominate a fellow
Art began working at Knowles Centre in 1982. Over the past 33 years, he has served as a youth care worker in various Group Care units, and,
since 1991, took on the challenge of becoming the Day Treatment support worker based out of John G. Stewart School. This youth care role is
unique as it requires Art to essentially balance his work between two organizations--Knowles Centre and the River East School Division, but always
in the best needs of the youth. Art has assisted in bridging these two organizations and has seamlessly followed both organizations policies and
After a long career, Art must defiantly be commended for his loyalty and dedication to Knowles, John G. Stewart and to the youth care profession
as a whole. Beyond his years of dedication, Art has proven his devotion and enthusiasm for his work by his on-going commitment to professional
development. Despite the fact that he is approaching retirement in June 2016, Art continues to gain education and attend trainings in the areas of
suicide prevention, mental health first aid, youth resiliency, trauma, strength-based principals, non-violent crisis intervention, addiction, and ADHD
to name a few. Not only does Art attend the trainings, he shows the motivation to put his trainings into action. One example of this is that after
attending a workshop conducted by Dr. Ross Greene, Art prepared a presentation on the Collective Problem Solving (CPS) approach to
share/train his co-workers at John G. Stewart School. A second example of tis is ever since completing an anti-bullying training with the Red Cross;
art has helped lead the school's annual anti-bullying week events and committed to wearing a pink anti-bullying t-shirt every Wednesday (instead of
the proposed one day a year).
Art can be credited for being a key member in the development of the Student Support Room. Here, students who are feeling overwhelmed or
challenged to control their behaviour in the classroom have a place to go before their behaviour escalates to the point they are suspended or
expelled. Art works diligently in this space to create a positive, accessible and accepting environment. Art recognizes that a student's acting out
behaviour is most often a response to frustrations and his or her inability to engage better coping mechanisms. He truly believes that kids want to
do well, but they don't always know how. Art is renowned for his ability to see the strengths of all clients and their families; he was using a
strength-based perspective years before it became so popular. Staff have noted how they have never heard Art say a bad work about anyone
(despite the well-known inherent frustration of the work he does). Art's positive approach and the fact that he takes a genuine interest in the clients'
lives has allowed him to truly help clients be their best selves. Additionally, Art has an amazing capacity to remain calm in crisis, be firm but fair and
to always advocate for the best needs of this clients and families. Art is thoughtful in his approach and is able to bring calmness to the most
overwhelming situations. Art's caring nature, use of sound judgement, and cool-headed approach puts all around him, both clients and staff, at
Connecting to families has always been a strength of Art's. His ability to develop rapport and put parents at ease is outstanding. Even when
Knowles Centre's therapists are unable to connect with parents, Art has time after time shown his ability to build bridges between parents, Knowles
Centre and John G. Stewart School. "When parents, teachers, educational assistants, therapists, and other adults in a child's life coordinate their
approach, it helps reduce frustration and create an environment for success", Art was quoted saying in a 2012 Knowles Centre newsletter.
I would like to close by stating what a pleasure it is to work with Art. We have all been so fortunate to be able to learn from his insight and wisdom.
While Art's strengths can be discussed in detail, his more notable quality is his heart. Trevor Holroyd (John G. Stewart principal) said it the best:
"With Art it starts with the heart."
In an interview for a Knowles Centre newsletter, Art conveyed, "The greatest reward of my years at Knowles Centre is seeing changes in the young
people as they find their own successes in life."
We full heartedly believe that Art is worthy of this award and believe it would be especially fitting this year, his final year as a youth care worker. We
respectfully submit this letter and the following attachments in support of our nomination.
Although Art may only have a high school education, many would say he is a master
of the Youth Care Profession. His calm, cool and compassionate/yet firm attitude and
approach is an example of excellence in the field. He possesses an always gentle
and caring nature that is well received and respected by all. Art is truly a natural in
youth care work. He never takes anything personally and remains professional at
heart. He takes his role seriously and works skilfully with a multi-disciplinary team,
always working for the best interest of the young person. He will be there to
advocate, discipline appropriately, and nurture in every situation.
Art is always looking at ways to build relationships with the young people he works
with. He builds connections through talking about music, art, animals, card games,
etc. He is always taking interest in their lives. Through his role modeling he builds
trusting relationships by always being fair and honest with the youth.
Paula Dacosta, Youth Care Worker, John G. Stewart School
Trevor Holroyd, Principal, John G. Stewart School
Dacosta accepted the
retirement later this