This page announces the...
20th National & International
Child and Youth Care
Conference in British Columbia
Click on the postcard to the left to go to the website for up-dates.
This page reports upon and shares the National conference experience.
The 19th National Child and Youth Care Conference held at the Westin Nova Scotian in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 4 - 6, 2016 was unique for its reflective tone. Perhaps this was
in keeping with it being the 30th Anniversary edition for the Council of Canadian Child and
Youth Care Associations. Certainly, with Halifax as the background with its long history
celebrated at every turn by statues, heritage buildings and graveyards lent itself to
looking back. The conference was the second in the east in as many years, a
co-production of the Nova Scotia Child and Youth Care Workers Association and the
Child and Youth Care Association of New Brunswick. Conference Co-Chair Jeff Reid (left
above), was a busy and dependable host/master of ceremonies throughout.
Typically, conferences open on the Tuesday evening with an Opening Reception sponsored by the Council. This allows delegates to arrive and settle in. Janet Vanderhor-Westcott (left
in the left image above), the CYCABC representative convened and inspired a retro 80's theme for the event with several imaginative takers, the CYCANL's Jennifer Kettle among them
recreating the vibe of the times. The fellow who came up with the ET memory took the evening on the retro front though.
Former conference Co-Chair, Tina Gauvin (left above) greeting delegates after the organizing and registering was done. Above right, the international crew, all friends, right to left:
Maxwell Smart from Scotland, John Digney from Ireland, Martin Stabrey from South Africa and James Freeman from California always impress as presenters and for the great distances
they travel to join in. The Nationals have been graced by these fellows three times over in recent years.
Janet and James are joined here by
Natalie Bursey, 2012 CYC Award
recipient from Newfoundland. Between
them, if you drew a geographical
triangle, you would have some idea of
the range delegates come from. The
Nationals have always attracted
impressive delegations from away, as
they say. Regretfully, Canada is so
vast a nation it interferes with regular
attendance for many. Lucky
Manitoban's live in the middle- left to
right: Paula Decosta, Frank Delano
from New York, Garth Goodwin,
Debbie Fast, Ana Costa and Lana
Franklin have been long time
conference attendees. Especially
Frank who always presents and totally
thrives on meeting, dining with and
touring with long time friends.
Brendan McGuire, MLA for Halifax
Atlantic brought more than the usual
opening remarks from a politician. He
spoke of being a former youth in care,
having known many parents in the
care/foster system and of exploring his
roots in the old country. Rather than
the usual platitudes he simply said, " I
love you!" to an audience engaged in
care. Remarkable and not to be
forgotten by this writer.
Keynote speakers kick each day off with an
address meant to entertain, inform or provoke
thought or all three. Professional motivational
speaker Monique Howat reminded the audience of
the Power of Inspiration and Influence. Finding the
right words at the right time. Modeling the right way
to do things. Knowing the young person and
believing in he or she. You have the capacity to
change another's life outlook through your words
and actions. Like rain, these interventions can
multiply and influence more. Delightful and often
humorous, Monique reminded us to bring intention
to everyday exchanges.
Carol Stuart, Dean to Faculty of Health and Human
Services at Vancouver Island University has often
collaborated with the Council on pre-conference working
days in the past. In this presentation of Reflections Carol
shares how aboriginal learning has reinforced a relational
approach to child and youth care work. She noted the
Coast Salish people have an expression 'one heart, one
mind' for working together. She shared her experiences
participating on the Tribal Journeys canoe trips on which
she came to see relational concepts expressed through
family feeling, shared stories, experiences, risk which
expand the experience rather than limit it. In this very
personal address Carol was demonstrating the practice,
the doing of reconciliation with First Peoples and the
respect this engenders in a person.
Director and Associate Professor at Ryerson, School of Child and
Youth Care, Kiaris Gharabaghi places an accent on provocation
often with challenging analysis of the practice of child and youth
care. He asked "Do we care about children" and set about
demonstrating how trends in practice hamper and frustrate
relational care. His advice, seen below, recommends child and
youth care professionals do more to assert the relational
approach. He believes the answer to the question remains
uncertain but is optimistic about the outcome.
Workshops are the true purpose of any conference. The Nationals continue to attract full programs from
what may be one of the more vibrant child and youth care fields in the world. Topics are as diverse as
the rooms that can host them. Here above, conference webmaster Shawn Wood presents on being
inclusive to the LGBT individual and community. The audience was keen and asking questions
indicating the need for this training/information sharing.
By the time of the banquet evening, usually Thursday,
folks are ready to enjoy themselves. Awards are given
out and the hospitality suite welcomes delegates.
Some go out on the town. A few miss the morning
sessions and closing the next day.
The conference host city and province can often be a highlight in and of itself. The
conference venue was on the door step or should one say pier step of Halifax's downtown
and harbour front attractions. Many stayed the weekend to enjoy the city.
Hopefully for the uninitiated, this review will have you consider attending the next National
in British Columbia. For those who make the Nationals a biannual experience, thank you
and we hope to see you back to share in the fellowship and learning.
|All rights reserved Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations/Garth Goodwin 1995-2016