Dr. Grant Charles
Some people have been around for a long time in our field – always present, often working quietly without much recognition, to help move the field
forward in Canada. Grant Charles is one of those people. He had his first job in this field at the age of 17, and has been around ever since.
Whether it is through helping to organize, supporting others to organize, presenting or being present, Grant has been a solid source of support for
the evolution of our field, the Canadian CYC Conference and the Canadian Council. Grant was at the 1st Canadian CYC Conference, and he was
present for the 18th National CYC Conference – that is a long time, and many years, of support.
In 1988, when there was little written about our field, Grant, along with a colleague, brought out a book called Issues in Child and Youth Care
Practice in Albert. It was also in 1988 that Grant was chair for the National Child and Youth Care Conference in Calgary.
In 1990, when there was a National Symposium focusing on ‘The Best of Care’ for young people whom we serve, Grant along with another
colleague brought forth and edited “Recommendations for the future of Residential Services for Troubled and Troubling Young People”.
In 2000, Grant, along with Thom Garfat was part of a program review in the province of Nova Scotia. He also co-facilitated with Thom supervisory
training sessions, funded by Department of Community Services, for residential supervisors and managers.
Dr. Thom Garfat
I have been given the great honour of presenting this award to someone I am proud to call a friend and mentor, Dr. Thom Garfat.
My first encounter with Thom was twenty years ago at a CYC Conference in Edmonton. It was my first CYC conference, and I went to a workshop
that Thom presented. It was life changing. I went back home, called a colleague, Gale Burford, who I knew had some kind of relationship with
Thom, and said how do we get him to Newfoundland? That marked the beginning of my relationship with Thom, and of his extensive influence on
CYC practice in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Thom has been working in the child and youth care field for over 40 years. He has been a front-line worker, manager, program director, educator
and trainer. His name will likely be familiar to just about all of you, since he is a regular conference presenter and keynote speaker and has
written numerous books, book chapters and articles, including Working with Families, A Child and Youth Care Approach, and Developing
Effective Interventions with Families. Although Thom has contributed enormously to child and youth care practice in many areas, it is his work in
the areas of meaning-making and the therapeutic use of daily life events where the most profound impact has occurred. It is not possible to think
of either of these realms of practice without thinking of Thom.
Thom is the founder and owner of TransformAction, a child and youth care training and consulting company. You can get a lot of information
about Thom on the website for TransformAction, such as where he has worked, where he went to school, and what he has written. Although he
has an extensive and impressive CV, this doesn’t really capture just how much of a role he has played in shaping the field. Here are some things
you may not know about Thom:
- Thom was a founder of the International Child and Youth Care Conference
- Thom was a founder of the National Child and Youth Care Conference
- Thom was a founder of the Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations
- Thom was a founder of the Relational Child and Youth Care Practice Journal
- Thom was co-founder, along with Brian Gannon in South Africa, of CYC-Net, the International Child and Youth Care Network
- Thom was awarded the very first PhD in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria. His PhD research was based on the effective
youth care intervention and for this he was the recipient of the Governor General's Gold Medal for outstanding research.
Seeing a theme?
Henry Maier used to say “Do you mind if I meddle?” and it’s clear that this rubbed off on Thom – because he meddles all the time. Thom meddles
in relationships. He looks around the world at all of the people he knows – and he knows a lot of people – and then he puts them together. I can
trace back the origins of many of my relationships to Thom. He’s like the child and youth care matchmaker – systematically creating our future,
one relationship at a time.
a person who has clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/visionary)
The Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations Visionary Award was created in October 2014 at the annual general meeting. The purpose of the award was to honour and
offer recognition to members of the child and youth care field who have made significant contributions to the growth and evolution of Canadian CYC practice, education and
professional advancement. Recipients of this award would be acknowledged as having clearly expressed and acted on their support to practitioners, literature and professional CYC
organizations in Canada.
Three Visionary Awards were presented during the 18th National Child and Youth Care Conference in Moncton, New Brunswick:
Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations
Bill has been an invaluable resource to the field of CYC due to his many years of dedication, passion, and loyalty. His incredible work ethic and
innovative approach to generating exciting and new ideas to those he has provided service to, worked with, worked for and then provided
employment to has spanned over the last 40+ years. Bill sees opportunity where the rest see challenges - he sees potential in others well before
they even do which has absolutely assisted me throughout a number of years in my own career. I am incredibly fortunate to have him as my
mentor and I am truly blessed to call him my friend. It is with deep respect and gratitude that we honor him here tonight.