All rights reserved: Garth Goodwin 1995-2020
The World CYC Conferences: St. John's, Vienna and now Ventura have established a reputation for being exceptional. They
grew out of the initial CYC-Net gatherings which brought together contributors and users of the web site to review and plan for the
resource initiative. Local hosts put their best foot forward choosing fine venues, an in house conference experience with breakfast
and lunch breaks and in a location of global status as a tourist venue. Delegates have embraced the opportunity to combine a
conference experience with local touring, in some instances for several weeks. Ventura and California did not disappoint on that

While this writer focuses on the visual, another
Janelle Huhtala, has through her blog produced a remarkable and thorough
account of her impressions as a student of MacEwan University, presenter and first time traveller. Please
click here to go to
California Adventures! Janelle has kindly given her permission to share this with guests.
Click on the image above to go to the feature on
the conference.
Ziigwas Binesli, presenter at the 5th annual Unity Conference in
Dublin, Ireland used the opportunity of 30 or so drums laying
around to join with the delegation from Fleming College to sing
and drum an honour song in response to a fine evening of Irish
deeply moved by the experience and compliment. It was one of
those great moments in conferencing.
2020 Unity Through Relationship Conference:
: . Mid November is the time to
consider attending this small conference (November 11&12th)
which tends to attract regulars seeking a fall break, chance to
Christmas shop and be a tourist. You are invited to look back:

A rare and singular opportunity brought together collaborators and
associates from Canada and South Africa for five incredible days in
the middle of the winter at Kruger National Park. This followed the
NACCW National and World CYC Conference in Durban. More and
more child and youth care professionals are making the journey half
way around the world to experience the exuberance and beauty of
this country with its extensive system for child and youth care and its
eternal summer. (To us anyway, they think they are cold in
This feature focuses on the Kruger Park experience, yet another
must do in this wonderful country. Jump in anywhere.
The Poster Project
As a photographer it seemed a natural progression to use images to illustrate aspects of
child and youth care work. The Council was supportive of this and the work carried on for
some years. I had occasion to see some of the posters blown up and framed hanging on a
university faculty of child and youth care. There have been recent requests for the page. Click
on the image to the left.
At the 6th Unity Conference on November 11, 2019 Jack Phelan
was recognized in a very distinct and deserved way. Conference
co-host, John Digney went beyond the invitation at opening
keynote to use the annual award moment to step outside the
convention of local Irish recipients to award Jack a Lifetime
Achievement Award. Typically their awards feature Irish artists in
some way. A crafted wood plaque featuring one of Jack's and
Ireland's poets W. B. Yeats was presented. John started reading
one of his more popular poems and Jack picked up and
completed the poem from memory creating a wonderful moment
for everyone. The Unity Conferences are like that, intimate and
Canadian Child and Youth Care
Pages created over a 45 year journey as a child and youth care practitioner,association builder and conference attendee with the goal of illustrating the child and youth care experience. My generation,
one a colleague called 'pioneer' established professional group treatment and therapeutic foster care, child and youth care associations at provincial, national and international levels and laid the
educational ground work at diploma, degree at post secondary colleges and universities. While the field has expanded, the frontline remains in the shadows due to constant turnover and shallow
supports. The torches are being passed. Children and youth continue to be at risk, perhaps even more so. Thank you for your interest in this work.

The frontline, the actual work space where practitioner and client engage in care, relations and relationship building with the goal of positive growth; is on my mind as this covid-19 virus progresses
throughout Canada and around the world. Within a month or so, it has turned the entire world on its head forcing the healthy to shelter in place and to let the economies go. As per usual, child and youth
care practitioners whose fundamental purpose is to practice care have become lost under the weight of thousands of dead and infected. In truth, this has almost always been the case as the practice of
child and youth care is a mere fraction, a negligible blip of the national GDP yet to those involved it is life itself. Daily, practitioners are reporting into what are essential work sites be they store front, foster
or residential to help child and youth at risk. They face increased threat as youth at risk are bound up in their individual traumas which compels many to act out in ways that cause harm to self or others. A
few may even by attracted by the virus itself to not practice safe distancing. One of the more cruel twists only those involved can appreciate has to be the way grocers have stepped up to protect and give
bonus's to their cashiers and stockers to recognize their potential exposure to the virus.

For this writer, one of the disappointments has been the silence of the formal organizations that claim to represent the child and youth care profession. There has been nothing. Individual leaders in the
profession have spoken up on social media within networks built up over the years. In my work, while the traffic to this website has dwindled to a shadow of its past there remains active and genuine
interest on its Facebook expression. Generations of practitioners have known the unique reality of going into a workspace that challenges and threatens often as that is just the way it is. On the face of it,
this is thankless work and yet at its core, there is no work like child and youth care work out there. The thanks are to be found in the relationship with and growth of individual young people who are able
to connect with, accept and profit by the web of interventions  that promote health in their lives. There is public appreciation developing for the sacrifices of the many involved in beating this virus and I
would like to think some, not much, but some of that appreciation is for your contribution. In the here and now, you will have to accept the thanks of colleagues, the smiles and small successes of the
young in your care. Stay on course, stay serious and stay calm. You, we will get though this. The young will accept the caution and resolve you broadcast with your actions and words. There is a glimmer
of hope that this withdrawal into our living spaces is working. Let the youth in your care know they are making a difference staying home and maintaining distance. Child and youth care work is the work of
privilege as those who sponsor it, who practise it and who are the subject of it literally grant it into being. It is essential, elementary and exceptional work. Thank you for it. Best Wishes.
Recollections of a career in child and youth care