Following prayers offered by Inuit and Maori elders linking
New Zealand and Labrador and the world symbolically,
number of people addressed the audience.
MHA Charlene Johnson, one of the youngest persons
elected to the legislature is now the Minister of Child,
Youth and Family Services and as such brought
greetings. She impressed for her bedrock belief in
children and young people noting her department is in the
fourth of a five year plan to reorganize services in the
province with innovative approaches being realized.
Laura Steckly from Scotland spoke
about the association movement and
the advantages of sharing between
sister organizations around the world.
James Freeman, President of
the Child and Youth Care
Certification Board spoke about
the need for standards and the
role of certification in helping
establish them. Connections is
offering a potential 18 hours of
training hours that would qualify
for certification requirements.
Pat Gaughan of Bartimaeus took the direct
approach to underline that agency's support
for CYC-Net presenting a nice big cheque.
Hopefully, this will impress others as the time
for corporate leaders private and public, to
do more to build and help maintain those
who work on behalf of the field but who fall
outside of the established entities of service
provision and education.
Mark Krueger, the man who
introduced the notions of
rhythm to doing child and
youth care; attended
specifically to introduce his
friend, Gerry Fewster. Like a
good friend, he attempted to
embellish his reputation citing
him as John Lennon's
Probation Worker at one
point. He did say it was not
true and not really necessary
as his friend stands well
enough on his work.
Gerry Fewster noted this was the first keynote address he has done since 1981. This poverty of appearances should
not be confused with lack of authority. His work has always been provocative but there can be no argument that his core
instruction that it is the relationship, the pure empathic and reciprocal experience between adult and young person that
is at the heart of therapeutic change. Much of the work one does is to provide the conditions necessary to encourage
relationship building. He recognized that child and youth care work now has its own authority to draw upon and in good
time as he now believes child and youth carers should be concerned for ALL children and youth. Over the last few days
alone there have been news stories on the young being unable to sign their own names in this overly digital world,
thousands more children pouring out of Syria as refugees and babies being born now, all ready polluted with several
traces of environmental elements being ingested while in the womb. Gerry noted it was a privilege simply to be able to
work with the young, something many often forget under the challenges of the work. It certainly was a privilege to listen
directly to him, however primitive the technology of speaker and audience.
To help illustrate the process of relating he had folks
turn their chairs around, calm, breath deeply and
experienced group of professional relaters have a
measure of discomfort with the process. Point taken.
Connecting was now 'on'. Finally, a note to the hard work
and constant attention to the delegates of the conference
committee. The food has been incredible with local dishes
tucked in with the expected. The Newfoundland Chocolate
Company gave a chocolate tasting. Who new chocolate
has notes and flavours right up there with fine wines?
A concert by Sting attracted many but it is the whale tours
that are drawing the delegates. Even with weather almost at
hint of Fall levels, folks dress in layers, the conference crew
runs them to the wharf and they have their moment with the
whales. It seemed each successive trip sees more with more
whales, higher jumps and all. Apparently, the whales have
been especially frisky this year.
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