Sep 11

On today’s episodes of  A Right to Speak  Salvatore talks with returning guest Alyssa. Alyssa is current a masters student at Ryerson’s Child and Youth care program. Alyssa will be talking to us about some her research regarding her thesis which she is currently conducting. Alyssa will be explaining to us how youth in care need a better system put in place for their transitional periods. Thank you Alyssa and we hope to have you on the show once your thesis is complete.  

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Aug 28
This episode is a recording made at the 22nd South African National Association of Child and Youth Care & 4th CYC-Net world conference, which took place in Durban South Africa of June 2019. The presenter was Werner van der Westhuizen, from Port Elizabeth, South Africa 
 
The following is the conference abstract:
“During 2018 the presenter, a former director at a residential child care centre, was contacted by a number of the former residents via Facebook wishing to reconnect with each other. As discussions started regarding a possible reunion, the presenter was struck by how the perspectives of these young people have changed and evolved over the past couple of years and suggested to them having discussions about their views and experiences. Following an overwhelmingly positive response, a series of conversations were arranged where both these young people and former director “come full circle” as for the first time, they talk honestly about their relationships and experiences with each other years after they left the residential care centre. 
This presentation offers the highlights from these discussions as a process of mutual meaning-making unfolded between the former director and the young people. Some of the highlights of these discussions include their views on aspects of child and youth care work that affected them, such as de-institutionalisation, residential child care workers versus shift workers, the absence of male role models, structure and routines and values. As they reflect on their childhood while in residential care and how their experiences of independent living have evolved their perspectives on child residential care, many express a desire to “return to their home” and become involved in the care of children now in residential care. Now adults, they also considered how these experiences contributed to their own value systems and shaped the way they view both their past and the future, the society they wish to live in and how they want to shape society for future generations. 
The views and experiences of these young people offer additional insights and possible practice implications for practitioners in the child and youth care field.”

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Aug 14

This episode is a recording made at the 22nd South African National Association of Child and Youth Care & 4th CYC-Net world conference, which took place in Durban South Africa of June 2019. The presenters were: Professor Paul Cooke, Dr Lou Harvey, Martin Keat and three Child and Youth Care Practitioners from Leth’ithemba Isibindi Safe Park, Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.

 

The following is the conference abstract”

“Since 2016, the University of Leeds in the UK has been working with the Bishop Simeon Trust in Ekurhuleni, using arts-based projects to develop and sustain ‘Youth Committees’ in a number of Isibindi Safe Parks across the region. These projects have helped to build the confidence of the young people they support, on the one hand, and also helped the Safe Parks access state funding, on the other (for which having a functioning ‘Youth Committee’ is obligatory). Specifically, these Youth Committees have used a range of art forms – including theatre, music, dance, ‘grass-roots comics’ and participatory filmmaking – to organise ‘advocacy campaigns’ that have raised awareness of a range of issues that are important to the young people who use the safe parks, but that they feel tend to be ignored or misrepresented in their communities.

 

In so doing, this work has highlighted to a group of young people who are frequently either ignored by, or seen as a problem for, their communities the potential of their voice and its power to help them effect change in their lives for themselves. In 2019, the various Safe Parks we work with will be focusing on the question ‘What does my Safe Park mean to me?’ and will be developing a joint campaign to raise awareness of the role played by Isibindi Safe Parks in their communities.

 

The aim of our presentation is twofold. First, it will showcase the work of the young people involved in the Youth Committees we have supported, providing them with a national platform for their activities and a significant opportunity to highlight the potential of their voice. Second it will present a set of training materials we are developing for other Isibindi Safe Parks interested in using arts-based methods to create and sustain their youth committees.”

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Jul 31

The following is the presentation write up from the July I had the pleasure of attending the 22nd South African National Association of Child and Youth Care & 4th CYC-Net world conference in Durban South Africa:

How Can I Be Homeless When I Just Left One? An Observation from Working on the Streets of Pietermaritzburg with Young People by Thamsanqa Gcwabaza & Rob Ng-Yu-Tin, from Life Changer

“What do we mean by the word home? Is it a house? An address? A bed to sleep in? A family? Perhaps we need to explore what we mean by homeless and perhaps consider it as ‘houseless’. We are living in the aftermath of the HIV Pandemic. Our reality now is an emerging group of older vulnerable youth and young adults who are making a living off the streets. Many of these predominantly young men have lived in multiple homes, had an array of significant care givers, and been in informal kinship care or formal foster care. Some have been adopted and even lived in residential care. But now? They find them themselves without a family, with no idea of who to turn to, ask for advice and seek refuge. They are seen as beggars, filthy down-and-outs who have made bad choices. We have even heard them referred to as vermin. These young adults were possibly once celebrated as newborns. A celebration to a family. They grew up being offered some love, and family. Where do these young people go once faced with huge hardship? Huge emotional psychological and behavioural problems. All desperate for love, affirmation and a family. To add to that child and youth care centres struggle to want to accept these children in care, and social workers don’t know what to do.

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Jul 10

On this episode of Your Right to Speak Salvatore talks with youth who are part of Olori. Olori is a project formed by multiple organizations that work with Black youth around Blackness and identity. The focus on this episode is on anti-Black racism in the school system. Sharifa, Lukman, Isaiahm, Pikmen the episode are candid about their experiences in the school system and how they have seen and experienced discrimination. The conversation then turns the topic of du-rags and how their school has banned on them. The interviewees explain what du-rags mean to them and how society sees them. Please note: since the episode was recorded the school has lifted their ban on du-rags from a petition students started. Let’s Raise Awareness Together!      

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Jun 26

Johana, Khyna, Edward, and Cody from the Surrey You Advisory Committee (YAC) talk about what brought them to the YAC, what it has accomplished over two years, thoughts & suggestions for new practitioners/students, and some of the challenges facing Youth Advisory Committees. 

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Jun 12

On this episode of your right to speak we will be talking with Rosa, a returning youth guest. We will be talking to Rosa about living with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Rosa starts the conversation with the challenges of living with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and how it impacts her day-to-day activities. The conversation then turns to Rosa explaining that the only things that help her with the pain is medical marijuana, and she discusses what the impact of having invisible pain has had on her life. Near the end of the conversation Rosa expresses how sometimes it is a challenge to work with social workers and Child and Youth Care Practitioners because they don’t always believe that she is in pain.

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May 29

The mission of the Child and Youth Care Alliance for Racial Equity (CARE) is “to challenge systemic and institutional oppression within child and youth care education, policy and service provision that impact the lives of young people in the Province of Ontario”. In this conversation with two members of CARE we speak about how racial, and other forms of inequity, manifest in CYC; ways the field and individuals can address these oppressions; broadening conceptions of care beyond the ways it has been historically been taken up in CYC; and the roll of research for CARE.

Juanita Stephen is a Co-Founder of CARE, she has worked with young people in numerous capacities over the years, and also teaches CYC. After completing her diploma, undergrad and Master’s in Child and Youth Care, Juanita is currently doing her Ph.D. in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies at York university in Toronto.

Peter Amponsah is a professor at Sheridan College in the Child and Youth Care program. He has done direct practice with young people, worked in management, and helped developed policy for child welfare agencies. Much of Peter’s work, like Juanita’s, focuses on anti-oppressive & anti-racist theory and practice. Peter is currently working on his Ph.D. in Social Work at York University.

To find out more about CARE email TheCareAlliance@gmail.com; visit at https://www.facebook.com/EquityInCYC; and follow on Twitter @EquityinCYC

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Apr 24
In this interview Kaz MacKenzie speaks about her research looking at whiteness, some of the impact of white supremacy on Indigenous children and youth, why whiteness is an important topic for CYC practitioners to think and talk about, and mentions many authors, books, and other resources to learn more about some of these topics. Out of her research in collaborative dialogues with experienced, critical, politicized CYC practitioners, four themes emerged that attend to systemic issues and the difficulty of challenging dominant white norms and conventions in the field of CYC: 1) working in colonial violence and racism; 2) white settler fragility; 3) power and privilege, and; 4) troubling ally-ship. These key themes explore the complex, embodied individual and collective ethical responsibilities of white settler CYC practitioners. 
 
 
Kaz MacKenzie is a white, cis woman (she/her) living on the unceeded territory Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.  Her ancestors are of Irish, Scottish and English lineage. She is currently an MA student in CYC at the University of Victoria, completing her thesis, “Integrating Fluid, Responsive and Embodied Ethics: Un-settling the Praxis of White Settler CYC Practitioners”. For the last 25 years she has worked, and learnt, as a recreation facilitator, alternative education co-ordinator, and youth outreach worker in community-based agencies, on and off reserve, in rural and urban settings; this work has been beside the resilience, fortitude, and beauty of youth people facing the violent realities of settler colonialism and racism. Recently, she has started a co-op work term as a researcher with the Office for the Representative for Children and Youth. Kaz strives, in her life, work and research, to be committed to her own unsettling, to attend to the responsibilities of settler/occupier repair and to forge pathways to anti-racist, anti-colonial, and intersectional praxis in CYC.

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Apr 10

On this episode of Your Right to Speak Salvatore talks Wendy Curnew-Harris who is a residual counselor and has been an Additions worker. Wendy starts off explaining what the Harm Reduction approach is and how to work with youth who have additions. Throughout the conversation, Wendy stresses the importance of taking an individualized approach and being authentic with youth. In keeping with that through Wendy also discuss that sometimes the best approach for youth is abstinence. Let’s Raise Awareness Together.

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Mar 27

Dr. Jen Couch contextualizes her insights from practice and research with young people who came to Australia as refugees. In the conversation we start by reflecting on the murders at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, Aotearoa/New Zealand, we then move into discussing relational work with young people. Dr. Couch closes by speaking about the benefits of working with young people from a refugee rights model, in contrast to a needs model.

Dr. Couch is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Arts at the Australian Catholic University, which she came to after working extensively in the youth and community sectors of Australia and South Asia. Including with many young people who lived as refugees.

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Mar 13

On this episode of Your Right to Speak Rosa talks with Salvatore about some of the challenges she has faced from CYCPs and social workers due to being of mixed ethnicity. The conversation then turns to how Rosa has been able to navigate through the social constructs society has placed her in.

Let's Raise Awareness Together.  

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Feb 27

Drawing upon his own work in residential care and as a foster parent, Dr. Smith talks about care as an action and a disposition. He discusses several theories and aspects related to care, what it looks like in practice, the relationship between care and love, and some of the difficulties regarding care in this current managerialist climate.

Dr. Mark Smith spent about 20 years working in residential care before moving into academia. He has published widely on topics related to residential care, ideas of love in child and youth care, historical abuse in residential care, and in 2018 co-edited a book titled Social Work in a Changing Scotland. Dr. Smith currently teaches at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

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Feb 13

On this episode of Your Right to Speak Salvatore talks with Bailey, Liam, and Kirkland, three young people from the Cross Over Youth project (http://crossoveryouth.ca) about the closing of the Ontario Child Advocates Office. The conversation starts with the guests explaining what they think the impact will be as a result of closing the Office and how it may affect young people across Ontario. They go on to discuss some of the gaps and challenges they foresee the Ombudsman office will be facing.

Let's Raise Awareness Together. 

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Jan 30

In this episode Marleigh Pirnasar talks about working in Northern Quebec after growing up, going to school, and becoming a CYC in southern Ontario. She explains how she had to reckon with her southern geographical privilege, differentiates between cultural competency, cultural humility, and cultural safety, and discusses the necessity of understanding self when working in cultures different from one’s own.

Marleigh Pirnasar is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner who works in Nunavik, northern Quebec.

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