Feb 28

Amelia Merhar discusses a participatory arts-based inquiry project she co-researched with young adults who have lived in Canada’s child welfare system. In her fun, engaging, and pointed way she talks about methodology, findings, outcomes and what art can do that other forms of research might not be able to. Amelia is an artist, researcher, facilitator, youth worker, policy analyst, and pretty amazing person. To read her work, see her art, and listen to her music visit https://ameliamerhar.wordpress.com.

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Dec 27

In this interview, Maria Lotty discusses six principles of trauma-informed care, and how to integrate these principles when working with children and youth, particularly in the context of foster parenting. Maria is a practicing Fostering Social Worker and PhD student at the University College Cork (UCC), in Ireland. Maria has a background in youth work, residential social work and child protection. She is currently undertaking a research collaboration between UCC and Tulsa- Family and Child Agency involving the design, development and evaluation of Fostering Connections, a Trauma-informed Foster Care Program.

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Nov 29

In this conversation, Liam Curran talks about FASDs, what they are, there prevalence in the child welfare system, issues with diagnoses, and responding from a social perspective.

Liam is a social worker, Certified CDC Educator of FASDs, and a member of the Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) at McGill university, Montreal. He is currently undertaking his PhD at Concordia University, Montreal, focusing on how social workers respond to FASDs in child welfare settings. Liam has researched and published numerous articles, chapters and co-authored a book on the topic of FASDs.

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Nov 08

On this episode of Your Right to Speak, Salvatore talks with Elena Gordon who is the Youth Justice Case Lead at For Youth Initiative. Elena talks about the gaps within the youth justice sector and the need for change in the sector. Elena stresses in the conversation there needs to be more education offered to young people regarding youth justice. The discussion then turns to the pros and cons of utilizing restorative justice.  For more information For Youth Initiative, please visit http://www.foryouth.ca/

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Feb 22
Black youth are over-represented in the Canadian and US child welfare system. During this episode, Anayah Phares talks about some of the reasons for this over-representation, what can be done to address the situation, and presents a peer-mentor program she developed to support Black youth in care entering post-secondary education.
Anayah Phares is the founder and Coordinator of Creating Hope and Ensuring Excellent Roads to Success, orCHEERS Mentorship Program. Anayah started the program after being in care for many years, her experiences going to university, and then transitioning out of care.
For more information about CHEERS please visit www.cheersprogram.com. To sign-up for the program or refer someone email Anayah at aphares@ctchc.com or call her at 416-703-8482 ext. 143.

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Feb 01

This conversation with Dr. Leon Fulcher, is a follow up to episode 91 with Dr. Tuhinul Islam. Dr. Fulcher continues the discussion about their co-edited book Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World- Global Perspectives. Dr. Fulcher is an author, educator, and CYC practitioner who has spent his career working in many countries around the world. Dr. Fulcher now resides in New Zealand.

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Jan 25

This episode is a conversation with Dr. Tuhinul Islam about the new book he co-edited called Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World- Global Perspectives. This important book is the first of a four volume set, looking at residential care around the world. Dr. Islam is a Social Work, child rights activist, researcher and academic from Bangladesh. Currently he is a research Fellow at the Northern University Bangladesh. Dr. Islam has been on the podcast before speaking about his research on residential care in Bangladesh. You can find that conversation at http://www.cycpodcast.org/e/residential-childcare-in-bangladesh-a-conversation-with-tuhinul-islam-1430240440/


Next week, we will post a conversation with the co-editor, Dr. Leon Fulcher.

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Dec 28
In the second part of this two-part interview (part 1 posted November 30, 2016 & part 2 posted December 28, 2016) Dr Thom Garfat discusses the founding of CYC-Net.org, the journal Relational Child Youth Care Practices, and honouring elders in Child and Youth Care.
Dr. Thom Garfat is an author, an editor, a teacher, a mentor, and a practitioner that has been contributing to CYC for about five decades. For more information about Dr. Garfat visit http://www.cyc-net.org/People/people-garfat.htmland 

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Nov 30
In part one of this two part interview (part 1 posted November 30, 2016 & part 2 posted December 28, 2016), Dr Thom Garfat tells engaging, fun, and insight filled stories about what brought him into Child and Youth Care (CYC), the early days of residential CYC in Canada, some of the important pioneers of the field, and his thoughts on what “relational practice” means. Through Thom’s friendly approach and accessible wisdom, a deep knowledge about working with children, youth and families is shared.
Dr. Thom Garfat is an author, an editor, a teacher, a mentor, and a practitioner that has been contributing to CYC for about five decades. For more information about Dr. Garfat visit http://www.cyc-net.org/People/people-garfat.htmland 

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Aug 31

This week is a recording of the closing key note talk from the 2016 Canadian National Child and Youth Care conference, which took place in Halifax. In May of this year there was a report released called Because Young People Matter: Report of the Residential Services Review Panel. It is well worth reading, you can find a link to it here. Kiaras Gharabaghi is one of the three authors and in this talk he shares some of his learning and reflections from the report. The presentation is one hour long. Here is the description of his closing keynote:

“How is it that once the evidence has failed, the treatment is a bust, and the systems scratch their heads we look to CYCs to take over? Over the past ten years, professional structures, policy moves and institutional responses to young people facing adversity have prioritized rhetorical movements over relational practices. From family-based care to evidence-based treatment approaches, anything but child and youth care practice has de facto carried the day, until the system’s failures become sufficiently apparent that there is only one move left; the move of last resort – the move into places where child and youth care practitioners are asked to work miracles, but expected to accomplish little. The time to resist this trend is now. Gharabaghi argues that unless we elevate our approaches to stand as alternatives to the current rhetorical front runners, our profession will become known as the profession of last resort. Much is at stake.”


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Apr 13

On this episode of Your Right to Speak, Sammy and Josh talk with Sho and Aki about the use of social media, communications and elevating the voice of young people and social justice movements. There is discussion about how social media and communications should be used together, and how social media has become a new way for young people to express their views. 

If you are a child/youth that would like to be on the show or if you have an idea of what you think we should talk about please email Sammy and Josh at yourrighttospeak@gmail.com 

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Feb 24

In this episode Dr. Stephen Snow talks about the evidence base for Drama Therapy, what it is, and why it is an effective way of working with people. He then goes on to explain a research process called ethnodrama and discusses two ethodrama projects he has been a principle investigator on. One with young women in youth protection and the second with family members who are care gives of people with mental illnesses.

Dr. Snow has developed a specialty in therapeutic theatre. In the past twenty years, he has directed over 25 theatre productions with diverse casts, including persons with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, young people, and the blind. He has published articles and lectured on various aspects of Drama Therapy, both nationally and internationally, he’s been the principle-investigator in several ethnodrama research projects and is the former Chair of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University.

In the interview Dr. Snow mentions a few authors and the new Drama Therapy journal. Here are some links.

Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre


North American Drama Therapy Association- http://www.nadta.org/

The Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University - 


Drama Therapy Review- 


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Dec 30

In this podcast Dr. Naomi Stanton discusses the book she recently co-edited Youth Work and Faith: Debates, Delights, and Dilemmas, as well as her own research on youth work and the Church. Dr. Stanton elaborates upon diverse faith-based youth work practices as well as some of the tensions of working in faith-based contexts.

Dr. Stanton is a researcher, educator, and community youth worker in the UK. She’s currently a research fellow at Middlesex University in London. Much of her research has focused on Christian youth work, past and present. She’s also worked directly with young people in both secular and faith-based contexts.

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Sep 09

On this episode we talk with Dr. Kim Snow, a professor at Ryerson University in the Child and Youth Care program. Dr. Snow explains the sigma that children and youth in the care system face and the importance for young people to have a sense of belonging. She also brings up the importance of how language is used and the impacts it has in children and youth.

If you have any suggestions on what topics we should talk about on the show, if you would like to be on the show, or if you are a child/youth who would like to express their views please email Sammy at yourrighttospeak@gmail.com  

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Jul 29

I recently attended the South African National Association of Child Care Workers’ 20th Biennial Conference, celebrating 40 years of NACCW. Over the coming months CYC Podcast will be posting different presentations from this conference. This month’s podcast will be a talk by Dr. Thom Garfat on the Characteristics of Child and Youth Care (CYC). It is an informative and succinct introduction to some key characteristics of CYC.

You can read more about these characteristics by going to:



I have historically posted videos during the July podcast. Below you can find some videos with a focus on South Africa. This country has a tremendous amount to teach the rest of the world about CYC practice. I encourage you to check out the NACCW website at http://www.naccw.org.za. In particular look at the Isibindi project, a paradigm changing approach to child and youth care.

Two videos on Isibindi

The Path of Courage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MriK1u_ij_w (12 Min.)

The Isibindi Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1D2DUFbzhc (25 Min)


An animated video about the Code of Ethics in child care work in South Africa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hteI4StqlKY (10 Min.)


Finally, here is a panel discussion that was presented on the last day of the conference. There are 5 panelists (including Thom Garfat). There is about an hour of video before the presentation. Skip to 58:00 minutes, the panel starts then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i_BBUZ8qiY (90 Min.)

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