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

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Oct 11

On this episode of Your Right to Speak Salvatore talks with Nancy Marshall and Falon Wilton. The conversation continues from last month’s episode on the topic of disability. This month we have a focus on autistic young people. Nancy and Falon explain using the term autistic versus autism and the impacts that can come from using the term autism. Nancy and Falon stress that a social justice lens should be used when working in the disability community, with verbal and non-verbal children and youth.  

Let’s raise awareness together!

If you are a child or youth that would like to be on the show or have a topic that you think we should discuss, please email Salvatore at

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Sep 27

In this conversation with Dr. Julie Repper, we talk about people with “lived experience” working in the mental health system, Recovery Colleges, peer support workers, and what impact sharing one’s own experiences can have.

Dr. Repper is the director of Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC), an organization based in Nottinghamshire, UK. She is a nurse, a manager, a researcher and lecturer focusing in particular on mental health services, and Recovery approaches.

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Sep 13

On this episode, we are talking about disability and practice with Shay Erlich. who has just completed her Masters in Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University. Shay talks about some of the gaps and challenges faced by young people with disabilities and the unique culture within the deaf community.  Shay discusses the need for CYCs to take into consideration accessibility needs of individuals and the importance of including young people’s voices in the conversation around their accommodations.  Shay also talks about how a CYC practitioner, who themselves has a disability, can impact the relationship between the young person and the practitioner.


Let’s raise awareness together!

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Aug 23

This episode is an audio recording of the opening keynote presentation at the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care 2017 conference. The keynote was delivered by Heather Snell, Shadan Hyder, Cory Mackinlay, and Paul Kitz, and it was choreographed by Coleen Snell. The actual keynote, as you might guess from the inclusion of a choreographer, was not the usual keynote fare. An audio recording does not accurately represent the keynote as presented. Along with Heather, three students shared some of their own experiences related to being in Child and Youth Care. Accompanying each student was a dancer. Thus, there was a highly visual aspect to the key note, which is not adequately captured in the audio recording. However, after discussions with Heather and the students, we decided to post the audio because it still raises many important points for consideration, particularly to those who teach in Child and Youth Care.

Heather and company will be reprising this Keynote at the 2018 World CYC conference happening in Ventura, California this coming January, visit ( for more information.

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Aug 09

On this episode of Your Right to Speak we talk with Ian Green who is a professor at York University's Master of Public Policy, Administration, and Law. Ian talks about ethical politics and its relation to young people. In the first part of the episode Ian discusses the challenges and strengths of ethical politics, in the second he argues that policy makers should have training in anti-oppression to better address some of the stigmas people bring with them when developing policy.  Ian also mentions how young people can be better engage in politics.

Let’s raise awareness together!

If you are a child or youth that would like to be on the show or have a topic that you think we should discuss, please email Salvatore and Jenn at   

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Jul 19

We are continuing our uploading of presentations from the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care conference which took place in June 2017. Today’s episode is called Walking the Path Towards Meaningful Youth Engagement. The presentation is by two young people who lived in residential care and three Ryerson University Master’s in Child and Youth Care Students.


The following is the conference abstract:


Walking the Path Towards Meaningful Youth Engagement

Since the ratification of the UNCRC, the participation and voice of young people has become a focus in child and youth serving organizations. Progress has been made, however young people still find themselves silenced, dismissed, and removed from the conversations and decisions impacting their lives. Current initiatives for youth engagement are often limited through tokenistic and outdated approaches, that result in young people continuing to feel as though they are not heard and do not have control over their own lives. We as CYCs need to model and advocate for the advancement of meaningful and authentic youth engagement. In order to do this, we need to unpack the complexities and barriers so we can envision a way forward. This presentation will focus on the role of CYC practitioners to support and partner with young people to elevate their voices and participation in the care and services they receive. Through a reflective process, we will examine the barriers that inhibit us from fully implementing a youth engagement approach in our daily practice. CYCs have the responsibility to navigate through these barriers.


Camille Bautista is a current high school student and Ryerson bound hopeful with a particular passion concerning the complexities surrounding philosophical conundrums. She aspires to become a lawyer in the hopes of lending her voice and determination to advocate for the rights of either the environment’s protection or refugee crises.


Charles Jackson is a current student of Fleming College in the Academic Upgrading program, who will be attending Fleming in the fall for the Personal Support Worker Program. Charles hopes to work with the disabled and elderly community, in order to help them remember their humanity and special place in our society.


Joe Blake, BA CYC is currently enrolled in the MA CYC program and has been working in the field of CYC for seven years. Joe’s interests in the field particularly lie in the areas of the youth justice system, restorative practices, social justice, Indigenous practices and youth advocacy.


Amanda Mayhew, BA CYC, MA CYC candidate, is a dynamic CYC practitioner who has been in the field for 8 years. Her expertise is in residential care, where she has been a leader in relational and strength-based approaches. Amanda is well versed in the research on children’s rights and youth engagement. Her passion is advocating for young people to be included in all decisions that impact their lives.


Christopher Tone, BA CYC, MA CYC candidate, has practiced in the CYC field in varying capacities for approximately twelve years. The bulk of his experience lies in school based and residential care for young people who have been dually diagnosed and/or have ASD. Christopher is keenly interested in exploring issues surrounding street involved youth, and the application of children’s rights in Canada and in international contexts

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Jun 14
On this episode of your Right to Speak we talk with Child and Youth Counsellor Ian Pereira on the topic of Anti-Oppression. Ian talks about how important it is for people who are developing policy and programs to work through an anti-oppression framework because it recognizes the power and privileges that exist, and allows for more equity. Ian stresses how important it is for individuals who come from privilege and power to feel uncomfortable, reflect, and listen to the lived experiences of various community members.
Let's raise awareness together.

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May 31

Sandra Davis is a foster parent whose been loving, caring for, and supporting young women for over 15 years. In this conversation, Sandra discusses the joys and challenges of foster care, where she sees it going in the future, and provides some thoughts for those considering becoming a foster parent.


Thank you for listening to our 100th episode! Please feel free to LIKE us on Facebook @, and subscribe to us on iTunes and Stitcher! 

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May 12
On this episode on your Right to Speak, we continue on the topic of mental health. We talk with Paul Pereira who works in a day treatment substance abuse program for youth. Paul identifies some of the service gaps for young people with mental health challenges; such as, not enough CYCPs in the field and the importance of having services that follow throughout the young person’s life. At the end of the conversation he offers advice to new & future CYCPs, and talks about the most important thing he has learned. 
If you are a child or youth that would like to be on the show or have a topic that you think we should discuss, please email Salvatore and Jenn at   

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Apr 26

In this conversation, Patty talks about her son Francis. It is a heartfelt and loving reflection on some of the celebrations, joys, challenges, and learnings she has gone through in her journey with Francis, who was assigned female at birth. There is much to learn from Patty’s wisdom for other parents, service providers, friends, and all those who may come into contact with gender diverse children and youth (which really is all of us).

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Apr 12
This is the first episode in a new series on the topic of mental health On Your Right to Speak. Salvatore and Jenn talk with Katherine who is the program coordinator of the Bachelor Child and Youth Care at Humber College in Toronto and works at St. Joseph’s Health Center as a CYCP in the child and adolescent mental health unit. Katherine discusses the difference between youth and adult services, She then talks about issues around waitlist and services as well as the challenges transitioning from youth to adult services. Near the end of the conversation, Katherine talks about one important thing she has learned and offers advice to new Social Workers and CYCPs on how to best work with youth. 
If you are a child or youth that would like to be on the show or have a topic that you think we should discuss, please email Salvatore and Jenn at

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Mar 29

Amanda Riley, a recent Bachelor of Child and Youth Care graduate from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta discusses her research looking at the impact of school bus riding for young students in New Zealand/ Aotearoa. Academic achievement, driver/student relationships, bus safety, the impact of two hour commutes, and the possible role of CYCs are discussed.

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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 To sign-up for the program or refer someone email Anayah at or call her at 416-703-8482 ext. 143.

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