ABOUT THE OACYC
The Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care (OACYC) is the professional association representing Child and Youth Care Practitioners (CYCP) in the province of Ontario, Canada.
Over the past 50 years, the practice of Child and Youth Care in Ontario has expanded its professional competencies and strengthened its skills and is now considered the gold standard for working with the very special needs of children and youth. Child and Youth Care Practitioners are found in such professions as early care and education, community-based child and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school-based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centres, rehabilitation programs, paediatric health care and youth justice programs.
The OACYC provides professional standards, regulations, support, and a Code of Ethics to its members thus ensuring integrity, accountability, and excellence. The major difference between OACYC members and other CYCPs is one of professional and public concern that the children, youth, and families in Ontario are safe and cared for at the highest standard.
All professional OACYC members have:
- Proven their initial educational/training qualifications to an external body
- Are required to stay current in the field therefore Membership is conditional on the completion of annual professional development activities
- Provide their signature of agreement to abide by the OACYC Code of Ethics
- Are accountable to the OACYC Code of Ethics. The OACYC has a Complaints and Discipline process available to members and the public
- Have access to the professional resources of the OACYC, including a network of over 1,000 practitioners in Ontario and beyond
- Are dedicated to providing excellent care for children, youth, and families
The OACYC provides current professional development opportunities through conferences, resources, networking, and peer recognition to promote the improvement of professional knowledge and skills. We also distribute a members-only newsletter that identifies trends in the field, seminars and resources to keep members current in the profession. We encourage interested parties – both practitioners and supporting organizations – to join today in support of our mission.
We believe that all children, youth and families, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, trauma, oppression, or socio-economic status deserve and have the right to reach their full potential. We stand in solidarity with those with whom we work and their communities to support personal growth and social change. We believe in the transformational nature of utilizing daily life events to build genuine, respectful and caring relationships with young people and caregivers through which we are able to nurture strengths, abilities and foster overall change.
EQUITY AND INCLUSION STATEMENT
The OACYC is dedicated to addressing and seeking solutions for concerns regarding inequity and exclusion that are a result of the history and legacy of colonization, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, ableism, and all other forms of oppression.
The OACYC’s Equity and Inclusion Committee (EIC) comprises OACYC members and non-members who strive to engage communities in meaningful dialogue encompassing anti-oppressive practices and cultural awareness, while addressing physical, attitudinal and communication barriers.
To this end the OACYC will:
- provide members with resources that support increased engagement with inclusive and equitable practices, and we will work to engage members and future members who belong to communities that have experienced marginalization and oppression.
- work to ensure that all Association activities, resources, and policies are inclusive and accessible by actively seeking out perspectives that have historically been excluded from our field and from this Association.
We acknowledge that OACYC practices are inheritors of this history and we strive to become more intentional and reflective in relation to current practices. This work can only be successfully undertaken with the full participation of Child and Youth Care Practitioners across the country and worldwide.
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
We have updated our Scope of Practice on November 20, 2021.
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The Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care would like to acknowledge that our work takes place on Indigenous territories across the province of Ontario, which encompasses 46 treaties and other agreements with many First Nations communities.
In addition, we would also like to acknowledge that the Association’s main office is located in Toronto/Tkaronto. We acknowledge the ancestral traditional territories of the Ojibway, Anishnabeg, Mississaugas of the New Credit, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Chippewa, and Métis First Nations Peoples and that it is under Treaty 13.
“The Dish with One Spoon” Wampum Belt Covenant: “The “Dish”, or sometimes it is called the “Bowl”, represents what is now southern Ontario, from the Great Lakes to Quebec and from Lake Simcoe into the United States.
This covenant is between many nations including the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit River, the Chippewa, the Wendat and Haudenosaunee First Nations. The members of this covenant shared in the resources of this land as well as its protection.
“We all eat out of the Dish, all of us that share this territory, with only one spoon. That means we have to share the responsibility of ensuring the dish is never empty, which includes taking care of the land and the creatures we share it with.” (Ryerson University, n.d.)
Some of us have arrived here by choice as immigrants or seeking asylum from unsafe homes, while some of us have arrived here through forced displacement via various political actions such as through the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Many of us descend from people who have arrived here by choice and have benefitted from the displacement, genocide and forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples. As this continues to this day, we must be vigilant in dismantling systems that permit these atrocities to continue.
We acknowledge the systemic abuse of Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island/North America and are in solidarity for land, water and rights protections.
We recognize that the contributions and historic importance of Indigenous Peoples must also be clearly and overtly connected to our collective commitment to make the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (T.R.C.) as well as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (M.M.I.W.G.) real in our communities and in our work.
We recognize that Land Acknowledgements are not enough. That words must be followed up by actions. We must become comfortable with speaking out about colonial systems that actively harm Indigenous peoples today. This includes governments, educational institutions, policies and even within our own field of Child and Youth Care and practices we may have embraced for many years.
We need to build meaningful relationships with Indigenous members, young people and Nations to support and amplify issues identified by the Nations, as directed by them.
It is imperative that we look within ourselves as individuals and practitioners; understand our privileges and how we can utilize them to educate ourselves and others. In addition, we must understand and repair harms we may have incurred through our action or inaction, and commit to become driving forces in challenging colonialism, and becoming supportive allies to Indigenous Nations as they see fit. This is not a one-time action, but a committed journey.
This is a living document and will be amended periodically to reflect the ever-changing conditions of colonialism, Child and Youth Care and how they impact Indigenous Nations across Ontario.
Duric, D. (2017). The Toronto Purchase Treaty No. 13 (1805). Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. Retrieved from http://mncfn.ca/torontopurchase/
Indian Time Newspaper. (2010). The Dish with One Spoon. Retrieved from https://www.indiantime.net/story/2010/08/05/cultural-corner/the-dish-with-onespoon/7510.html
Ryerson University. (n.d.). Land Acknowledgement. Aboriginal Education Council. Retrieved from https://www.ryerson.ca/aec/land-acknowledgment/
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