Over the last two years, the OACYC has made the move towards legislated recognition a priority. To that end, we have reached out and consulted with provincial politicians, the office of the provincial advocate for children and youth and other stakeholders. We have also consulted with the Child and Youth Care Association in Alberta, which has been working on this process for a couple of years.
As you are aware, Child and Youth Care Practitioners (Child and Youth Workers, Child Care Workers, Child and Youth Counsellors) provide front line supports to the most vulnerable children and youth, parents, and partners within residential treatment facilities, schools, and their communities.
Child and Youth Care Practitioners offer support in the life space and across sectors through:
- therapeutic relationships
- evidence based practice
- life space interventions
- social and life skill development
- problem solving methods
- restorative practices
- crisis management
As we seek to obtain regulation for our profession, the OACYC has:
- Adopted a professional child and youth care certification standard as a means of assessing competency. We feel this is foundational in ensuring that all practitioners have the necessary skill set to deal competently with children and youth.
- Drafted a Proposal requesting government recognition as a regulated profession in the Province of Ontario.
- Developed and obtained signed petitions from citizens of Ontario who are in support of regulating the child and youth care profession.
- Collected dozens of letters of support from across the province in favour of legislation.
- Requested all concerned practitioners and general public to continue building momentum to encourage the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to draft regulation.
Presently our profession remains unregulated; as such, we are concerned that the very children and youth whom we aim to support are put at risk. As an unregulated profession, anyone can call themselves a Child and Youth Care Practitioner or Child and Youth Worker regardless of their training, skill set and experience – and be hired to work with vulnerable children and youth. Early Childhood Educators, Nurses and Social Workers are regulated to ensure that only trained professionals are able to provide services under these titles and that those who receive services are protected. We would not want an unregulated Nurse tending to our medical care or a Social Worker without adequate education providing counselling. Regulation in Child and Youth Care is just as important. Without regulation, the future of our profession is in jeopardy. Our ability to aid in the therapeutic care of our provinces most vulnerable children and youth is compromised.
In order to find more ways to get involved with the OACYC please click here.