LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thanks to youth workers
The Health and Human Services department at Selkirk College would like to take this opportunity to honour “Thank a Youth Worker Day”, which occurs on November 5, 2009, and thank the professionals who work with youth and families in our communities.
You may ask, “What is a youth worker?” Well, youth workers are professionals who focus on infants, children and adolescents, with both normal and special needs, within the context of their families as well as our communities.
Child and Youth Care (CYC) professionals work in a variety of settings in all of our communities including:
- Early childhood care and education
- Community-based child and youth development programs
- Parent education and family support
- School-based programs
- Community mental health
- Group homes
- Residential care
- Juvenile justice programs
- Drug and alcohol programs
- Alternative, elementary and high schools
- Infant development
- Developmental/disability/rehabilitation programs
- Recreation and outward bound programs
CYC workers are professionals who understand that working with marginalized people is first and foremost about relationship—relationship with young people and their families, relationship with other professions and relationship with members of our communities. CYC workers offer guidance, support, concern and encouragement to these people.
Many troubled young people experience neglect, abuse, emotional distress and family breakdowns. Helping youth overcome their emotional and behavioral problems with mentorship, role-modeling and positive reinforcement is the role of the Child and Youth Care worker. It is a role that is invaluable and instrumental to building healthy, strong communities in our region.
To each and every one of you in these professions – Thank you!
Chair, Health and Human Services