accompanying Powerpoint file - CYC-Net

Deborah Sliwinski
 Challenge the status quo regarding working with
young people and propose the integration of a rights
based practise into the foundations for child and youth
 Examine children’s rights within an advocacy
framework and discuss the role of amplifying the voice
of children and youth as they make rights claims.
 Children and youth are active agents in their own lives
and have a role to play in creating the change they
want to see in the services they are involved with or in.
 Promote a “rights based” curriculum that will lay the
foundation to speak about children and youth as rights
 We all have rights …
 Globally, all people have legally protected rights in the
form of legislation, or the law . These are known as
human rights .
 Canada signed the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1990 and ratified it in
1991 . The UNCRC is the most widely ratified United
Nations document in history.
 There is a difference between a right and a desire –
Rights are protected / enshrined in law and desires are
what one hopes for but are not necessarily rights i.e
desire to eat ice cream every day, the right is to receive
meals that are well-balanced, of good quality and
appropriate for the child.
Protection The right to live free of physical and
emotional harm. Free from sexual exploitation and
cannot be forced to work under the age of 16
Provision The right to receive adequate food, shelter,
seasonal clothing, proper medical and dental care
Participation The right to be involved in important
decisions about their well being. Over age of 12 they must
be invited to attend all important meetings i.e. Plan of
 “Advocacy is often described as a process of
empowerment, giving power to others. Advocacy can
be more appropriately viewed as assisting children and
youth in finding their own power from within and
teaching them to use it effectively.”
 According to UNCRC (United Nations Convention on
the Rights of the Child)
 The Convention establishes in international law that
countries must ensure that all children – without
discrimination in any form – benefit from special
protection measures and assistance; have access to
services such as education and health care; can
develop their personalities, abilities and talents to the
fullest potential; grow up in an environment of
happiness, love and understanding; and are informed
about and participate in achieving their rights in an
accessible and active manner
 “The primary goal of child advocacy is to elevate the
voice of youth. This means more than empowering
youth to speak out on their own behalf. It means more
than faithfully replaying their words. The standard to
aspire to is articulated in an African proverb: "Don't
speak about us, without us." It means speaking
together with youth about youth.”
 To Protect children and youth from “harm” that you
might inadvertently cause by not knowing or following
the procedure
(CYW’s are an agent of help and of change for
their client, many of the children and youth have
been so damaged and mistreated by the “system”
that as a good CYW you want to do everything
possible to prevent anymore harm being done)
 To contribute to the knowledge young people have
about their rights.
To speak about children’s rights within their day to day
To be the “voice” for vulnerable youth
CYW’s are the Advocate.
Must know and be as totally informed as possible, so
that they can give the best possible help at all times.
 You link children and youth to the resources they
 You are so often the “one person” that children and
youth who makes the difference in their lives.
 You are the person who helps young people to find
their voice and then use it when they begin to think
about taking ownership of their future.
 Studies on child and youth development point to the
importance of stable, positive adult relationships in
the life of the young person.
 For many children and youth growing up in our
systems, however, these points of connection can be
few and far between.
 Often Child and Youth Care Practioners are this
positive adult in the province’s care system, listening to
their concerns and witnessing their inspiring efforts to
overcome the many challenges they often face.
 Children and youth need three essential needs to be
 They need resources, connections, and voice.
 With a strong voice, young people can ask for and
make use of the resources and connections they need.
 Without voice, they are unheard and invisible.
“There can be no keener revelation of a
society's soul than the way in which it
treats its children.”

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