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Roundtable: Conversations on Conversing in Child and Youth Care

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posted on 2024-02-20, 21:58 authored by Sandrina de Finney, J. N. Cole Little, Hans Skott-Myhre, Kiaras GharabaghiKiaras Gharabaghi

In the spring of 2011, we had the pleasure of participating in the third Child and Youth Care (CYC) in Action Conference hosted by the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. We were invited by conference chairs Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Jennifer White to participate in a roundtable discussion on the theme of “Conversations on Conversing in Child and Youth Care”. This theme was inspired in part by a recent posting to the CYC-Net listserv, which asked, “Why are people speaking about the field in ways I don’t understand?” Veronica and Jennifer sensed that this question – and the spirited, and at times fractious, discussion that it generated on the listserv – would provide an excellent platform for mutual learning, critique, and reflection. Thus they capitalized on the opportunity to extend a conversation that was already underway, and used the question as a departure point for our roundtable discussion. In this paper, four of us who participated in the roundtable continue this conversation, with each of us probing deeper and pushing further along the themes and ideas we discussed in Victoria. We are not so much responding to any particular questions here, but rather trying to articulate some of our critical reflections on the field as we each are experiencing it. We hope that readers might engage with some of ideas we present in this conversation on their own terms.

In keeping with the spirit of the roundtable discussion, this is a fluid, open-ended, ongoing conversation without end. In working together, we have sought to foster the conditions for open, creative, respectful, and generative conversations across our differences. In other words, we were neither looking to find answers to these questions nor were we seeking to solve problems. On the contrary, our goal was to open up space for fresh ways of thinking about our work. We also want to extend our gratitude to Jennifer and Veronica for initiating and facilitating this conversation.

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