Youth Work

Are you a parent banging your head on the wall, unable to get through to your adolescent child, and not understanding what is happening in their life, or why they are indulging in self-sabotaging behaviours? Perhaps I can help…

What is a Child and Youth Worker?

A Child and Youth Worker is unique because they have an education that includes studies in Child Development, Family Dynamics; Basic Counselling, Psychology, and Sociology; Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health, Child Abuse and Legislation; Therapeutic Intervention, Advocacy, Trauma Informed Care; Combined with a variety of practicums. A CYW might work in a group home, a foster care agency, a school, or a childcare setting. A CYW is an advocate for every child, youth, their families, and encourage community engagement.

My Personal Journey

My journey as a Child and Youth Worker started when I was just a child myself! I always wanted to help and protect those younger than me, I was eager to babysit as soon as I turned 12 years old, and that naturally lead to jobs as “camp counsellor” with our local resource center, and the Big Sisters Big Brothers organization. I volunteered with the organization as well. When I decided to delve into a 3-year advanced diploma through Loyalist College, I thought I would start a Therapeutic Foster Care Home. Life had a different journey for me though…

I graduated with my diploma in 2012 and started working as a Childcare Assistant; then in 2021 I started working in a local school board. During this time I have also run my business teaching yoga classes, guiding workshops, and painting/selling art. As time goes on, I have never found a way to do the programming with youth that I always envisioned.

Youth Programming and Services

With a strengths-based focus on youth, I create specialized programs to target their needs, assisting them to discover who they are and who they want to be, and what they want to bring to the world. This is not about us molding them into something we want or expect – but instead meeting them where they are so they can grow naturally into their own autonomy.

My practice emphasizes one-on-one work with youth ages 12 – 18. If your child is younger but could benefit from some extra support, we can arrange that also. Group programs will also be offered occasionally.

Examples of activities we might use: Meditation and Breathing exercises to calm the mind, Gentle Yoga Stretches to calm the body, Reflective Writing (this could also be used as a regular journaling practice at home if they enjoy it) and goal-setting (we can also work with time-management if that is an issue), Art Projects such as collaging (vision boarding), painting, and clay. Along with this, youth have an opportunity to talk about anything that feels important to them at the time, building a trusting relationship between us. The ultimate goal is to turn Self-Harm into Self-Care. For them to learn to understand the roots of their own behaviours in relation to their feelings, and learning new and healthy ways to cope with stress.

If your adolescent child is struggling with low self esteem, anxiety, or self-harming behaviour; please contact me to discuss ways we may be able to help them shift into a more confident, caring, and self-compassionate person. I work directly with parents to help create a cohesive “team” approach to your child’s well-being.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. However, a Child and Youth Worker can work directly with other professionals if proper discloser is given between all parties involved. All information given to me is kept completely confidential.