CREATING THE WORKFORCE SOLUTION WE NEED: Partnering Higher Ed, Employers, and the CYC Professional Community

The current workforce crisis is impacting every practice setting in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) field.  Most employers are struggling to hire, train, or retain critical CYCs who are the backbone of their service systems.  There is a growing perception that this can be an important turning point in the evolution of the CYC field.  In the past, employers have usually hired workers who are largely unprepared for the work and who may or may not continue employment once they understand the realities of the job.  There has never been a functioning professional development system in the US that can provide employers with the professional CYC staff they need.  Something better is clearly needed to create career pathways.

Let’s talk about what the possibilities are to create a professional development system that can provide employers with competent, capable, well-informed, CYC professionals to staff their programs.  How do we partner Higher Education, Employers, and the Professional Community to create the workforce we need?  How do we expand collaborative partnerships that are already producing career-oriented, skillful practitioners?   How do we build on the successes of our Canadian neighbors who have a much more highly developed CYC higher education system?


Frank Eckles

Executive Director , Academy for Competent Youth Work College Station