OACYC Call To Action
November 18, 2018
Please see the email template below to copy and paste. Click here to locate your MPP.
I am a Child and Youth Care Practitioner in the Province of Ontario and reside in your riding. I work with some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our community. I am devastated to hear of the news to close the Ontario Child Advocate (OCA), an essential service for the children and youth in our province who, because of their involvement in care, do not have the same support system other children and youth might have access to. The OCA listens to the voices of children and youth and is integral to the work that needs to be done to increase safeguards for this vulnerable population and help us do our jobs better. This is not a luxury item; our children and youth deserve to be heard and protected.
I am calling on you to advocate for the reversal of this decision, to put the protection of vulnerable children and youth foremost in decision making and repeal the act to close the Ontario Child Advocate.
Firstly, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals who paved the path for this Association to continue with advocacy efforts at becoming a legislated profession. It is those dedicated people, and their tireless efforts at pursuing this cause that allows for continued engagement to be at the forefront of the OACYC agenda.
Secondly, I welcome those who choose to continue, as well as those who would like to join this committee as new members. Although the last few months have been a transitional period for both this committee and the OACYC Board itself, rest assured that steps have been taken to continue with our legislative endeavor. This includes the appointment of a new Committee Chair and Board Director, Patrick Frackowiak. As well, with the recent provincial election the OACYC has reached out to the newly appointed Hon. Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and the Hon. Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. Letters to both Ministers were sent on behalf of the Association, outlining the crucial importance of safeguarding the well-being of children and youth across this province by qualified professionals, which currently is not the case, as anyone is able to call themselves a Child and Youth Care Practitioner. Conveying the importance of addressing this paramount issue, the OACYC requested a meeting with both Minsters. In response, I am happy to report that the Hon. Lisa MacLeod replied to the aforementioned letter, agreeing to meet with the OACYC. Unfortunately, this meeting had to be cancelled by the Minister’s office due to scheduling, however the Association has asked for another meeting date to be scheduled. While the above efforts unfolded during the summer months, the OACYC Board also voted on a motion to hire a consultant to formulate a plan to lead our legislative efforts. This plan, which was recently presented to the OACYC membership during the September 22nd AGM may be viewed below.
With the above plan as the foundation for our legislative attainment moving forward, I invite all members to partake in providing feedback. This is an important first step of the strategy that has been endorsed. Please take a moment to reflect on and identify the language relevant to our field. Using the goal below, help us to promote our voice as a profession by taking a moment and forwarding your response by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your response will be compiled along with other member feedback to begin a dialogue which can be conveyed in a form of a report, outlying our field and importance of its regulation, as stated in the below goal.
Establish a united language about our field, regulation and how to ask for it.
*Please take a moment to reflect on the above goal, formulating a response that you as a CYC practitioner would like others to be aware of. This feedback will aid the OACYC in creating a report to educate and promote our profession; highlighting how we support the children and youth we work with.
Please forward this brief response to email@example.com, with the subject line; “legislation feedback”.
Lastly, I along with the OACYC Board welcome any member interested in joining the legislation committee, and thank those in advance for providing feedback to Goal 1, as outlined above. There is much work to be done while we outline, plan and execute efforts aimed at continued advocacy toward a legislative child and youth care profession. As these efforts unfold in the coming months, the OACYC will continue to update our members.
Committee Chair and Board Director
The Child and Youth Care Community is getting involved and raising their voices for regulation.
An update regarding the current proposed amendments to the Controlled Acts Regulation made under the Regulated Health Professionals Act, 1991, in order to facilitate proclamation of the controlled act of psychotherapy and affect a transition period for the mental health sector. There is currently no positive resolution for Child and Youth Care Practitioners. Please raise your voices once again to tell this government that we need to be able to do the work we have been trained to do to support children and youth in Ontario.
The OACYC followed up with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and the Registrar, Deborah Adams, made herself available to meet with us. We had a great conversation and discussed the potential impact of the Controlled Act on Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario. While the CRPO recognizes our important work they do not believe we are providing the controlled act of psychotherapy. We do not agree based on the clarifying document.
The really good news is that Deborah has provided us with a letter that clearly states the criteria that they believe indicate a low risk of harm to the public and this includes membership in our Association:
Once the controlled act is proclaimed, CRPO will take a risk-based approach toward enforcing compliance with provisions respecting the controlled act of psychotherapy. The following criteria indicate a low risk of harm to the public. In general, CRPO does not plan to take enforcement action with respect to individuals who:
Please click here to download this letter and share it with your colleagues, employers and other CYCPs in the province! This letter could help to save some Child and Youth Care Positions in the province.
We also want to share that the OACYC was invited to provide input to the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory council to help inform their response to the Minister. We provided a letter, answering the questions that were put forward to us. Please see our letter attached.
If you would like to read other submissions on this issue please go to the HPRAC website here and click on the link at the bottom of the page.
We have had some changes on the committee and would like to thanks those who served last year and welcome those who are just joining us this year!
We are also pleased to report that we have received a letter of support for regulation from ORCA! You can find it on the Letters of Support page!
It has recently come to our attention that Minister Hoskins has asked the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council to provide advice and make some recommendations with regards to the Psychotherapy Act. Specifically, a request has been made about providing greater clarity about the meaning of the controlled act and criteria has been requested for determining if some unregulated providers may be exempt from the act. HPRAC has been asked to report back to the Minister by November 1, 2017.
We are also please to share that we have received a letter of support for regulation from Carol Stuart.
At the end of March we sent some letters out to MCYS and to MoHLTC posted below. Neither Ministers responded directly to us as a result of these letters. We received a copy of letter sent by MPP Naqvi on our behalf to MOHLTC.
We set up a meeting in April to start looking at our current scope of practice with a view to updating it. The meeting went well and we hope to share information with more of our members soon to get their feedback on the proposed changes.
We had a meeting with Kim Moran and her team at Children’s Mental Health Ontario. CMHO has agreed to provide us with a letter of support for our request of regulation of CYCP! We have received the letter and it is posted!
We met with Police chiefs in both Ottawa and Cobourg and followed up with letters of request for support of regulation of CYCP. The Ontario Association of Police Chiefs are considering our request. They have referred our request to their Youth Committee.
We put out a press release, letter to MCYS, and a letter to the coroner regarding the fire and deaths in residential care. We received a response form the coroner. This information is posted on our News page. We received a response from MCYS
We received letters of support form Thom Garfat and Jack Phelan, and MPP Fraser. Letters of support are all posted.
We have also requested letters from Jim Anglin, Carol Stuart and the NACCW (National Association of Child Care Workers in South Africa).
On July 21, we put out another press release. This is in response to the release of the Blueprint for Residential Care recently released by MCYS and can be found on our News page. Click here to go directly to the Press Release.
The Legislation Committee and Subcommittee continue to meet. We will be considering next steps for the fall. We will need the community to get involved again to make sure that the provincial government hears us as we lobby for regulation to improve the safety and care of children and youth in Ontario.
Although the college did not respond to us directly, we have received a copy of a letter that was sent out in answer to some of our concerns to one of our partners. This letter points out that the college still does not know when the controlled act. However, it also states that it will take risk-based approach toward enforcing compliance once the controlled act is proclaimed. It states:
In general, CRPO does not plan to take enforcement action with respect to individuals who:
Please print this letter and share it with all who you feel may be affected. This information is very important to protect our jobs doing the work we have been educated to do.
If you are sharing your thoughts or raising awareness about our work and our request for regulation? Please use our hashtag!
The Child and Youth Care Community is getting involved and raising their voices for regulation.
ATTENTION: HELP ADVOCATE FOR THE REGULATION OF THE CHILD AND YOUTH CARE FIELD!
Jennifer Bernard, a third year student at Flemming College, created this video to raise awareness about child and youth care practice and why regulation is so important for the safety of children and youth. We encourage you to watch the video and share it with friends and family.
Click on the image to see the video!
Published on Youtube on April 6, 2017
CONFEDERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS
On Friday April 7th the third year Child and Youth Care Students from Confederation College spent a day at St. Patricks High School- a local school within Thunder Bay. They presented in 3 different grade 10 careers classes on who they are as CYCP's, and what they do in the community. They also held an information booth during the lunch period and explained to students about the petition, receiving many signatures and support for the campaign to regulate CYC practice. The teachers at St. Patricks high school were impressed and stated "your passion and love for the career is evident" and everyone was very interested in what they had to share that day! #cycpride #regulationONCYCP
Students: Shai Loyie, Tara Aikman, Megan Danelinsky, Kristi-Ann Pool-Quirt, Nicole Piche
On March 20, 2017, we met with a Policy Advisory at the MCYS and hand delivered our Request for Regulation. We had an opportunity to discuss our request, the current standards in the field and the possibilities for improving services to young people, ensuring that all child and youth care practitioners meet minimal educational requirements and are paid a decent wage for the complicated work that they do. The Ministry is considering what changes need to be made to the current system including staff qualifications and remuneration.
We also received a letter that was sent by NDP Deputy Leader, Jagmeet Singh, to Minister Hoskins (MHLTC) in support of our request for regulation and resolution to our concerns about the impact of the psychotherapy act. Please click here to read the letter.
We sent the following letters:
There has been a lot of activity on the legislation committee and we continue to hear from Queen’s Park due to your letters. We have been told by allies at Queen’s Park that we are doing a good job and that MPPs are talking about Child and Youth Care. We are working diligently to get some clarification about the psychotherapy Act. We must continue our efforts!
In the last month we have met with Policy Advisors at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We have met with the NDP Health Critic, France Gelinas. We have followed up with the College of Registered Psychotherapists and the Ministry of Child and Youth Services. We have posted many letters below for you to read.
We have received some letters from our members with questions. The information provided by the College of Registered Psychotherapists (CRPO) has left people confused and many are coming up with their own interpretation. We want you to know that nothing has changed yet. The controlled act of psychotherapy is still in the public domain. This part of the Psychotherapy Act is still to be proclaimed. You can continue to do your job the way you have been doing it. We will inform our members when and if this changes.
France Gelinas, NDP Health Critic has discussed this on our behalf with Minister Hoskins. In an email she shared the following with us after we met with her at the end of February 2017:
“As I promised in the meeting, I did have an opportunity to raise your legitimate concerns with Minister Hoskins after Question Period today. He acknowledged that he was aware of the concerns of the Association and its members. Further, he indicated he has no intention of proclaiming the Psychotherapy Act until a positive resolution is found to ensure that Child and Youth Care Practitioners continue to work; meet their scope of practice; and provide ongoing services to children and youth across Ontario. He promised to get back to me with additional information in this regard in a few weeks. If he does not, I advised him that I would raise this with him again, to ensure this file moves forward in a positive way.
I believe the Minister does understand what is at stake here and is intent on finding a resolution that keeps Child and Youth Care Practitioners in place delivering services across Ontario. This is what I will continue to advocate for on your behalf.”
We are waiting to hear from Minister Hoskins directly. We must continue to raise our concerns until we are informed of the Ministry’s plan in writing. We have also asked for more information from the CRPO to help all to make the best decisions. Please see our letter to CRPO below.
As we read some of the letters that were sent to the Ministry of Child and Youth Services and to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, we noticed that some of your family members were writing letters. They were powerful and so important. We have prepared a draft letter that your family and friends can use to contact the Ministry of Child and Youth Services and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We have posted this letter right at the top of the Get Involved page as a PDF and hope that you will send it to people in your network. I sent it to 10 of my friends and family members and was cc’d on 10 emails that were sent to support our request.
We still have a long way to go towards legislation and we need every voice. We ask at this time that you send your letter (if you haven’t already) and that you help your friends and family members to do the same. Send the letter to your friends and family and ask them to send it to the two named Ministers by email and cc us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can keep track of the support.
We have included the letter below so that you can see what we have prepared. The letter should be edited in the first couple of lines to make it accurate for each person’s real situation. The letter can be edited in any way to meet the needs of the sender to ensure that it truly represents their views on this mater.
Dear Minister Coteau (email@example.com)
Dear Minister Hoskins, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have family members/friends who are Child and Youth Care Practitioners (CYCPs) in Ontario. I also have family members who receive support from CYCPs. I would like to take this opportunity to request regulation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario and to express my concerns with regards to the impact of the Psychotherapy Act. Child and Youth Care Practitioners (also known as Child and Youth Workers, Child Care Workers and Child and Youth Counsellors) provide front line support to the most vulnerable children and youth within our communities. They work within numerous settings including; child welfare, youth justice, health and mental health, education, residential treatment facilities, and other community based agencies. They work in the spaces where children and youth and their caregivers live their lives to promote mental health, wellbeing and pro-social development. Their scope of practice is unique and their work includes psychotherapy technique.
The Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care (OACYC), has prepared a report, “Safe Guarding the Other 23 Hours: Legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario”, to explain the need for legislation of our profession. I am in full support of this request. I believe that legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice will improve services to some of our most vulnerable community members and help to provide the highest quality of care and services to children and youth in Ontario. Accountability in this field will be clearly established, and the safety of the public greatly enhanced by ensuring that only qualified Child and Youth Care Practitioners are working with our children and youth.
With the Psychotherapy Act in effect in the absence of a College of Child and Youth Care Practice, many CYCPs will not be able to do the jobs they were trained to do as they were hired to do them. Their scope of practice will shrink, young people will no longer receive their full services and wait lists will grow longer because many Child and Youth Care Practitioners will not qualify for the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario despite the excellent education they have received in Ontario Colleges and Universities. This represents a serious increase in risk to young people in Ontario and my family members.
I ask that you support the OACYCs request for regulation of Child and Youth Care Practice and that you help them find an immediate solution to the current problem occurring as a result of the Psychotherapy Act. I look forward to hearing from you.
Recent letters sent by the OACYC
Recent Letters received
To All Members of the OACYC, all Child and Youth Care Practitioners (CYCPs) in Ontario and all Ontarians concerned about the provision of mental health services and care and safety of young people in Ontario
The board of Directors and the Legislation Committee including the Sub-Committee of the OACYC would like to thank all Child and Youth Care Practitioners who have participated in our campaign for regulation and to raise concerns about the Psychotherapy Act. You have sent many letters and engaged in conversations with MPPs, your colleagues, friends and families. We have noted that many letters were authored by your loved ones and other concerned citizens.
We were cc’d on many emails that were sent to MPPs and the ministries concerned and we have received notes from many of you about the response you received. We have also received some responses directly.
Some Members of Provincial Parliament may have worked together to provide a response to the many letters of concern that they received. We are pleased that they took the time to prepare a thoughtful response. We are however concerned by some of the messages that were included in the responses that have been sent in response to our letters of concern. We have posted a response letter on our website for those of you who did not receive this or any response from the provincial government.
The letter of response from the government provides a great deal of information about the Psychotherapy Act, the grandparenting provision and suggests that the college is best positioned to determine if the controlled act of psychotherapy includes the scope of Child and Youth Care Practice, as defined by the Psychotherapy Act, 2007. The letter directs all Child and Youth Care Practitioners who have concerns or questions to contact the College of Psychotherapists and Registered Mental Health Therapists.
The letter states that Ontario has not contemplated the regulation of Child and Youth Care Practitioners and brings forward the work of the Residential Review Panel, with specific reference to the recommendation in their report to the ministry to “move towards establishing child and youth care practice as the required credential for residential work over the course of the next ten years”.
We wish to clarify the following:
The OACYC has received a response from Premier Kathleen Wynne. She has acknowledged our letter of concern and forwarded the same to the Ministries of Health and Long Term Care and Child and Youth Services for their consideration.
We have received a response from the office of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Currently, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins is not available to meet with us, however two of his senior policy advisors will meet with us to discuss our request and concerns. We want our members, the CYC community in Ontario and the general public to know that we have previously sent our report to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (in 2015) and requested a meeting to discuss regulation of our profession.
UPDATE: We have received a response from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skill Development.
We sent our report “Safeguarding the Other 23 Hours” to all Members of Provincial Parliament in 2015.
We ask that all Child and Youth Care Practitioners continue to engage in dialogue with MPPs and that you support others in the field of CYCP and the general public to participate in this conversation. Please keep the letters coming! Raise your voice and be an active participant on our journey to professional recognition.
Hopefully you have seen the information that we sent to the MPPs in January 2017 about the Psychotherapy Act and the need for an exception/exemption for CYCPs. You can find it here. We also hope you have already signed and mailed the petition to our office and renewed your membership. There is an additional and important task below that we ask you to complete to advocate for our profession.
Task to Support our Request for Legislation
We would like you to send an email to your MPP for the riding where you work and the riding where you live and to the Ministers of Children and Youth Services, Health and Long-term Care and Advanced Education and Skill Development. Depending on where you work, you may want to send this to other Ministries as well (Education for example).
We have prepared a draft that you can use. You are welcome to send it as is, edit it or send your own letter. It is really important that the government receives as many letters as possible. Our letter alone is not enough. We really need you to help. Add us (email@example.com) to your email so that we know how many have been sent.
The OACYC Board of Directors email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is Dr. Eric Hoskins. His email is: email@example.com
The Minister of Advanced Education and Skill Development is Deb Matthews. Her email is: minister.MAESD@ontario.ca
You can find the list of MPPs here.
You can copy and paste this into your own email and send one email addressed to your MPPs, the three Ministers and the board of the OACYC
Subject: The Psychotherapy Act and Legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am a Child and Youth Care Practitioner (CYCP) in Ontario and live/work in your riding. I would like to take this opportunity to request regulation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario and to express my concerns with regards to the impact of the Psychotherapy Act. Child and Youth Care Practitioners (also known as Child and Youth Workers, Child Care Workers and Child and Youth Counsellors) provide front line support to the most vulnerable children and youth within our communities. We work within numerous settings including; child welfare, youth justice, health and mental health, education, residential treatment facilities, and other community based agencies. We work in the spaces where children and youth and their caregivers live their lives to promote mental health, wellbeing and pro-social development. Our scope of practice is unique and our work includes psychotherapy technique.
The Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care (OACYC), has prepared a report, “Safe Guarding the Other 23 Hours: Legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario”, to explain the need for the regulation of our profession. I am in full support of this request. I believe that legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice will improve services to some of our most vulnerable community members and help us to provide the highest quality of care and services to children and youth in Ontario. Accountability in our field will be clearly established, and the safety of the public greatly enhanced by ensuring that only qualified Child and Youth Care Practitioners are working with our children and youth.
With the Psychotherapy Act in effect in the absence of a College of Child and Youth Care Practice, many of us will not be able to do the jobs we were trained to do as we were hired to do them. Our scope of practice will shrink, young people will no longer receive our full services and wait lists will grow longer because many Child and Youth Care Practitioners will not qualify for the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario despite the excellent education we have received in Ontario Colleges and Universities. This represents a serious increase in risk to young people in Ontario.
I ask that you support my request for regulation of Child and Youth Care Practice and that you help us find an immediate solution to the current problem occurring as a result of the Psychotherapy Act. I look forward to hearing from you.
Task to Provide Feedback on the Psychotherapy Act
Recently the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario sent out clarifying information and a link for people to provide feedback. We believe this was an opportunity to let the CRPO know that they have not made things clear for CYCPs and that there continues to be serious concerns. We worked in collaboration with Children's Mental health Ontario to provide feedback. We provided our members with a statement that they could choose to submit as feedback if it represented their thoughts about the Act.
You can click here to see the Youtube video.
The survey has now closed.
Please share with your CYCP colleagues including those who are not members of the OACYC. It is important that all CYCPs in the province have a chance to share their opinions. Your submissions matter. Please participate as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your attention and participation. We will continue to advocate on behalf of services to children and youth and on behalf of our members.