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Child and Youth Care Workers Week - Meet Deeandra

Why do CYWs become CYWs? It’s a gift they have. They know they can make a difference in the lives of children and youth because they connect with kids. They’re driven by the good in every child and have an endless commitment to pick kids up when they fall.

At Peel CAS, our CYWs support, direct, encourage and advocate for our children and youth. There are several programs within our Permanency Department that our CYWs currently support: Residential, Placement and Admissions, Access Programs, Adolescent Success, Family & Youth Support Services, Crisis Response and Family Placement.

During Child and Youth Care Workers Week we would like to thank our CYWs for their compassion, commitment and ability to creatively respond to the ongoing needs of our children, youth and families. 

 

Deeandra – CYW

As a CYW I work to foster and promote healthy and supportive relationships between foster caregivers, children/youth placed in their homes as well as biological families and caregivers. The most rewarding part of the job for me is the dynamic elements of working with young people. Each young person is different; they bring their own experiences, needs and expectations.

I kind of fell into the sector. I started my career as a pre-school teacher. However, I always felt a yearning for more. It was not until I moved to Toronto and started working in a group home that I fell in love with what I did. Working to provide support to children, you genuinely get to know them and to see them grow and develop into amazing young adults. This is what I like most about my job. It is also one of the challenges of the work. It takes time to build rapport and to get to know a child. 

The most rewarding element of the job is the ability to impact positively a child’s life. My most memorable experience as a CYW occurred 13 years ago with a youth that came to us at 13. It was not until she turned 17 that I really saw the impact of my work. She reached out for support and we forged a bond. I learned from that experience that it is not just about what my clients can learn from me but what I can learn from working with them as well.

Working each day with children and youth with both behavioral and developmental needs, I face new challenges and experiences that keep me engaged and committed to growing in the role. This in a sense, makes the job both fantastically rewarding and a challenge. The work can be very frustrating on some days however on others; you get some satisfying wins. It is never boring.