Black Lives Matter
The Association Child and Youth Care Practice (ACYCP) stands in solidarity with all who seek social justice and equality. We are grateful to be associated with Black Lives Matter and others, who demonstrate their commitment to these ideals and to a vision of a future that recognizes the value and worth of all human beings irrespective of their race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, economic status, or religious beliefs. These are fundamental values upon which the child and youth care field is founded. It is the foundation upon which we humbly stand.
As an association, we strive to uphold these values but know that we, as a board and as a profession, have fallen short of living up to this vision. The recent tragic events connected to the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others, have brought to light just how big this gap is in our country as well as in our field. We promote diversity and inclusion, but racial disparity and exclusion are still prevalent. We proclaim justice and equality, but injustice and inequality are everywhere we turn.
As child and youth care practitioners, we meet our youth where they are at and accept them for who they are. We are the foundation of society, helping to raise the next generation of leaders. If we don’t take this seriously, who will?
We can start making changes to better the world we live and work in – for the youth, children and families we serve, as well as our own. It won’t happen overnight, but if we do this together, it will happen.
Where can we start?
- Let’s continue the dialogue and offer each other resources and ideas on how we can move forward to more socially and racially just communities.
- Let’s work to increase the racial diversity of our leadership both with staff and boards including the ACYCP Board, so more perspectives and voices can be heard to propel change.
- Provide ongoing dialogue and professional development around social justice and racial issues.
- Serve as a resource to communities on the competencies of child and youth care professionals on how best to work with young people.
- Look for opportunities to engage with law enforcement to provide ongoing discussions, resources and trainings.
- Get involved in system change movements to lend our expertise, i.e. issues like increasing minimum wage, universal healthcare, criminal justice inequalities, etc.
- These are just the first steps towards a better future, and taken together, we can lead the way for the next generation to follow.