I thought that I
would give a progress report on national certification in the United
States and ask for some help from the CYC-Net participants.
For the past several years, the North American Certification Project [NACP]
has been working toward the establishment of a credible, effective
system for national certification of child and youth care workers in the
United States. Most of the work has been conducted with substantial
contributions from the Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care
Associations [CCCYCA], several Canadian university programs in child and
youth care work, and individual Canadian practitioners, although the
CCCYCA does not have plans to implement national certification in Canada
and has, consequently, limited its participation currently in the NACP.
A lot of excellent and unprecedented work toward the goal of national
certification has been completed already. Martha Mattingly, of the
University of Pittsburgh, led two large efforts that were essential to
the establishment of certification, the establishment of a
widely-accepted code of ethics for the field and assembly of the core
competencies for the profession through a meta-analysis of the
literature. The competencies document will be published in the next
issue of the Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, which is at the
printer today and which will be sent out soon. Many others, including
Carole Stuart, Carol Kelly, Varda Mann-Feder, Peter Rosenblatt, and
Karen VanderVen, just to name a very few, participated actively and
contributed mightily in these two parts of the project. (My apologies to
the many others who did so much but who were not mentioned here.)
The next step is to design, field test, and validate a certification
examination that will be relevant, meaningful, and fair to the best of
our abilities. A committee that includes a number of the individuals
listed above and approximately ten more is meeting frequently to
construct the examination and supporting materials. The committee needs
the help of many practitioners at this point.
We are seeking case examples of real-life events from the field, to be
used in the examination, in associated materials, and in publication and
research. In order to be useful, these case studies should document an
incident (or event) that actually occurred in child and youth care
practice. The case study should either demonstrate an instance in which
good child and youth care skills and knowledge were used or where good
skills/knowledge could have (and should have?) been used, but were not.
While we are not specifically seeking examples of best and worst
practices, we are looking for situations that commonly occur and that
the skills and knowledge of the practitioner did or could make a
Please submit these case studies on the form provided (see bottom
of this page for download) and fill in all of the spaces on the
form. We will need to be able to contact you, both to give credit for
your contribution and to clarify information if necessary. The form (NACP
Case Study Form.doc) is in MS Word file format. It can be downloaded and
filled in either in writing or by using your word processing program.
You can mail it back to me or send it as an attachment to e-mail.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through
You may also contact me through mail and telephone:
Houston, TX 77081
Thank you in advance for your participation in this important project.
— David Thomas