My name is Thom Garfat and I have had the exceptional opportunity of
being involved in working with troubled children, their families, and
the staff who work with them, for over 30 years � as a practitioner,
supervisor, director, teacher, trainer, consultant and writer. It has
been a rewarding and affirming journey.
Since beginning as a child and youth care worker in an emergency
placement program for adolescents, I have been the director of a
community-based family intervention program, taught child care and
family work at the University of Victoria, supervised group living and
alternative programs, and was the director of treatment for one of
Canada's largest child and youth care agencies. As a speaker, trainer
and consultant, I have had the opportunity to be involved with Child and
Youth Care people from around the world.
As you will see from my history, I have developed residential and
non-residential programs; created training programs for professionals;
helped organizations to conceptualize, develop and implement programs
and services; delivered numerous keynote addresses; and worked with
governments at various levels to review services, develop standards and
create new directions in their services to young people and their
families. You can find other information about me here on this site if
you are interested.
On these pages you will also find references to my publications,
including my most recent books, Working with Families, A Child and
Youth Care Approach, and Developing Effective Interventions with
Families. You will also find links to the International Child and
Youth Care Network, and the Relational Child and Youth Care
Practice journal, which I co-edit, the first with Brian Gannon of
South Africa and the second with Gerry Fewster in British Columbia.
My experience in Child and Youth Care has offered me opportunities I
could only have imagined when I first started out. It is a
life-enriching field and the journey within it can be as fulfilling as
one chooses to make it. The opportunities to learn and grow and to be
helpful are endless. But only if we act. Because it is action,
more than thought, which transforms.
We have tried to make this site as straight-forward and practical as
possible. I hope you find the information of interest and of use to you.
And if you have any questions, please don�t hesitate to email me.