Quarterly Newsletter

  Nov 2013 
Greetings fellow youth worker!

The ACYCP Board is striving to keep our members up-to-date with our organization's current projects and activities. In this Thanksgiving issue we are every grateful for two of our own honored for their lifetimes of contribution to children and youth: Frank Eckles and Karen VanderVen! Clap! Clap! Clap! and Wow!

Karen VanderVen challenges us all from her Soapbox, to conquer the Rainbow Loom and to see what we learn from the experience. Hector Sapien returns from El Salvador with excitement for the possibilities and Carol Kelly reports on a sucessful FICE Conference and plans for the future.

We wish you all much to be thankful for as we head into the holiday season. Stay safe!

Suzie Henderson

In This Issue
2013 Career Achievement Award: Frank Eckles
Frank's Acceptance Speech: A Call to Action
VanderVen Wins the 225th Anniversary Medallion
From The SoapBox...Again!
2013 FICE Congress: Highlights
Voices of Children and Youth Being Heard
Strengthening Supervisory Skills
Hector's Back from El Salvador
2014 National Wraparound Conference
2013 Career Achievement Award
Frank Eckles Receives Career Achievement Award from 
The National Staff Development & Training Association
Frank's award was presented by Jane Norwood, PhD, LMSW, Program Administrator, Merced County Human Services Agency; NSDTA Board Secretary and member of the Communication and Publications, Awards and Scholarships Committees.

Mr. Frank Eckles, ACYCP Board member and Past President of the Child and Youth Care Certification Board, is the recipient of the 2013 Career Achievement Award from the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) (affiliate of the American Public Human Services Association). The award was presented in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the annual professional development institute, where he received a standing ovation from the membership in attendance honoring his outstanding career achievements and contributions to professional development and training in human services.


Frank Eckles began his career as a child care worker in a psychiatric hospital in 1970 and initiated his human service training and Frank development career in 1972. He has been serving children, youth and families through direct service; program development, administration and evaluation; advocacy; and leadership in local, state and national professional associations. A common theme throughout his career has been his leadership in the professional development and training area. He is recognized nationally and internationally by leaders in child and youth work for his contributions in training and development.


Frank was integrally involved in several committees of the North American Certification Project (NACP), most notably as the Co-Chair of the Concurrent Planning Committee that brought the work of several NACP committees together and finalized the certification program that led to the development of the Child and Youth Care Certification Board (CYCCB). Frank was elected as the first President of the CYCCB and currently serves as Past President. Under Frank's leadership, the CYCCB is bringing together leaders of the varied child and youth work fields (after school, residential treatment, juvenile justice, early and school-age child care) together to promote an integrated national system of career development in child and youth work.


Frank is the author of numerous articles pertaining to child and youth work. He is also the author of a 40 hour child and youth worker curriculum (Basic Child and Youth Work Course) that addresses the NACP/CYCCB competencies. Frank has certified trainers throughout the U.S. to provide this training. The training is used in a variety of states including Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Louisiana, California, and Florida. The curriculum is also integrated into coursework at the University of Pittsburgh, program in Applied Developmental Psychology and provided at a Summer Institute available to students and practitioners.


When presenting the award, Dr. Jane Norwood, NSDTA Board member, described Frank as a truly exemplary award recipient who has volunteered countless hours and contributed a significant amount of his personal funds to activities in support of the CYCCB and many other human service professional development advocacy initiatives. 

Frank's Acceptance Speech: A Call to Action


I would like to begin with my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Dale Curry for nominating me, and for his extraordinary description of my professional life. I actually didn't know that I'd been nominated until I was notified that I'd been chosen.  When I read what he said about me, my first reaction was to marvel at what this person had accomplished.  I certainly agreed that he should be chosen, but then I wondered how the person could actually be me.  


This is a really extraordinary moment in my life.  I know, as most people do, that if we wait to take action until those around us recognize our brilliance, endorse our ideas, stand with us, we will accomplish very little.  I think back to early in my life when so many of my colleagues, that I believe were attempting to help me, pointed out to me how futile and foolish it was of me to ask so many questions and expect so many results.  


They would say to me, "Frank, you are so na´ve.  Can't you see the futility of trying to change the status quo?  In my case, I was questioning the way we act on our supposed value of and support for the people who take care of our children and youth...   How can we expect to create future generations of healthy, capable, and optimally developed children and youth when we have a workforce that serves them that's so abysmally unprepared and undervalued?  It made no sense to me.  


They said to me, "Frank, don't you know that you're only one person?  What can one person do to impact something as complex as a society or a profession?"  


Well, I can say to you standing here today, there's no question that I'm na´ve.  It's a fact.  But I want to remind you that the na´ve ones don't know that something's not possible.  The na´ve ones will persist because they believe in the possibility that things can change for the better.  How can one person have impact?  How can anyone change anything really? 


I discovered early that when you are surrounded by people who have vision like Janet Wakefield and Tom Plake of the Journey, and the likes of Dale Curry, Karen VanderVen, Sister Madeleine Rybicki,  Jean Carpenter-Williams,  (people sitting amongst us today) and others like, Andy Schneider-Munoz, Martha Mattingly, Carol Stuart, Carol Kelly, Debbie Zwicky, Cindy Wilson, Pam Clark, James Freeman, Heather Modlin, Kelly Shaw, Jeff Kreeb, Hector Sapien.... the question really is, "How can we not accomplish something significant?".


None of us are really alone, we are here together with great purpose and there are more than enough of us to accomplish what's been set before us. 


I want to thank the NSDTA for this moment because I think it's important.  It's important that organizations like the National Staff Development & Training Association recognize the accomplishments of people who are changing the world and point out how this is happening.  For it is in this acknowledgement that all of us gain hope that one day we can be recognized for the small but critical part that each of us plays in making this a better world. 

I'd like you to remember something.  What each of us does this day and every day ... it is the Difference.  How are you spending your days? 


We live in an extraordinary time.  Look around you, notice that things are changing faster than they've ever changed before.  So many things have changed already and so many more things will change.  This is a time when things are possible that have never been possible before.  Let us be intentional about what comes next.  

All of us in this room are architects, contributors and doers.  Let us work together to find new answers, because This is our time.  We hold in our hands the destiny of the next generation and all the ones that come after them.  We are their stewards.  What comes next depends on us and what we do today.  


Let us go forward knowing that we are powerful and can influence the changes needed.  Let us remember that each of us is responsible. Let us spend each day intentionally moving ALL OF US forward into the promise of a better world.   The next world depends on what we do today.


Thank you for honoring me.

VanderVen Wins the 225th Anniversary Medallion from the University of Pittsburgh


Leader in the field of Child and Youth Care Work


Please join un in Three Cheers for Professor VanderVen who recently won the most prestigious alumni award that can be presented by the Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Awards were given to some of the nation's most outstanding leaders in honor of the university's 225th anniversary.


Long time Board member of the Association of Child and Youth Care Practice, Karen has always supported the hopes and dreams of the workers who care for children, youth, and families---in writing her soap box columns known around the world; in developing the competencies for youth work together with Dr. Martha Mattingly and others; and always being there for professionals who build relationships in direct care; especially by role modeling and mentoring; writing and teaching; and providing scholarships and roundtables for all of us!!!!


Dr. VanderVen continues to break new ground!!!! She is a senior fellow for the new National Center for Innovation and Excellence!!! Together with Pitt alumni Dr. Merle Griff, founder of Sarah Care (with a branch located in Melbourne, FL), Karen will present a new approach to life span care and intergenerational wrap around at the National Wrap Around Conference,March 11-13, 2014 in Florida. Author of more than 400 publications, Karen's most recent book, Promoting Positive Development in Early Childhood: Building Blocks for a Successful Start is in wide use around the world.


Always a proponent of transferring the "culture of childhood" and an advocate for developmental activities, Karen herself continues to be an award winning shell collector, deep sea diver, and train enthusiast; Karen is just back from riding the Alaska Railroad to the Denali wilderness.

From The SoapBox...Again!
The Dunce of the Rainbow Loom Class

You've probably all heard about the "Rainbow Loom" - that craft kit that gives you a loom on which you place colorful little  rubber bands in different patterns,  use a crochet-hook like stylus to weave them together, and end up with a colorful bracelet.  These are the "rage" now among school age children of all ages.    Working with it isn't simple but one of the activity's outstanding features is that there are options from the easier loom configurations to the successively complex - all leading to an incredibly attractive product.   


I loved my childhood craft sets  - especially a loom on which with small beads one could weave an Indian design.  And hadn't I been lanyard queen of my camp bunk ?  But in this video and screen age I thought these had gone the way of the dinosaur.  Curious, and remembering my childhood fun,  I decided that I wanted to learn how to use the Rainbow Loom and went to a class in a nearby toy store.  "Students" - boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 10 or so -  sat on the floor with their kits. There were no chairs and I had to sit with my legs extended and the children stepped adroitly over them when they needed to move.  Two  skilled young women briskly demonstrated the procedure and techniques. 


 It didn't take me long to get behind and ultimately I was not able to complete the complex bracelet that was being taught this evening.  The children were absorbed and didn't pay any attention to me although one smiled when I truthfully said 'nice' as I admired his finished product. I smiled as I consoled myself that I could still write and academic paper complete with references but that I couldn't hold a candle to these youngsters- including the 6 year old tousle-haired little boy who produced a rubber band masterpiece.  But what fun this was.  I came away determined to practice until I learned - at my own 'senior' pace.


The next day, I set out to learn the initial bracelet process, coached along by a variety of on-line tutorials.  These were delivered by children  who confidently informed us that now they were going to teach us how to make a bracelet and it wouldn't be hard at all. Huh!  I had to play and re-play the videos.   I had to take my rubber bands off over and over because, as the kids put it, "I messed up".  Finally - I managed to complete a basic bracelet successfully and  oh, my - was I proud of myself ! I put it on my wrist.  I made a few more and then began trying the next level - a diamond pattern. Even more false starts, taking apart, and with a sigh, beginning once more. But I finally 'got it'.  I made a few more to cement the new skill in 'muscle memory'.


I e-mailed a neighbor friend who I thought might join me in this unusual occupation for an older adult and bingo! She was interested and I offered to sign her up for the next class.  Two 'mature' adults would have a little bench power in the sea of children. Perhaps there'd be  a class with chairs and a slower, more graphic instructional approach. With the two of us we could have a club: 

"The Rubber Band Loom Senior Club" !


So our "club" went to the next class.  They brought out chairs for us and a smiling, helpful young man instructor seemed glad to have us as he showed us how to make candy corn out of rubber bands. Our presence  might also tell the toy store that it should look to a 'senior' market for some of its playthings. This would be a hit in any retirement community - maybe replace the ubiquitous Bingo.   


At this class, I indicated an interest in learning the "fish tail" - another banding technique. The leader suggested that a young boy show me.  He immediately jumped up with his loom and give me , in a delightful piping voice, a skilled lecture that would have enthralled and engaged a group of MIT nuclear physicists.


"Hooked" on this activity, I went back to the toy store to buy a coveted sectioned plastic box for storing loom, finished pieces, and a variety of rubber bands.  As a child I had loved the boxes with cardboard dividers my playthings came in almost as much as the playthings themselves.  Disappointment hit me.  I asked at the counter where a pleasant clerk said, "Sorry, we're out - we expect another shipment next week", while in the background a somewhat aggravated looking woman quietly moved.   In disappointment, I went to select some new packets of colored rubber bands and when I got back to the counter, there was the sought-after box waiting for me.  The woman came up.  "Shhh" she said with a smile.   "We had one hidden in the back.  We're going to let you have it".  


On another day I was sitting on the porch with my husband, I noticed a pair of adorable children about six years old going from house to house and carrying a bag.  "Hmm" - I said. "A couple of very young entrepreneurs.  Probably selling candy bars for their school". They came bounding up our stairs, looking for a dollar apiece in exchange for their wares in the bag.  No candy.  Rather there was a nice assortment of rubber band loom bracelets.   I mentioned that I had a rainbow band loom kit. "You  have a rainbow loom ?"  they piped in amazement.   I bought a couple of pretty, perfect bracelets for a pittance, we were all happy, and then they were off.


Renowned child and youth work writer Mark Krueger has suggested that in writing one might just describe an experience - not necessarily interpret it.   I'm ready to give 10 or so reasons as to the relevance of the Rainbow Loom to child and youth work.  However, this time I'm going to follow Mark. I am going to leave it up to you, the reader to deduce the meanings of this to you and for the child and youth field. 


Just one more thing.  Go out a get yourself a Rainbow Loom kit. Get started with it.  See what happens.  Something will.


Karen VanderVen, Ph.D., 

Professor Emerita Department of Psychology in Education 

University of Pittsburgh

2013 FICE Congress: Highlights & An Invitation

FICE (International Federation of Educative Communities) is a UNESCO affiliated international organization focused on at-risk children and adolescents including residential care, group homes, street children etc.... FICE uses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a key basis for its contributions to making our world a better place for children and youth.  For more information about FICE, see the  FICE web site


ACYPC members including Karen Vander Ven who was instrumental in establishing USA's membership and involvement, Martha Mattingly, Sister Madeleine Rybicki, and Andy Munoz are ACYCP leaders who have attended a FICE Congress. 


FICE sponsors projects in collaboration with members including developing countries; members learn from each other in professional development and collaboration. Every three years FICE has a FICE Congress (conference) in different countries. This year's Congress was in Bern, Switzerland in October. Following are some highlights followed by an invitation for YOU to be involved.


The 2013 FICE Congress theme was Diversity. Presentations covered a wide range of diversity including child care, education and social-cultural-political aspects of diversity.  The program included a new pioneering offering: 

A Dialogue Series. Co-Chairs led discussions on four central realms of FICE: 

     Leaving Care

     Exchange Programs

     Training, and 


The co-chairs are writing summaries which will be available to ACYCP. This will provide the opportunity for ACYCP members to contribute, to follow up and to learn of programs and resources in the four realms. The hope is that many will learn, contribute, and benefit from dialogue.  


Highlights of the Congress include: 


1).Youth from several countries sharing what they did in their programs to celebrate diversity. Power points, music, and verbal sharing were informative and inspiring. They give us hope! 


2). A Serbian who is in Switzerland shared a powerful over view of the realities which children and youth face. The need for immediate and long term appropriate support of these populations is a reality that all of us in our profession should state and support. Very moving call for action. 


3). A festival held in a town square included citizens of Bern and FICE members enjoying music, dancing, and food.  This was an amazing new offering to the FICE Congresses. 


4). There was opportunity for Congress participants to visit area programs the day after the Congress. Wonderful opportunities for programs/agencies to interact with those who share professional commitments and for the FICE Congress participants to learn. Not only the formal and informal program but the opportunity to communicate with professional from many countries and explore collaboration is an enriching experience for all. 


2013 FICE Congress Proceedings will be published. You will be informed when available. 


We invite YOU to share with FICE members: 


Our FICE web site provides opportunities for each country's FICE and related organizations to share information such as local programs which are or can be models for others, resources, national and state (regional) conferences.  Please consider sharing information about your resources, programs and conferences with FICE. Send your contributions to Carol Kelly, FICE-USA representative at  We look forward to ACYCP's amazing success to be shared with colleagues in many countries.


2016 FICE CONGRESS. Our next FICE Congress will be in 2016 in Vienna, Austria. CYC-NET is collaborating to encourage international professional gatherings which strengthen our profession. As information about the 2016 FICE Congress is available, you will be informed. Hope that ACYCP Steering Committee, state organizations, and organizations will start to plan to be involved when information is available.


Carol Kelly, FICE-USA representative, ACYCP National Certification Advisory Board, and supporter of ACYCP

Voices of Children and Youth Being Heard


ACYCP colleagues, we are committed to the voices of children and adolescents being heard. As the FICE-USA representative, We received information about The Commission of Children's Poverty focusing on Through Young Eyes.  We think you may be interested in viewing the web site and perhaps getting some ideas from this specific action of the Commission.


We hope this will encourage youth programs & organizations toward finding new and innovative ways to hear our children's and adolescents voices. We welcome your comments/feedback.  Please share what you and/or your organization or program is doing to support those voices being heard!

Strengthening Supervisory Skills 
Helping Supervisors See Confrontation as 
a Staff Development Tool
By Frank Delano

Far too often CYC supervisors see "confrontation" as an uncomfortable task that must be done when someone is doing something "wrong" and they need to be directed to stop the action or change their behavior. In that framework it is easy to see why so many supervisors tend to avoid confrontation altogether, or do it in a fashion that shuts the CYC worker down and damages their relationship. Neither avoiding confrontation nor coming on too strongly is positive, but avoiding confrontation has a number of unintended consequences that can slowly but surely eat away at the culture of the program or unit the supervisor is responsible for. When a supervisor does not confront the potential for not so subtle hints, sarcasm, or personal resentment of the worker can increase. Most importantly a supervisor who does not confront behavior they see as possibly inappropriate or negative is validating that behavior for the person doing the behavior, and all others who are watching which leads to a lower standard in the culture.

As a way to help supervisors feel more comfortable with confronting Jill Shah and I used some of Floyd Alwon's work on Constructive Confrontation as a base to develop a strategy and then a "working definition" of confrontation that supervisors could use as a model to prepare a confrontation. The definition is:

"A pro-active intervention to intercept and 
redirect behavior that may require change.



To create a forum to better understand and guide the judgment/practice of both parties in order to ultimately
 improve quality and culturally competent service"


As the definition suggests the confrontation should be pro-active or thoughtful toward a clearly defined professional purpose and not merely reactive to the behavior. The term intercept does not suggest "stopping" the behavior, but taking the time for both to look at and examine it. Of course, the supervisor must go into the confrontation open minded to genuinely hear the worker's explanation and be open to the idea that perhaps with a better understanding of the purpose the behavior may not need to change. That openness will increase the chances of the supervisor understanding where the worker is better and may even create an opportunity to learn about a new approach that may actually improve their own practice. If the behavior does need to be changed or redirected the supervisor should be careful to help the worker see what is in it for them to shift the behavior. That may be a better professional image or improved quality of service to children and families. Of course, if the behavior is a result of a cultural misunderstanding (including organizational "culture") this approach opens up the door to discuss each other's cultural perceptions which can enhance practice and cultural competence.

Perhaps the most important part of the definition is the idea of creating a safe forum to discuss the worker's practice. We believe that every confrontation should begin with the words "Help me understand...". "Help me understand what you were thinking when you did that...", "Help me understand what you were trying to accomplish with that intervention...", etc. etc. This opens the door to putting the supervisee in the position of having to articulate and explain their practice...which goes to the very core of the supervisory relationship and a supervisor's responsibility for staff development and monitoring of the quality of practice. The confrontation should also be framed in a way that we refer to as "professionally packaged". That is, it frames the confrontation in terms of commonly accepted professional standards and not personality, work habits, etc. That will enhance a continued focus and discussion on the standards the supervisor wants to establish in the program.

You can read more about this confrontation method in the article "Using the 'Professional Package' to Help Supervisors Enhance Cultural Sensitivity When Confronting", Journal of Relational Child and Youth Care, Volume 20, Issue 1 Spring, 2007 or feel free to contact the author at
Hector's Baaaaaaaack!


Hector Sapien has returned from his trip to El Salvador where he served as our envoy to youth workers there.  We're so glad he's back safely and sends the following photos and missive: 


Hello fellow Earthlings of ACYCP, 

It has been a few weeks since I returned from El Salvador, and I want to tell you it has taken me about that long to feel like I am back to my typical self (what ever that is).  


It was quite an intense trip as it was beautiful, green, tropical, friendly, scary, tense, informative, and a few other things too numerous to mention.  The youth workers are committed, enthusiastic, and curiously excited about child and youth work training and certification.  They are rarin to go! 


I will be preparing a webinar to show pictures and tell a few stories about what El Salvador can have in store for us.  Further details will be forthcoming.   Just know that I am back and appreciative of your sponsorship for me.  I hope my part can help lead us into the next frontier!  Think Global!  


An inactive volcano in the middle of the El Salvador.

A training activity in action.

2014 National Wraparound Conference 


Brevard Family Partnership and the National Center for Innovation and Excellence are hosting a three day wraparound conference in Cocoa Beach, Florida, March 11-13, 2014.
The conference will offer three keynote addresses, an expert panel discussion, and 25 individual sessions for participants to select and learn from. This conference will empower individuals and partnerships, providing an inclusive and dynamic forum to foster peer networks, share information, and build skills while facilitating interactive dialogue and discussion.
Topics include: 
Evidence-Based Practices and Innovations 
Youth Leadership and Advocacy 
Family Partners, Family Strengthening 
Wraparound Tools, Techniques, and Advanced Practices 
Systems of Care 
Keynote Presentations: 
John VanDenBerg, Ph.D., Consultant 
Lessons of 25 Years of Wraparound: Why Does Wraparound Work? 
Mary Jo Meyers, Wraparound Milwaukee
Balancing the Need for Child Safety with Trauma Informed Care 
John Franz, Paper Boat Consulting 
Partners on the Journey: What Finding Nemo can Teach Us About Forming Effective Child and Family Teams 
Also, special presentations by: Dr. Andrew Schneider-Munoz, National Center for Innovation and Excellence Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO, Alliance for Children and Families Carol Emig, President, Child Trends.
Conference registration will open Fall of 2013. Discounted room rates are available, starting at $129/night. Be informed of the latest info as it becomes available by liking the National Wraparound Conference on Facebook
For more information, contact: 
Stephanie Strodtman, Conference Manager   321-752-4650 x 3047 
We hope that you have enjoyed this issue of the ACYCP e-newsletter. Again, we welcome any and all feedback from our readers!
The ACYCP Board
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Youth Work Quote
"We hold in our hands the destiny of the next generation and all the ones that come after them.  We are their stewards.  What comes next depends on us and what we do today."

--Frank Eckles--
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