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Diversity Issues for Children and Youth

CYC 900 (Sec 001) – Diversity Issues for Children and Youth

*It is preferred that you make an appointment ahead of time*
Toronto Metropolitan University Land Acknowledgement
“Toronto is in the ‘Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty
between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the
territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all
newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.”
Diversity, Equity, Anti-racism, and Inclusion
It is important to recognize that each of us enters the classroom (virtual or physical) with different
histories, cultural, racial, gender, and sexual orientations, which are also layered on by class,
ability/disability, religion, etc., which results in unique experiences and perspectives. These
differences can provide opportunities to explore and engage with multiple perspectives that can
lead to much more informed and critical course interchanges. However, these perspectives and
experiences are also impacted by larger social relations of power and oppression, which results in
some groups experiencing racism, discrimination, and marginalization that can be expressed
through verbal behaviour (e.g., direct or indirect comments, insults) and non-verbal behaviour
(e.g., body language, avoidant behaviour, glances, rolling of eyes, who speaks, who does not
speak). These behaviours, whether in the form of direct acts of exclusion or microaggressions,
including comments in on-line discussion forums, will not be tolerated and will be challenged
when they occur. It is the responsibility of all members of the course to address these practices and
behaviours and to identify how we might be implicated, and assume responsibility for interrupting,
resisting and preventing them.
Course Description
This course develops knowledgeable, responsive child and youth care professionals who are
committed to working with culturally and socially diverse communities, families, youth and
children in a changing globalized world. The course provides opportunities to examine how some
bodies and communities have been colonized, oppressed, marginalized, and silenced on the basis
of a single trait or through the interlocking nature of diversity.
Course Focus and Scope
This course engages the complexity of diversity within the professional context of Child and Youth
Care practice which may encompass race, gender, disability, socio-economic status, cultural
difference, sexual orientation, and the different values of religions, the imposition of foreign
governance and the experience of functioning as an immigrant in Canada. The initial assumption
of this course stems from the notion, that Child and Youth Care (CYC) practitioners encounter in
their everyday practice, multiple forms of culturally interpreted and situated forms of diversity.
Therefore, it is imperative for CYC students to understand the ways in which they can respectfully
engage the multiple forms of diversities among children, youth and their families from a social
justice and equity framework. The aim of this course is to challenge the CYC students to reflect
and critically examine their thoughts, feelings and attitudes regarding diversity.
This course will achieve its goals by integrating theories, research, and practice from child and
youth care, the humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies. This integration of disciplines will
support CYC students in learning how to effectively practice from both a local and global position
that engages diversity as fundamental to best practice. CYC students will also review institutional
and government policies to understand diversity issues that have been engaged marginally and
have given rise to inequity. In this course, CYC students will be required to scrutinize academic
scholarship, personal and communal, stories from multiple (discursive) theoretical lens which
analyzes: how power is used, how voice is recognized or ignored and how knowledge production
and interpretation are contextualized in social and political ways. The course grounds CYC
students in practice allowing them to be active proponents of diversity and social justice work.
Email Policy
Email is the preferred means of contact unless an appointment is preferred to discuss any matters
of concern.
Note: In accordance with the Policy on Ryerson Student E-mail Accounts (Policy 157), Ryerson
requires that any electronic communication by students to Ryerson faculty or staff be sent from
their official Ryerson email account.
Email Etiquette
Ryerson University and the School of Child and Youth Care have identified specific expectations
regarding student conduct and behavior (Please refer to the Policy 61, Student Code of NonAcademic Conduct: As an aspect of those
expectations, we would like to reinforce the importance of ensuring that all communication with
your instructors adheres to these protocols. It is therefore the responsibility of the student to
maintain professionalism in terms of how they address their instructors, the language that is
included in the communication, and the specific issue being addressed.
In the event that a student has a concern related to a specific class (e.g., grades, instructor
conduct, etc.), it is the responsibility of the student to approach the instructor to address the issue.
Students must be able to provide documentation showing that they have attempted to address the
issue with the instructor on at least two occasions, before escalating the issue to the Program
Director. For example, the student can have a record of their attempts to meet with the instructor
or emails sent to the instructor. Students must ensure that their communication with their
instructor meets professional communication guidelines and that it clearly identifies the issue(s)
of concern and requests a solution to address the specified issue(s).
Course Objectives
• To help students understand that diversity and equity are central to meeting the core
principles of Child and Youth Care practice (care, engagement, relational practice and life
space context practice).
• To engage students with issues of diversity in relation to practice and scholarship using
theories of social justice and equity.
• To provide students with strategies that will allow them to be critical of their own thoughts
and action as CYC professionals.
• To assist students in developing strong leadership in their engagement with issues of
• To teach students effective skills to continually engage in the process of inquiry and selfreflective practice in reference to diversity in the context of CYC practice.
Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate the skills and attitudes necessary to work with diversity issues across diverse
groups within the context of child and youth care practice.
2. Demonstrate a high level of self-awareness about their own cultural and racial identities
while also inquiring about how these are shaped and how they may influence their attitudes,
values, and biases about diversity within their CYC practice.
3. Relate the knowledge and learning to CYC policies, ethics and legal considerations.
4. Demonstrate their understanding about how oppression, discrimination, and stereotyping
affect children, youth, families, communities and nations.
5. Articulate how best practices should be applied and implemented to ensure equitable
treatment of children, youth and their families.
Readings / Text
Readings will be loaded in D2L and direct links to sources will be included in the course outline.
Teaching Methods
The teaching methods of this course will include lectures, discussions, various reflective/
experiential learning activities, small group work, and independent study. Students will be
encouraged to contribute findings and analysis from their own work and experience. Particular
emphasis will be placed on how they engage issues of diversity within the CYC context. The
course is supported by Blackboard and students are expected to make use of the Blackboard site
for reserve readings and on-line discussions.
The instructor will make every effort to render the learning environment meaningful and accessible
for everyone. Students are therefore encouraged to speak to the instructor if any aspects of the
learning environment, including teaching methods, reading materials, physical space, etc. are not
meeting the student’s needs.
General Guidelines on Assignments
1. There will be a late penalty of 5% per day for 5 days and thereafter no paper will be accepted.
Students are encouraged to consult the Ryerson University Student Handbook for information on
academic policies regarding extensions and late assignments.
2. All papers must have a cover page with your details, be typed in size 12 font, using “Times
New Roman” face font, have one-inch margins, be double spaced with numbered pages.
3. Reference to course material is expected and formal APA citation used.
The Writing Centre is a good resource for instructions on academic and professional
Internet or AI Plagiarism
Please do not cut and paste from the Internet to complete your assignments: this is a form of
plagiarism and is a serious academic offense. Many students do not know that this is a form
of plagiarism, but online sources must be cited and referenced just as paper sources are. To learn
how to do this correctly, please visit Ryerson’s Library. Of course, material from your text needs
to be carefully referenced as well. Remember that the point of learning is to read and then
synthesize the concepts to present them in your own words, with your own perspective. Academic
Integrity: It is your responsibility to be familiar with the student code of conduct.
Criteria Value Due Date
1 Test # 1 30% Week 6- October 17th
2 Test # 2 30% Week 12 – November 28th
3 Critical Analysis Paper 40% Ongoing
1. The 2 tests will be worth 30% each and will include 40 multiple choice questions. All
information from the relevant weeks will be included which includes on-line lectures, readings,
PowerPoint information and relevant videos.
3. Critical Analysis Paper 40%
Based on the reading/s from weeks 3-9 each student will be expected to choose one of those
weeks and will write a 5-page (double spaced; 12-point font) analysis of one of the assigned
readings. This analysis will include:
• An identification of the main themes highlighted in the reading.
• A discussion of the author/s main position on the subject.
• Discuss whether the author has supported their position/main argument and provide
• Does the author provide a balanced approach to the discussion? In other words, do they
provide information on both sides of the argument?
• What is the relevance of the ideas in the reading to the field of Child and Youth Care?
• Discuss the ways in which issues of diversity are addressed in the reading. For example,
does the reading address issues of gender, sexual orientation, race, social class etc., and if
so, how is it addressed?
• Analyze the way in which the information impacts your understanding of your role as a
CYC practitioner or a practitioner in your particular field of study and the way in which
it can positively or negatively affect your skill development for the field.
• Please ensure that you provide examples to support your argument.
• Please ensure that you appropriately reference the reading/s using APA 7th edition.
• You MUST use a MINIMUM of 6 additional readings to support your
arguments/position. The submission is due 1 week after the reading is assigned.
If you submit an assignment that is longer than 5-pages, the assignment will not be marked,
and you will be expected to resubmit a new assignment.
Course Readings and Schedule
Week #
& Date
Topic Assigned Readings Activities
Week 1 –
Sept 5
Introduction Introduction to course, discussion of terms &
Week 2
Sept 12
Definition of
term and
Daniel, B.M. (2016), Critical discussion of terms.
In, Diversity, Justice and Community: The
Canadian Context. Beverly-Jean Daniel (Ed),
Toronto, Canadian Scholars Press.
Week 3
Sept 19
Constructions of
the family and
children – good
parent v/s bad
parent history of
child welfare &
social welfare
for whom
Barnet, A., Hodgetts, D., Nikora, L., Chamberlain,
K. & Karapu, R. (2007). Child poverty and
government policy: the contesting of symbolic
power in newspaper constructions of families in
need. Journal of Community and Applied Social
Psychology, 17, 296-312.
Film: No Place Called Home:
Week 4
Sept 26
Children in Care Interrupted childhoods: Over-representation of
Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child
welfare (Please read pages 6-10 & 16-29)
Children’s rights –
Week 5
Oct 3
Power, race,
violence &
Spears, S. (2011). Strong spirit, fractured identity:
an Ojibway adoptee’s journey to wholeness. In, M.
J. Cannon& L. Sunseri (Eds), Racism, colonialism,
and indigeneity in Canada: a reader. Ontario,
Oxford University Press p. 105-110 Chapter 11.
Benson, K.L. (2022). A critical lens on US “State
care”: foster care, racism and colonization. P. 96-
Oct 9 Reading Week
Week 6
Oct 17
Weeks 1-5 Test # 1 – Online – 30% Test # 1
Week 7
Oct 24
School to prison
pipeline for
Daniel, B.M. (2016), Troubling and disrupting the
school to prison pipeline. In, Diversity, Justice
and Community: The Canadian Context. BeverlyJean Daniel (Ed), Toronto, Canadian Scholars
Press. pg 99-121.
Week 8
Oct 31
Disability Marshall, N. (2017). Child and Youth Care and
Disability Rights: Listening to Young People,
Challenging our Practice. Relational Child and
Youth Care Practice, 30(2).
Week 9
Nov 7
2LGBTQIIA Bochenek, M. (2006). School practitioners
supporting LGBTQ.
Week 10
Nov 14
children youth
and families
Davy, Magalhães et al (2014). Aspects of the
resilience and settlement of refugee youth: a
narrative study using body maps.
Kidd, S., & Shakar, G. (2008). Resilience in
Homeless Youth: The Key Role of Self-Esteem
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 78, No.
2, 163–172.
Week 11
Nov 21
Theories &
Moore, Paul (2003) Critical components of an antioppressive framework. The
International Child and Youth Care Network,
Issue 5:
Child Welfare Anti-Oppression Roundtable, 2009.
Anti-Oppression and Child Welfare: Laying the
Foundations for Change:
Week 12
Nov 28
Test # 2 –
Weeks 7-11
Final test – 30% Weeks 7-11
Missed Term Work or Examinations
Students are expected to complete all assignments, tests, and exams within the time frames and by
the dates indicated in the course outline. However, Ryerson University policies allow a student
who misses a mid-term test or final exam for one of the following reasons only – religious
observance, medical illness, or compassionate grounds – to request an alternate arrangement to
write a makeup exam. The student’s request must be in writing and must be accompanied by the
appropriate documentation (i.e. for medical reasons, complete the Student Medical Certificate
form available at; for Student Declaration of Religious Observance
Accommodation, refer to; for compassionate grounds, the
instructor will use discretion to request reasonable and appropriate documentation.)
Academic Integrity
CYCP participates in Ryerson’s Academic Integrity Project. Students should be aware that all
papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to for the detection
of plagiarism. All papers submitted to will be included as source documents in the reference data base solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such
papers. Use of is subject to the terms of use agreement posted on the
site. Students who do not want their work submitted to this plagiarism detection service must, by
the end of the second week of class, consult with the instructor to make alternate
arrangements. When an instructor has reason to suspect that an individual piece of work has been
plagiarized, the instructor shall be permitted to submit that work to any plagiarism detection

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