The International Child and Youth Care Network (CYC-Net) is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation running in terms of its own Constitution. It's main objectives are to promote and facilitate reading, learning, information sharing, discussion, networking, support and accountable practice amongst all who work with children, youth and families in difficulty.
CYC-NET started in the mid-1990s as an email listserv group of 8 initial members. These child and youth care practitioners, teachers and writers were located in South Africa, North America, Europe, the Middle-East and Australasia. By 1998 this group had grown to around 200 and today this number stands at many thousands of members.
Following the simple email discussion group came a fully-fledged CYC web site. The simple web site with which we started in the late 1990s has grown today into a vast repository of many thousands of text files, receiving thousands of unique daily visotors. CYC-NET has often been described as the most valuable CYC resource in the world.
The field of child and youth care work, almost universally, is an under-funded and precarious enterprise often characterised by its “charity” status and its dependence, where available, on state grants. In very few countries is it regarded as an independent profession with dedicated training institutions and professional regulation. Canada, the UK, USA and South Africa have been notable exceptions in terms of their experience, academic status and state regulation, with the added support of professional associations.
However, even in these countries, at the practice level, resources and delivery are varied. CYC-Net was developed with the intention of supporting child and youth care workers, who often are isolated and unsupported in geographically underserved and dispersed parts of the world, where limited access to libraries and low salary levels frequently prevents them from accessing any training whatsoever.
CYC-NET operates in terms of its Constitution which was approved by the Board of Governors in December 2000.
CYC-Net is provided open access to all its users. However, it is only through subscriptions received by universities, colleges, training facilities, service organisations and agencies, associations and individuals that CYC-Net is able to provide a valuable resource serving the learning needs of the wider Child and Youth Care community. Those who provide a voluntary contribution/subscription are able to participate more fully in CYC-Net's affairs (e.g. nominate Board members, vote at meetings, receive reports, etc.)