TRCT offers onsite and virtual training, in a variety of formats, to meet your requirements.

Contact us at to discuss the possibilities.

Upcoming Training – DLE

Date: March 27 – May 15, 2024
Time: 1-3pm for 8 weeks (virtual)
Cost: $350 + tax
Registration: Contact TRCT at or 289-252-9021
Facilitators: Thom Garfat, Andy Leggett & Christine Gaitens.

Limited spaces available

Participants will:

  • appreciate the importance of everyday moments in helping young people reach their goals.
  • develop skills in using everyday life events to facilitate change.
  • identify how they might incorporate this approach into their current practice.

Download Training information sheet (PDF)

The essence of effective child and youth care practice lies in the worker’s ability to recognise the value of, and use, everyday life events as they are occurring, to help facilitate change for children, youth, and families (Garfat, Fulcher & Digney, 2013). It is this focus which distinguishes relational Child & Youth Care practice from other forms of helping. This is especially true in situations where the worker participates actively in multiple aspects of a person’s daily living in the community, the family home, the school, the group care setting, or any other area of engagement with young people and families.

The Purposeful Use of Daily Life Events (DLE) is designed to help those who engage directly with young people and their families become more effective in their daily interactions. Through a focus on everyday events and how these events connect to the overall goals established with young people and/or families, the direct care practitioner adopts a more holistic approach in her/his interventions. DLE offers the potential to make every moment with young people and families more meaningful in reaching these established goals. The DLE training is about how we think about what we do. When we think clearly, we do better work.

The knowledge in this course is based on helping people to live their lives differently, as they are living it. It promotes being in-the-moment with individuals and experiencing their lives with them as it unfolds. The course provides knowledge and skills for a strengths-based, trauma informed youth-centred approach.

The DLE training is appropriate for child and youth care practitioners, foster parents, educators, youth workers, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and professionals in prevention, treatment, juvenile justice, and community settings.  Whether one is involved with youth and families in a group care programmes, schools, community settings, family homes or any other program in which the helper is involved in the daily life of others, DLE offers both skills in making interventions and a framework for ‘thinking about what we are doing’. Too often, training for helpers offer techniques, but not a framework for thinking systematically about one’s actions and interactions.

The Purposeful Use of Daily Life Events is based on Dr. Garfat’s award winning research into developing effective interventions with young people and their families. As a values-based training, DLE is founded on the characteristics, principles and beliefs which underlay a contemporary Relational Child & Youth Care approach. Completing this training will, therefore, enhance your skills in all areas of your work.

Following this training participants will be able to:

  • demonstrate an appreciation for the importance of noticing and using common daily events.
  • explain the concept and process of using everyday events for helping.
  • demonstrate skills using every day like events to facilitate positive change.
  • identify how their practice might change to incorporate this approach.

DLE has been approved by the California Department of Social Services as a course for continuing education for licensed Group Home Administrators.

DLE has been approved by Social Care Ireland as a relevant training for Social Care Workers

DLE is recognised as providing 14 hours of CEUs for certification as a registered CYC according to the CYC Certification Board.

The Purposeful Use of Daily Life Events (DLE) represents a breakthrough in how we optimise our interactions with others to provide them with opportunities to meet their needs in healthy ways. DLE provides very practical ways of taking everyday moments and turning them into significant and meaningful experiences that can change a life forever. When we are able to look beyond the surface and see the whole person, children and young people can have a totally different experience of themselves when they are recognised not just for their behaviour, but for their entire being.

DLE is not just a training, but a whole philosophy of how to be in relation to others and as we grow in our ability to reflect not only on what we do, but also who we are, it continues to reveal our spectacular capacity for growth and healing. DLE has forever changed the way I think about the nature of people and what it takes for us to change, to heal and to grow.  Every person can benefit from a deeper awareness of how even the smallest moments can make the biggest difference in people’s lives.
Werner van der Westhuizen, MA(Psych), MA(ClinSW), CHt
Gqeberha, South Africa

Working with families, from a CYC perspective, involves engaging with them as they live their lives, wherever that ‘living’ may occur – in their home, the community, the school, the group care centre. A CYC approach to working with families does not involve the traditional 50-minute office-based approach where people reflect on the past week and plan for the next.  Rather it involves helping people (families) to live their life differently, as they are living it.

This training explores how we might use everyday life events while working in the world of the family. Based on the Characteristics of a Child and Youth Care approach, this training is appropriate for all who work with families either in a program or in the family home and community.

At the completion of this training, participants will:

  • Be able to articulate a framework for thinking about how to engage with families, in their world.
  • Demonstrate an understanding about how to use Daily Life Events purposefully with families.
  • Understand, and know how to practice, a CYC Approach to working with families.
  • Demonstrate enhanced skills in engaging with families.

The content of the training includes:

  1. An overview of a DLE Approach to working with families
  2. An overview of a CYC Approach
  3. An exploration of the skills involved in engaging families, and family members
  4. Practice in ‘family engagement’.

Read this article.

Using a framework of Safety and Connection, the individualized Healing Plan (sometimes called an intervention or development plan) provides all staff with the framework their daily interactions with youth and their families as well as an overall direction for our work with them. The Healing Plan not only identifies goals but also forms a therapeutic contract between care givers, young people, family, and other professionals which includes the responsibilities of each in the process of healing and / or change. The Healing Plan connects the youth and family’s past experiences to the present and sets the stage for their future.

The purposeful use of everyday life events (DLE) creates the opportunity for the direct care practitioner to make moments meaningful and to connect those meaningful moments to the overall goals established with young people and families. When these moments are directly linked to the Healing Plan, direct care practitioners have the opportunity to think, in advance, about what types of moments may be useful in helping young people and families reach their goals.  With a reflection on the ‘themes’ by which people live their lives, care givers become more focused in their daily interventions and interactions and, thus, more effective in their work.

This training will identify the elements of both content and process associated with developing an individualized Healing Plan and focus on how we can integrate our knowledge about how to use daily life events to facilitate positive change, into our Healing Plan development process.

Historically, within Child & Youth Care practice we have used approaches to supervision adopted from other professions such as Social Work or psychology.  While such approaches may be applicable within their own fields, they are incongruent with a Child & Youth Care approach.  For more information about the importance of congruence between supervision and practice, see this article on Congruence in Supervision.  

This training provides a model for supervision which is consistent with the values, beliefs and practice of Relational Child & Youth Care. Using a Supervision Cycle framework, an Individual Development Plan and a Daily Life Events approach, participants will:

  • Understand how everyday momentary actions with staff might connect to the goals of their Developmental Plan
  • Develop a framework for the supervision of direct care staff.
  • Feel more confident in their ability to supervise direct care staff.
  • Have a direct impact on the care and treatment young people receive.

Child and Youth Care Practitioners have been working in schools in some areas of Canada for over 70 years.  The expectations of the practitioners are often dependant on the location, the community and the school. Duties usually include behaviour management and addressing social-emotional needs.  School days are very structured with lessons and Ministry required schedules that can make relational practice challenging.

School is an important life space for child and youth care practice.  This training will focus on Relational Practice in schools using the foundational cornerstones and building blocks of Child and Youth Care practice.  With a focus on relationship and the characteristics of a Child and Youth Care Approach, we will explore our role and how we can best support young people at school through relational CYCP.

It is our belief that the school boards goals around safety, and behaviour management can be best met through relational practice.

“For the potential of relationship-based practice to be fully realised practitioners must develop their reflective capabilities” – (Ruch 2004)

“Effective Practice is Reflective Practice – (Garfat, 2011)

Over thirty years ago, the term ‘reflective practice’ was coined and one of the defining characteristics was seen by Schon as the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. Reflective Practice has also been referred to as:

(i) a process of drawing on knowledge, awareness, observations, and past experience, considering it in the present, & using it to inform current and future actions, and

(ii) a means of self-examination that involves looking back over what has happened in practice in an effort to improve or encourage professional growth.

This TRCT training explores this most necessary process and skill, as it relates to our ability to remain fully informed, focused and intentional in our daily life and interventive moments with youth and families. The training will focus on the various stages that require reflection (as identified by Donald Schön).

  • Reflection-for-action – planning and pro-activity for future action. (e.g., planning an intervention)
  • Reflection-in-action – thinking on your feet in the present. It should be conscious, critical and give rise to experimentation. (e.g., during intervention)
  • Reflection-on-action – thinking about events after they have occurred (e.g., post-intervention)

The training focuses us on ‘what is occurring’, inside (self issues) and outside (non-self issues), who is being affected while considering all the options available in any situation.

This training programme builds on the ‘creativity’ theme which runs through all TRCT trainings and encourages participants to draw from their ‘personal wells’ of knowledge, expertise and values.

All behaviour serves a purpose, and that purpose is to meet a need. When we understand what need a young person is trying to meet with their actions, we understand the young person and how to respond to them in a meaningful manner. At the same time, we must understand our own needs and what needs are being met by our actions.  Only then can we ensure that we are responding to the young person’s need and not our own.  A needs-based approach is a foundation of relational practice.

This training will help participants to:

  • Identify what needs are being met by individual’s actions.
  • Develop a needs-based response to those actions.
  • Create a program context which focuses on meeting the young person’s needs, rather than consequencing their actions.
  • Develop an alternative to authoritarian practices.
  • Help the young person find new ways to meet their needs which are less painful and more satisfying, rendering the old behaviour unnecessary.

While the Circle of Courage is familiar to many, this implementation experience focuses on how we might help young people meet their needs for Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity while engaged in our programs. This implementation experience may be held in-person or virtually and is intended for those with a limited knowledge of how the Circle of Courage applies in programs on a day-to-day basis.

More and more, we are hearing “Relational Practice” being woven into training, language, practice and culture in our field.

Inherent in Relational Practice being understood and effectively used is an understanding of some of the foundational cornerstones and building blocks of Child and Youth Care practice.

In certain circumstances, many of the “new hires” in our field do not have Child and Youth care training and/or experience. Some have no training/experience while others may have related education and practice.

This training fills that gap and provides some of the fundamental beliefs, principles, and concepts of good Child and Youth Care practice as well as some practical ways to apply this learning in interactions with young people.

The training serves as an excellent bridge between good child and youth care and relational practice. It has also been used by agencies and teams as both orientation for new workers and review for established teams looking to enhance their work with young people and their families.

The essence of effective child and youth care practice lies in the worker’s ability to recognise the value of, and use, everyday life events as they are occurring, to help facilitate change for children, youth, and families (Garfat, Fulcher & Digney, 2013). It is this focus which distinguishes relational Child & Youth Care practice from other forms of helping. This is especially true in situations where the worker participates actively in multiple aspects of a person’s daily living in the community, the family home, the school, the group care setting, or any other area of engagement with young people and families.

Schools are a significant life space for young people and their families. School Based Relational CYC Practice involves working with young people and their families during the hours of the day they spend at school.  This involves supporting and helping young people and their families to live their lives differently as they are living them.

This training provides the full DLE with applications to school-based practice while adapting the presentation method to better suite the needs of the school community. This training is appropriate for all who work with young people in the school environment including Child and Youth Workers, Educational Assistants and Teachers.

At the completion of this training, participants will:

  • Engage with young people and their families by being in relationship and using skills for a strength-based, trauma informed youth-centred approach.
  • Recognize and incorporate the characteristics of a relational child and youth care approach in their daily work with students and families in the school setting.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation for the important of noticing and using common daily events.
  • Explain concepts and process of using everyday events for helping
  • Demonstrate skills using everyday life events to facilitate change in a school setting.
  • Identify how their practice might change to incorporate this approach.

As the Manager for over 500 Child & Youth Care Practitioners (CYCPs), I was looking for a tool to support the continued growth and reflection of the staff members I support, in addition to finding ways to connect us all to each other and the work we engage in. I had only been in the managerial role for a short time, and I was searching for ways to build connections with staff given the vast physical distance between us (we are a part of one of the largest school boards in Canada) and the challenge of working within a sector that does not fully comprehend the services CYCPs provide. Then, I was provided the opportunity to get involved in DLE. Very soon afterwards I began to see the value of training all the department staff in DLE.

I have experienced firsthand the renewed sense of confidence in the staff who feel they are better equipped to communicate with colleagues and other professionals with a shared language. The understanding of why CYCPs do what they do and the power in being able to verbalize it to self and others has had a profound effect on those who have engaged in the DLE training! The videos, tutorials, and workbooks are instrumental to making sure folks can stay on course with the facilitators and as a tool to review as you move forward with day-to-day practice. Providing the DLE training to the staff is what we needed. It has reenergized Child and Youth Care in the school board, and I look forward to seeing the impact on the entire department as we continue the DLE training.

At the completion of this training, participants will:

Koryn Marshall
Manager, Child and Youth Services, Toronto District School Board.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Spirituality is part of identity formation and is also a human need. We often reference the importance of meeting young people where they are at on their journey. From a therapeutic standpoint, strong spiritual belief systems can provide additional resiliency factors in traumatized youth. In managed care conversations around spirituality with youth are usually referred to resources outside the programs and there is little conversation involving practitioner self-disclosure especially outside of the Judaeo-Christian context. This is a concern as young people age out of our system with no real grounding in any form of spirituality or the resilience it may offer. This dichotomy of policy versus practice is something that challenges our holistic practice and we need to learn how to navigate the waters of this last domain.

Currently in the field of child and youth care, there is an increasing focus on relational practice.

Training, practice philosophies, and organizational policies are changing to reflect this shift. In Canada, child and youth serving agencies are struggling with this change at the leadership level.

Organizations continue to engage in management practices and process that are not relational and ignore the implications of parallel processes within their organizations. Dominant discourse around relational leadership practices are also Eurocentric and patriarchal and not necessarily reflective of those providing or receiving direct care. This training will explore the implications of this disconnect for child and youth care practitioners and the youth they walk with and learn from the wisdom of geese.

We work in a demanding and challenging field that often exposes workers to high stress and traumatic situations. It also exposes us to minor daily stressors that like a small drip can erode our confidence and our love of this field. This training looks at how all levels of supervisors, and direct care workers themselves, can support each other through both the crisis moments and the daily stressors that impact, not only our ability to do the work, but our decision to stay in the field.

Together we will look at the pressures that we put on ourselves to be the “perfect” Child and Youth Care Practitioner, how we can develop supportive work environments, and how language can be used to create a learning environment.