Workforce Crisis and Opportunity

The Evolving Field and Emerging Profession


  • Frank Eckles CYC Certification Institute
  • Cindy Carraway-Wilson New England Network for Child, Youth and Family Services
  • Debbie Zwicky St. Rose Youth & Family Center
  • Sr. Madeleine Rybicki Academy of CYC Professionals
  • Carol Stuart Health and Human Services, Vancouver Island University
  • Dale Curry Human Development and Family Studies, Kent State University
  • Andy Schneider-Muñoz Psychology in Education, University of Pittsburgh
  • Tony Rodgers Ohio Association of Child and Youth Care Professionals Inc., Certification Committee
  • Jean Carpenter-Williams The University of Oklahoma OUTREACH National Resource Center for Youth Services
  • Pamela Clark Social Work and Criminal Justice, Indiana University and Purdue University
  • Michael Gaffley Fischler School of Education and Human Services, NOVA Southeastern University



Certification, credentialing, child and youth care (CYC), standards, child and youth work (CYW), competency assessment, workforce development, competencies, certification programs, education programs, advocacy, professionalism, childcare, professional development, professionalization, field building


Child and youth care (CYC) practice significantly contributes to the well-being of children, youth, families, communities, and businesses in the United States. Research conducted over the past 15 years has documented systemic problems that limit the availability of a well-prepared, competent workforce to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding field of CYC. Recent practitioner-led efforts have focused on field building by defining the field of practice, describing the body of knowledge and skills, establishing professionally sanctioned ethics and practice standards, and implementing a national professional credentialing system. This article describes the current state of the field and proposes a vision of a national effort to unify professional development across the field, highlighting current trends, milestones, challenges, and priorities. The current evolution of the CYC profession holds great promise in creating a unified approach to workforce development that can significantly impact the emergence of a competent workforce.




How to Cite

Eckles, F., Carraway-Wilson, C., Zwicky, D., Rybicki, M., Stuart, C., Curry, D., Schneider-Muñoz, A., Rodgers, T., Carpenter-Williams, J., Clark, P., & Gaffley, M. (2020). Workforce Crisis and Opportunity: The Evolving Field and Emerging Profession. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 24, 54–76.



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