S4C: Photovoice

Youth in Care are NOT OK!

Photo Voice: A collection of images symbolic of challenges faced by racialized youth in care


The pictures I have chosen are my own and symbolize/represent many of the truths that I have come to understand during my practicum at The Children's Aid Society. I have had the privilege of being supported and mentored by a group of educators and child and youth workers who are passionate and committed to supporting youth in care through educational support and advocacy that fosters educational success. However, the challenges that racialized youth in care face are numerous and magnified by the pivot to virtual learning caused by the pandemic.


Having had the opportunity to work with youth in care during the pandemic, I have learned about and witnessed many of the challenges that face racialized youth in care. Not only do these youth face many challenges daily, but during the pandemic, many of these challenges have been magnified and have highlighted many of the gaps in the system that I may never have noticed had I been in a regular classroom. Moving forward as an educator my theory of change revolves around my practice and using my experience to informs the practice of other educators. As an educator l am more committed to building strong and meaningful relationships with my students because that connection is what drives their ability to engage a be present and hopefully learn. I am also focused on being a bridge and advocating for my students depending on what they need to be successful in the classroom and outside of it. I may not have all the answers, but I am firmly committed to thinking outside the box and working to make sure each student sees themselves as part of a community. On a systemic level, I believe that building relationships and collaborating with colleagues means we are all learning to problem solve and more minds working to solve problems results in more options for youth in care who struggle to attend, engage, or even graduate from high school. I also believe that building relationships with caregivers, foster parents’ child and youth workers and accessing community supports as well as understanding policy and protocols surrounding youth in care is incredibly important and beneficial for educators to be able to broaden our understanding of what youth in care experiences within the various social systems as they work toward their ultimate goal of finishing school. As educators working with a diverse population of youth, we should all be well versed in trauma-informed, inclusive and Anti-racist practice. This could mean a world of difference for racialized and marginalized youth in care and could mean that they feel included in their community, have access to multiple means of support and are able to navigate multiple barriers that could impede their success as learners.