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Transforming Child and Youth Care


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The Academy for Competent Youth Work was established by the Texas Youth and Child Care Worker Association (TYCCWA) in 2001. It began operations in early 2002. When CYC certification was implemented in Texas and nationally, many organizations approached TYCCWA wanting training based on the certification requirements and competencies. The Academy was formed as a 501c3 to develop these courses and to conduct research to describe the impact of high-quality competency-based training and certification on practitioners, organizations, and outcomes with young people.

Since 2001, the Academy has extended its professional development programs across the United States. The Academy currently has over 65 instructors located in 13 states. Over 3000 participants from 700+ programs in 39 states and 2 foreign countries have attended Academy sponsored training events. Academy courses are taught in organizations and communities, high schools, colleges, and universities.

Over the years, the Academy has emerged as a vital partner for many organizations. Through the office services program, the Academy has collaborated to provide communication, book keeping, membership, publications, and training services for many organizations including: the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice, CYC Certification Institute, CYC Certification Board, International CYC-Network, Youth in Focus, and Texas Youth and Child Care Worker Association. Sharing infrastructure costs has made it possible for many of these organizations to thrive while keeping their resources concentrated on the services they deliver to the community.

The Academy’s international offices are located in College Station, Texas.

Board of Directors

The Academy is administered by a board of directors composed of representatives from state and national groups of child care/foster care providers; education, training, and service organizations; consumer groups; public and private agencies, and individuals supportive of the goals and purposes of the Academy.


CYC Source LogoIn 2020, the Academy, working with the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice (ACYCP), Youth in Focus (YiF), National Safe Place Network (NSPN), and the Child and Youth Care Certification Board (CYCCB), implemented CYC SOURCE, a virtual market place for professional development courses and webinars. This shared space allows CYC practitioners ONE PLACE where they can find a wealth of new ideas and current ‘best practices’ emerging in the CYC community. It also provides trainers, educators, and organizations a common market place where the CYC community can find their work.

The Academy works with education and service providers to develop cost-effective on-line training solutions. We can design the programs you need or provide expertise to help your staff create high-quality on-line training tailored to your specific needs. We can provide a cost-effective Learning Management System (LMS) upon which to mount all of your proprietary staff training. Universal content can be mounted so that it can be used by others to generate royalties and income to support your programs. This return on investment can then be used to further grow your organization’s programs.

Many professional associations, educators, and trainers have learning content they are interested in mounting on-line. The Academy can work with you to modify the content from live delivery into virtual courses. The content can then be mounted in CYC SOURCE so it is available to practitioners looking for professional development. Revenue sharing agreements allow you to maintain ownership of your content while using the Academy’s international web presence to get your content in front of an expanded audience.

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Youth in Focus

CYC Source Logo

Youth in Focus is a collaborative of youth development experts who provide powerful, practical, brain-based training to professionals who work with youth and their families. While all young people require nurturing relationships, vulnerable or at-risk young people need them most. That’s why Youth in Focus aims its efforts at the people whose skills are truly make-or-break for young people: teachers, counselors, police officers, court personnel, foster parents, and community-based youth workers of all kinds. Youth in Focus provides customized, evidence-informed training and technical assistance to youth-service providers of all kinds.

Youth in Focus is a partnership of Bolster CollaborativeNational Safe Place NetworkPhillips ProgramsYouth Catalytics and the Academy formed in 2015. Each organization is home to expert trainers and consultants who teach the Youth and Families Thrive protective and promotive factors framework identified by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Each also specializes in particular issues and populations. Youth in Focus collaborative members are located around the country so that experts you’re looking for are always somewhere nearby.

YiF is one of two groups that offers Youth Thrive™ and Families Thrive training for trainers.

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Office Partners

The Academy partners with many organizations to provide critical infrastructural support to the emerging CYC profession.   Academy partners benefit by sharing costs for important marketing, financial, and membership services.  This reduces operating expenses and duplication of efforts so that a larger percentage of funding can be directly beneficial to front-line practitioners and young people.

CYC Certification Board (CYCCB)

The Academy provides accounting, certification testing, application processing, renewal, and on-line training services for CYCCB.

Association for Child and Youth Care Practice (ACYCP)

The Academy provides professional development, marketing, and membership services for ACYCP.

CYC Certification Institute (CYC Institute)

The Academy provides accounting and communication services for the CYC Institute.

Youth in Focus

The Academy provides fiscal management, communication, marketing, and live and virtual training management services for YiF.

Steve Bewsey Fund

The Academy receives donations, disburses funds, and provides fund management services for the Steve Bewsey Fund.

CYCCB Workforce Education Fund

The Academy receives donations, disburses funds, and provides fund management services for the Workforce Education Fund.