An Ethos for the Times: Difference, imagination and the unknown future in Child and Youth Care

What does it mean to develop an ‘ethos for the times’ when the times we are living in are marked by diversity, instability, and uncertainty? How do we make sense of, and actively engage with, the complexity that surrounds us? What ideas, values and frameworks can help us, and those we work with, to feel most alive to our mutual potentials and collective possibilities?  These questions provide a point of departure for thinking about Child and Youth Care (CYC) in the 21st century. Recognizing that the field of CYC is itself a site of contested meanings, where ongoing debates about identities, roles, boundaries of practice, and professional status continue to animate the field, the aim of this presentation is not to argue for more certainty, specificity or role clarity.  On the contrary, it is a call for increased plurality, greater imagination, and an ongoing openness to the unknown future.