Personal Stories - Gord Boyd
Name: Gord Boyd
Title: Co-Chair, Champlain Regional HSJCC
Organization: Champlain Regional HSJCC Provincial HSJCC
I began my career as a child and youth worker in residential treatment homes for the Ottawa- Carleton Children’s Aid Society. In the early 80’s I had the opportunity to change positions and work for the Ministry MCSS, in the direct service area working with youth offenders at the Bronson Detention Facility. I presently work in the same program area as the Director of Youth Justice Services for the Youth Service Bureau. The Youth Services Bureau is a transfer payment agency which has a long history of working with at risk youth in the Ottawa community. Over my career I have worked under three very distinct pieces of Youth legislation: The Juvenile delinquency Act, Youth Offenders Act and presently The Youth Criminal Justice Act. It was during the early years of the YCJA that I came across the HSJCC (Human Services Justice Coordination Committee) here in Ottawa.
We had just become involved in the pilot project with the Youth Mental Health Court and were on a learning curve, which brought me to several Local and Regional HSJCC committee meetings. My focus has always been working with youth. The expansion that came with the YCJA, brought with it a mandate to include older youth. Our challenge as an youth justice organization was to connect our clients with the appropriate services to meet their needs. In order to do that we first had to learn for ourselves what services where available in our community, and how to access them.
The HSJCC, offered us an opportunity at the local, regional, and provincial level to learn more about what services are available to youth and young adults and to be part of discussions that are client centred, and provide the opportunity for collaborating services available within our community. It is fascinating to be meeting with professionals at all ends of the spectrum, i.e. police officers, health care workers, probation offices, addictions counsellors, mental health professionals, housing supports workers, and many others.
It didn’t take long before I wanted to become more involved in the HSJCC, and the valuable work they do. I found myself taking on a co-chairs role at our regional HSJCC within the first year. I am very impressed with the calibre of professionals who sit at this table from a local level. As a regional representative I have had the opportunity to sit at the provincial table as well. This has given me a greater understanding of the history of the HSJCC and how it has evolved over the years. We just finished reviewing this year draft work plan and all I can say is WOW! It is very detailed and certainly takes into account the input from across the local and regional committees.
I have always enjoyed being involved with conference planning. Last year’s Provincial HSJCC conference was no exception; I had the opportunity to assist, and I was honoured to be asked to help MC the program. It had 420 attendees, and our members saw it as being a large success. This year I am sitting on the 2017 planning committee, my goal will be to meet the same high standards set by last year’s committee. Although these conferences are a lot of work, the opportunities they provide for networking, learning, and sharing are second to none.
The HSJCC, is a networking committee whose discussions and varied topic areas reach many of the clients we work with each and everyday, from youth to more senior members of our community. This group certainly has broadened my thinking and my awareness of some of the challenges our clients face and some of the resources available to them. I am proud to be part of the Champlain HSJCC and would encourage others to get involved. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts.