Youth Work Champion

13 December 2017

The Annual Yogie Awards (the YOGIES) recognise, celebrate, promote and reward outstanding practice in working with young people in the ACT and surrounding area. The YOGIES highlight the exceptional commitment, talent and innovation that exist in the youth sector.  The 2017 Yogie awards took place on December 11.

We at BCS were delighted that our Youth Engagement Coordinator, Dan Gaffney was recognised with the Youth Work Champion Award. Here’s what the panel said about Dan:

As the Leader of Youth Engagement Team at Belconnen Community Service, Daniel has showed a relentless dedication to the young people that engage in the program. In addition to his 18 months with BCS, Daniel has a long history in the youth sector having previously worked at PCYC, Narrabundah College and in church youth programs. He cites these past positions as providing him with valuable insights from which he continues to draw on in his current role. Within the BCS, Daniel is part of, and manages a team of 4 youth workers, leading with a gentle and encouraging manner. He is described as being fastidious in safeguarding his team, ensure best practice and professionalism area the forefront of their work, while always being hospitable and engaging with the young people who come through the program.

Daniel exemplifies excellence in his work by genuinely listening to the feedback of both staff and young people, and regularly engaging in practice reflection which strengthens his engagement style and improves his practice. He leads by example, reinforcing the principles of the CYFSP Practice Framework. He also uses a personalised, strength based approach to gain confidence, seek clarity and support the positive choices young people make. Daniel is continually upskilling his practice by regularly undertaking professional development in his own time. It is evident that he sees Youth Work as a profession, and puts effort into maintaining and promoting professional standards. He is always happy to share his insights with staff, and hear feedback on the conclusions he has come to. 

Daniel has a unique ability to form relationships through his friendly and encouraging demeanour, allowing for immediate engagement and problem solving. With a therapeutic approach to assisting young people, he is able to replace barriers with resilience, and help set realistic goals for their personal success. Daniel has made an amazing impact to the overall cohesion of the youth sector in Belconnen.

Photo of Dan Gaffney with Rachel Stephen Smith, Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, courtesy of the Youth Coalition of the ACT

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