Child and Youth Worker Faculty Bios

Deb Matthews-Phinney

Picture of Deb Matthew Phinney faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial CollegeDeb Matthews-Phinney is a professor in the Child and Youth Care Program at Centennial College. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from Central Michigan University and an Undergraduate Degree in Child and Youth Care from Ryerson University. She has over thirty years experience as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner working in addiction services, children ' s mental health, autism services and education. Deb worked for many years with children and their families in both day treatment and residential services and served as program manager for two children's mental health centres. Deb was also part of the team that developed a crisis intervention program for Ontario education aimed at supporting young people to be successful in school. Her professional interests include understanding the factors that contribute to student success and internationalization in education. Deb teaches in the areas of family work, child development, therapy techniques and evidence-based practice.

Colleen Kamps

Picture of Colleen Kamps faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial CollegeColleen Kamps holds a BA in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria and a Diploma in Child and Youth Care from Centennial College. She has worked with children, youth, families, and young adults for over 38 years in children ' s mental health, child welfare, youth outreach, residential services, and private clinical practice. Colleen joined the Child and Youth Care Program at Centennial College part-time in 1989, and became a full-time faculty member in 1997. She teaches in the full-time program and is the Coordinator of the Child and Youth Worker Apprenticeship Program. Her teaching is focused on trauma, abuse, advanced counselling skills, and crisis theory and intervention. Colleen is a long-standing member of the Child and Youth Care Association of Ontario. She is also an active community member of the Child Abuse Review Committee with the Children's Aid Society. Colleen has provided a wide selection of training in her areas of specialization and consultation to many agencies across Ontario. She is trained in Trauma Assessment and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). She is also a trainer in SafeTALK (Suicide Prevention) and a Master Trainer in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). Her training in suicide has primarily been with First Responders (police, fire, paramedics, and corrections) and Aboriginal Communities.

Amy Gaudaur

Picture of Amy Gaudaur faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial CollegeAmy Gaudaur is a professor in the Child and Youth Care (CYC) Program at Centennial College. She is a graduate of the Centennial College CYC program and Ryerson CYC BA program. She is the recipient of the 2015 George Wicken Memorial Teaching Excellence Award and the 2015 Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award. In 2014, she won the Dean's Apple Award for Global Citizenship. In 2012, she won the Dean's Apple Award for Leadership: Community Leadership, Fostering Student Leadership. Amy is a passionate advocate of the field of youth work. She currently teaches courses with a focus on child and youth mental health, advocacy and children's rights. Amy is passionate about the promotion of global citizenship and advocacy for underrepresented or marginalized groups. She has traveled with students to Kenya, Arizona and Mexico as part of the Centennial College Global Citizenship Education Learning Experiences. She continues to look for new and exciting ideas to engage students in learning in and out of the classroom.

Jodie Adams

Picture of Jodie Adams faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial CollegeJodie graduated from Centennial College's Child and Youth Care Program in 1989. She was hired part-time after her second year field placement, then full-time after graduation. Jodie's 25 year career in children's mental health has given her experiences in residential and school environments, working with families and those who are in crisis. She has worked as a manager of a residential and school-based program, and also worked in the field of autism. Her passions and interests have always been about the strengths people have, working to assist individuals and families to recognize those strengths and assisting them to reach their goals. Jodie has been trained as a facilitator in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Restorative Justice, Personality Dimensions, Violence Threat Risk Assessment levels 1 & 2, Autism and Crucial Conversations. She has completed two certificates, Teaching and Training adults,and Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Jodie has presented at an OACYC conference, autism institutes, and at many community events. Jodie's teaching experience began in 2009, and although she looks fondly on her career in children's mental health, she is quite excited to beworking and teaching in a place that started her on her journey.

Mary Jo Bryant

Picture of Mary Jo Bryant faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial CollegeMary Jo Bryant has served as the Child and Youth Care Program Field Placement Coordinator since September 2012. She is also the current Vice-President of the Centennial College Alumni Association and has been an active member of the Executive Board since 2005. Mary Jo ' s previous experiences include working at North York General Hospital in the Paediatric and Adolescent Unit for 13 years, working as an Assistant Coach for Varsity Volleyball at Seneca College and as a Region 4 Volleyball Official. Mary Jo has completed training and certifications in Positive Space, safeTALK, UMAB and Real Justice Conference Facilitation. Mary Jo remains active in volleyball by volunteering for her local Volleyball Club and is a strong supporter of Centennial College Colts teams. Further volunteering with The Children ' s Breakfast Clubs, Random Act of Kindness events at Centennial College and community events in the Durham Region keep Mary Jo busy along with her active family Mary Jo has travelled extensively, and lived in France for two years.

Greg Coombs

Picture of Greg Coombs faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial College Greg has worked in the field of children ' s mental health since graduating from Centennial College ' s Child and Youth Worker Program in 1991. Professionally, Greg worked for the Children ' s Aid Society of Toronto in residential and day treatment settings and as a Foster Care Resource Worker. He has been teaching at Centennial College since 2002 in the Part-Time and Apprenticeship Child and Youth Worker Program and in the Full-Time Child and Youth Care Program since 2015.


Brenda Hann

Picture of Brenda Hann faculty of the Child and Youth Worker program program at Centennial CollegeBrenda is a full-time faculty in the Child and Youth Care Program and a former Centennial College graduate. With more than 30 years of experience working with children, youth and families, Brenda brings a wealth of experience to the classroom. Child and Youth Care is at the core of her being and she is passionate about exploring the minds and experiences of her students. Brenda believes in creating learning opportunities that allow students to critically examine local and global issues from a social justice perspective and uses this as a platform for lifelong learning.


Janice Walker

Janice began her career in child and youth care practices right here at Centennial College, graduating in 1982. Upon graduation, she was hired full-time by her third year placement in a youth psychiatric secure crisis setting. Her career in the field of child and youth care spans three decades and includes front-line work in residential settings as well as in the community, child protection services and school boards. Additionally, she managed and clinically supervised a child and youth care team for ten years, leading the tragic events response team along with other initiatives. Demonstrating a belief in lifelong learning, she furthered her scholarly pursuits with the completion of a Bachelor's degree in Adult Education (Brock University, 2011) and pursued trainer-level certification in both Personality Dimensions and Restorative Justice. She also possesses certifications in trauma and crisis interventions (e.g. from the Trauma and Loss Institute and the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response). She has been teaching at Centennial College since 2002.