At the core of child and youth care (CYC) practice is the ability to cultivate meaningful and positive relationships with children and youth. As CYC students we are taught from day one that knowing one’s self is a pre-condition to building positive and meaningful relationship with others. As a result, we are educated to become more self-aware, a process that involves building our capacity to honestly recognize our beliefs, emotions, personality traits, values, biases, and motivations. Most importantly, we are taught to be forgiving because as human beings we are adept at hiding awkward or painful truths from ourselves. The aim of this course-based study is to contribute to the body of relational CYC knowledge by investigating the perceptions of CYC students’ understanding and practice of the concept of forgiveness. The data were analyzed using a six-phased process of thematic analysis based on the work of Braun and Clark (2006). Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis: (a) freedom, (b) learning how, (c) forgiveness is a process, and (d) your road to forgiveness is your own.
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