Child and Youth Care
Available as a two- or three-year program delivered in six semesters
"You learn so much about yourself through this program. I had a lot of inhibitions coming into this course as I am very introverted, but my professors were very encouraging."
- Child and Youth Worker 2014
"During my final year of university, I decided to apply to the program in order to acquire practical training before going on to grad school for counselling or social work. Loyalist was my first choice – it’s well reputed and provides a strong balance of in-class learning and four different placements."
- Child and Youth Worker 2014
"This program will prepare you for the career ahead of you and will continue to support you along that path as you create lifelong friends and connections at Loyalist."
- Child and Youth Worker 2009
"As a mature student, I was looking for a career that would nurture my inner self. Throughout the program we were asked to reflect on our own personal experiences. This process offered me so much insight and personal growth that it changed my whole outlook. Today, when I see challenging behaviours, I see them with my heart, and approach them with the caring tools I developed in the CYW program."
- Child and Youth Worker 2011
- Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and SAY OutLoud!
"I really can’t say enough great things about this program. It literally changed my life and how I see the world. We had an assignment where we had to go out of our cultural comfort zone and experience something new … I still try to do that whenever I can because I enjoyed it so much."
- Child and Youth Worker 2013
"I have made so many friends in this program with people who I hope to stay in touch with for the rest of my life. This program really focuses on building a community in the college, and also a very supportive and safe community in the classroom."
- Child and Youth Worker 2014
- Student Mental Health Ambassador, Loyalist College
"This is a one-of-a-kind program. Not only do you get a well-balanced education, but hands-on experience to get a real feel for the field. The teachers are as unique and inspiring as the program. They are mentors, role models, life coaches and friends."
- Child and Youth Worker 2012
"The teachers make the program, and it’s so nice actually saying it and meaning it. The CYW program has the best teachers you could ever ask for."
- Child and Youth Worker 2013
Three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma (CYWP)Two-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma (CAAS)
- Start Date
Find your career
Child and youth care practitioners work front-line with children, youth and their families as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Settings include:
- School-based programs
- Child welfare and protection
- Group homes and residential treatment facilities
- Community mental health and children’s mental health programs
- Youth outreach centres
- Community-based child and youth development programs
- Home-based care and treatment
- Parent education and family support
- Hospital-based services
- Youth justice programs
- Private practice
Our grads get great jobs
- Child and Youth Worker, Quinte Children’s Homes
- Child and Youth Worker, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
- Child Care Therapist, Bayfield Treatment Centres
- Classified Youth Services Officer, Brookside Youth Centre
- Case Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Child and Youth Worker, Treatment Foster Care Program
Is it for you?
Child and Youth Care Practitioners support people to live their best lives. To do this, they need:
- Empathy and compassion
- The ability to be open minded and non-judgmental
- A willingness to learn
- A strong desire to help others
What employers say
“Our relationship with the Child and Youth Care program at Loyalist College has become integral to our organization's recruitment strategy. Loyalist graduates are exceptionally well prepared for a career in working with this province’s most challenging and vulnerable children and youth.”
Todd Powell, Director of Residential Services
Bayfield Treatment Centres
"We hire Child and Youth Care Loyalist graduates and value their work ethic, professionalism and knowledge base. We are an organization that supports diversity in many ways, and having a complement of staff with a diverse skill set enhances our mandate to offer people the best quality of services."
Sharon Wright, Manager of Community Development and Volunteer Services
Community Living Belleville and Area
Choose the program delivery option that is the best fit for your schedule. Program requirements are completed in six semesters, either in a three-year traditional (CYWP) or two-year accelerated (CAAS) program structure.
Three-year traditional program (CYWP)
Complete two semesters per year (Fall and Winter) and graduate with an Ontario College Advanced Diploma in three years.
Two-year accelerated program (CAAS) – NEW
Complete three semesters per year (Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer) and graduate with an Ontario College Advanced Diploma in just two years.
- Participate in engaging and relevant learning experiences that prepare you for the child and youth care field. Develop the required knowledge, a rich skill set and a strong sense of self through learning in both classroom and practicum settings.
- Caring faculty guide learners in developing relational skills and a deep understanding of the wide variety of issues that young people face today.
- Explore the impact of mental health issues, trauma and loss, abuse, violence and poverty on children, youth and families and learn how to provide inclusive, non-judgmental support to a diverse group.
- Loyalist graduates are eligible for professional certification with the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care.
- Experts from the field share their expertise about a variety of topics such as restorative practices, youth engagement, lived experience with mental health issues, trauma-informed practice, and supporting children, youth and families in various cultural communities.
- Students have completed placements in elementary and secondary schools, Bayfield Treatment Centres, Quinte Children’s Homes, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Quinte West Youth Centre and Canadian Mental Health Association, among other organizations.
Outstanding faculty make the difference
- Faculty with a depth of knowledge in the field share their insights based on current evidence-based practices
- Professors have worked extensively in individual, family and group counselling; family mediation; crisis intervention; inpatient mental health programs; behaviour therapy for children and youth; custody and access assessment; critical incident impact assessment; evidence-based interventions concerning sexually aggressive behaviour; restorative practices; and alternative education programs
- Learn from teachers’ personal experiences working in mental health and educational settings; correctional and residential treatment facilities; the Children’s Aid Society; Hospital for Sick Children; Canadian Youth Foundation; and ongoing private practice
- Highly qualified faculty have experience providing clinical supervision for front-line Child and Youth Counsellors. They possess industry certifications including Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Instructor; Trauma and Loss School Specialist; Restorative Practices Trainer; True Colours and Personality Dimensions; and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
- First Year - Semester One
- COMM1048 College Writing Skills
- This course focuses on writing and research skills required for successful completion of college-level studies. The course will promote development and improvement of research and writing skills that can be applied to students’ chosen programs of study.
- CYWP1001 Foundations of Child & Youth Care
- This course is an introduction to the field of Child and Youth Care. Students explore the historical roots of the profession, the professional role of the Child and Youth Care practitioner and the scope of practice in the field. An examination of the theoretical approaches in the field will introduce the learner to guiding principles for their practice, including using strength based and ecological approaches to build relationships and enhance supports for children, youth and families.
- CADW1003 Introduction to Child and Adolescent Development
- This course introduces the learner to the foundation information of growth and development patterns, from conception through adolescence. Physical, cognitive, social, emotional and moral developments are examined. Norms and deviances to development will be studied.
- CYWP1010 Self in CYC Practice
- This course explores elements of the self that impact Child and Youth Care practice, including strengths, interests, culture and opportunities for personal growth. The course facilitates the development of skills in reflective practice, utilizing self-care strategies, and exploring the nature of relational CYC practice.
- CYWP1009 Supporting Change
- This course explores principles of learning theory to observe, assess and support changes in behaviour. Principles of change theory are introduced to assess individual readiness and enhance motivation to change. Goal setting is used to create meaningful changes in behaviour.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- First Year - Semester Two
- CYWP1007 Building Resilience
This course explores behaviour from a pain-based framework, utilizing the Circle of Courage model to address risk and resilience. This course facilitates the development of skills in enhancing internal and external supports for children, youth and families as well as responding to, and supporting youth through crises and high risk behaviours.
Prerequisite: CYWP 1001
- CYWP1003 Childhood Mental Health
- This course, building on child development and introduction to psychology, introduces some of the more common problem behavioural disorders and mental health issues of children and youth. Course content also deals with research, observation and assessments, psychological perspectives and impacts on the family.
- WKPL1002 Field Placement 102
This placement introduces the learner to the types of roles, responsibilities, and strategies Child and Youth Workers require when working with children, families, agencies, and interdisciplinary teams.
Co-requisite: PROF 1007
- PROF1007 Field Placement Preparation
This course provides students with an introduction to the role of a Child and Youth Worker in a field placement. Policies, procedures, professional behaviors, and evaluation methods for successful placements will be examined.
Prerequisite: CYWP 1001, CYWP 1009, CYWP 1010
Co-requisite: WKPL 1002
- COUN1022 Therapeutic Engagement 1
- This course addresses the inter-relationship between theory and practice in therapeutic engagement. Through analyzing therapeutic engagement skills, learners will begin the process of clarifying and developing their own style of therapeutic engagement practice. Professional and ethical issues in therapeutic engagement are explored.
- CYWP1011 Therapeutic Recreational Strategies
- This course provides students with basic skills in understanding the relationship of recreational programs to health and wellness and in achieving goals. Students gain skills in planning recreational experiences based on the developmental levels and psychological needs of children and youth.
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Second Year - Semester Three
- CYWP2006 Adolescent Mental Health
This course is designed as a continuation of Childhood Mental Health. The content focuses on mental health of adolescence and young adulthood. Students learn to recognize symptoms and understand treatment approaches for mental health issues, as well as theories related to cause. Areas of focus include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and others. Understanding stigma, the Child and Youth Worker role, community supports and the assessment process will be common threads throughout the course.
Prerequisite: CYWP 1003
- CYWP2008 Engaging Youth
- This course will support learners to engage with youth to identify and address societal issues that impact their lives. Learners will be eligible for certification in The Purposeful Use of Daily Life Events (DLE). DLE training focuses on the use of teachable opportunities in everyday moments with children and youth. Learners will examine their work with youth from a relational CYC approach including being with, doing with and interpreting work with youth.
- WKPL2021 Field Placement 201
This placement provides students with the opportunity, under supervision, to plan and implement counselling and specialized programming conducive to the needs of individual children or youth and the specialized setting.
Prerequisite: WKPL 1002 or PLAC 1016
Co-requisite: PROF 2014
- PROF2014 Field Placement Seminar 201
This course provides discussion, coaching, and opportunities for exploration of issues, counselling strategies, and intervention methodologies conducive to the needs of individual children or youth in specialized settings.
Prerequisite: PROF 1007 or PLAC 1015
Co-requisite: WKPL 2021
- COUN2015 Therapeutic Engagement 2
This course is a continuation of Therapeutic Engagement 1. Fundamental interviewing and therapeutic engagement skills developed in the previous course will be practised and further expanded for use in individual and group interventions with children and adolescents. This course incorporates extensive use of the counselling lab, videotaping, and in-class feedback sessions to develop, practise and improve the use of therapeutic engagement skills.
Prerequisite: COUN 1022
- Second Year - Semester Four
- CYWP2009 CYC Practice with Families
This course guides students to apply a child and youth care approach to work with families. It will introduce learners to current evidence-based practices for assessing, supporting and intervening with families. Case studies provide opportunities to practice assessing family systems for strengths and challenges and to develop a plan for intervention. In addition, students become familiar with community resources they will access while supporting families as a child and youth worker.
Prerequisite: CYWP 1001, COUN 2015
- CYWP2007 Child Abuse Effects and Responses
Students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to deal with issues of violence, abuse, and neglect. The focus of the course will be on identification, prevention, crisis intervention and treatment of violence within the family and in the community.
Prerequisite: COUN 2015, CYWP 1010
- WKPL2022 Field Placement 202
This placement supports students, under supervision, to integrate theory with practice. This course includes an emphasis on working with children, youth and their families in specialized settings.
Prerequisite: WKPL 1002
Co-requisite: PROF 2015
- PROF2015 Field Placement Seminar 202
This seminar provides advanced discussion and leads learners to employ a variety of critical thinking skills necessary to integrate theory with practice. Examination of potential strategies and actual intervention methodologies will be examined.
Prerequisite: PROF 1007
Co-requisite: WKPL 2022
- CYWP2010 Legislation for CYCs
- This course examines the development, purpose and philosophy of legislation that governs the lives of children, youth and their families. Agencies and resources which enact the legislation to protect the rights and responsibilities of children, youth and their families will be introduced. The Child & Youth Care practitioner role as advocates for children's rights will be introduced.
- PHAR2003 Pharmacology for CYC
Students gain knowledge of basic medication preparation and administration. An overview of the classification of drugs will be provided, with an emphasis on medications commonly encountered by the Child and Youth Care practitioner.
Prerequisite: CYWP 2006
- CYWP2002 Service Delivery Process
This course will examine the Child and Youth Care service delivery process, and the skills required for effective documentation. This includes the written and verbal communication skills specific to each phase of the treatment plan: intake; plan of care; progress reports; note taking and discharge plans. An overview of the service delivery and documentation process in residential, school-based and mental health settings will be included.
Prerequisite: CYWP 1009
- GNED General Education Elective
- General Education Courses
- Third Year - Semester Five
- CYWP3000 Advocacy
The role of Child and Youth Care practitioners in using their special knowledge of children/youth’s needs to protect the rights of children and youth is increasing. This project-based course facilitates students to build skills and knowledge in serving children youth and families from an anti-oppressive, rights and strengths based approach. Various levels of advocacy will be explored including client and systemic advocacy, self-advocacy, community education, and improving access to resources. The course guides students to prepare and deliver an advocacy project which makes best use of their self as a CYC. The course uses relevant legislation and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) as the basis for advocacy.
Prerequisite: CYWP 2010
- SOCI3002 Building Cultural Competence
This course is designed to expand the learner's understanding of cultural issues and diversity in Canadian society. Focus will be put on increasing understanding of one's own and other cultural backgrounds and in developing cultural competency in child and youth work.
Prerequisite: CYWP 1010
- CYWP3002 Ethical CYC Practice
- This course guides the learner in building skill and knowledge in ethical practice in Child & Youth Care (CYC). Students will have the opportunity to apply the professional Code of Ethics and to develop a model for resolving complex ethical dilemmas. Current competencies of CYC practice will be examined and applied to build self-awareness and skills of self-evaluation and professional development. Students will have the opportunity to synthesize learning from previous CYC courses and placements to demonstrate their readiness for the field and practise professional development planning.
- COUN3001 Facilitating Groups
This course builds on fundamental counselling skills developed in Introduction to Counselling Skills and Advanced Counselling Skills courses to support students to develop and facilitate group program sessions for children and youth. Group facilitation skills will be developed through theoretical discussions, video demonstrations and practical lab applications in role play scenarios. Students will have the opportunity to facilitate a group session with first year Child & Youth Care students.
Prerequisite: COUN 2015
- PSYC3001 Trauma Informed Care
The course examines the specialized skills required for crisis intervention with children, adolescents and their families. Learners will examine a myriad of issues relating to trauma and loss including suicide prevention and intervention; responding to tragic events in schools and agencies; and supporting children and teens through their grief experiences.
Prerequisite: CYWP 2007
- Third Year - Semester Six
- WKPL3004 Field Placement 301
This placement focuses on students conducting assessments, creating a case plan, providing supportive counselling, designing programs reflective of a case plan, monitoring the client's progress, and participating in casework conferences.
Prerequisite: COUN 3001, PSYC 3001, SOCI 3002, CYWP 3000, CYWP 3002
Co-requisite: PROF 3001
- PROF3001 Field Placement Seminar 301
The final field placement seminar course is offered by distance. Students utilize Blackboard and Second Life to communicate with each other and their professor. Course content will focus on an individual culminating project for each student.
Prerequisite: PROF 2015, PROF 2014
Co-requisite: WKPL 3004
*Courses subject to change.
Expand your qualifications at Loyalist
- CYC graduates may be eligible for advanced standing in the Early Childhood Education program
- Accelerated studies may also be available in the Developmental Services Worker (DSWA) and Social Service Worker (SSWA) programs; please contact the coordinator to discuss
- Earn a double diploma in another College program, in as little as two semesters
- Continue into a university pathway, completing an Ontario College Advanced Diploma and a university degree in as little as four years with the two-year continuous program (CAAS)
Turn your diploma into a degree
Many universities across Canada and abroad will provide credit recognition for your diploma studies at Loyalist. The following is a list of agreements that are currently in place. There are many more options, and new agreements are added annually. Contact your university of choice to make individual arrangements.
- Algoma University – B.A.; B.B.A.; B.Sc.; Bach. Computer Science
- Brock University – various*
- Carleton University – B.A. (Honours)
- Davenport University – B.A. General Business
- Griffith University – Bachelor of Social Work
- Humber College – Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
- Lakehead University – Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
- Laurentian University – various*
- Laurier Brantford – any honours program
- Nipissing University – various*
- Queen's University – various*
- Royal Roads University – B.A. Justice Studies
- Ryerson University – B.A. Child and Youth Care
- Seneca College – Bach. Interdisciplinary Studies
- University of Guelph – B.A.Sc. (Honours) Family and Community Social Services
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology – B.A. (Honours) Criminology and Justice or Forensic Psychology or Legal Studies; B.A. Adult Education and Digital Technology; Commerce Bridge
- University of Waterloo – various*
- University of Windsor – B.A. (General or Honours); B.A. (Honours) Developmental Psychology or Disability Studies or Psychology; Bachelor of Social Work
- Wilfrid Laurier University – various*
- York University – various*
*Various potential degree pathways. Please confirm details with the receiving institution.
How much will it cost?
Approximate costs (2019 – 20)
- Domestic Tuition: $2,722.08
- Full-Time Ancillary Fees:* $1,301
- Total: $4,023.08
- Additional Program Costs: $316 (year one) $355 (year two) and $55 (year three)
Additional costs, such as supplies, travel and parking, may be incurred during workplace visits, etc.
*Please visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a list of the many services, activities and items included within the ancillary fees, and the related policies.
Bursaries and financial assistance
Loyalist has a number of scholarships, bursaries and academic awards available to students. Our Financial Services Office can help you explore your options, or assist you with a student loan.
Required academic preparation
- OSSD/OSSGD or equivalent with courses at the general, advanced, (C), (U) or (M) level, and
- Grade 12 English (C) level or equivalent
- Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check
- Some placements require Standard First Aid and Level “C” CPR certification. It is recommended that all students complete this certification; information about specific placement requirements may be obtained through the field placement coordinator
- Prospective students with special needs or limitations that may affect their placement or potential employment opportunities are encouraged to discuss their career goals with faculty prior to admission
- Direct entry into year two is available to applicants with a diploma in Social Service Worker, Developmental Services Worker, Early Childhood Education, General Arts and Science with a social studies focus, or Justice Studies, or a relevant university degree
- A minimum 60% overall average is required
- Applicants with other post-secondary credentials will be assessed on an individual basis
- Please book some time to meet with the program coordinator for more details or to determine the length of your customized learning experience
Prior learning assessment and recognition
Applicants with work experiences or other types of non-credentialed learning may be eligible for credits at Loyalist. Graded credits (as opposed to exemptions) are granted. Click here for more information about our assessment and credit challenge process.
Click here for information about how to apply, international student fees and more.
RETHINK THE DRINK TALKBACK TOUR VISITS LOYALIST COLLEGE
Belleville, Ontario, November 3, 2016 - One hundred and twenty-seven students representing 25 programs at Loyalist College attended the Rethink the Drink Talkback Tour in the Shark Tank on Wednesday,... Read More
Poverty Challenge a “Life-Changing Experience”
by Felicity Allcorn, first-year Child and Youth Worker student
On Tuesday, November 4, Loyalist faculty and members of the community gave students in the Child and Youth Worker program an opportunit... Read More
All Hands on Deck to Show Support for Child Abuse Prevention Month
By: Brittany Beckett, third-year Loyalist College Child and Youth Worker student
Throughout the month of October, Loyalist College Child and Youth Worker (CYW) students had the opportunity to run... Read More
Loyalist College Child and Youth Worker Students Participate In Povert...
Belleville, Ontario, November 18, 2013 – On Wednesday, November 20, students from the Child and Youth Worker program at Loyalist College will participate in a Poverty Challenge on campus. This... Read More
Loyalist Child and Youth Worker Students Meet The World
By Zac Shunock, second-year Loyalist College Photojournalism student
Loyalist College Child and Youth Workers were represented by three deserving students at the first-ever Child & Youth Care W... Read More
In the News
Students from the Child and Youth Care program participated in a Poverty Challenge on campus. This real-world simulation activity provided students with insight into social issues that are experienced every day in our community, and helped them become agents of social change.
CYC students organized a month-long College-wide initiative to increase awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Participants were invited to leave a handprint on the wall as a pledge that they will not raise their hand in violence against a child. Read more.
Brookside Youth Centre
CYC Co-ordinator Lisa Shunock and a group of students in the program attended Brookside Youth Centre in Cobourg for young offenders and spent a day participating in rope courses and team building challenges with several of the youth in custody.
Students Jessica Reaman, Stephanie Benard and Kayla Phillip created this website as a resource to help defeat discrimination against mental illness.