Child and Youth Care
Available as an advanced diploma in five 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
"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
"My favourite learning opportunity was when we helped organize and run the poverty challenge. It was a great learning experience to get involved, and also to listen to the guest speakers – the poverty experts."
- Child and Youth Worker student
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
Ontario College Advanced Diploma (CYAS)
- 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
- During their final block placement, learners have the ability to apply to "job out." For the past several years, approximately 60 percent of our third-year students have jobbed out to full-time work in the child and youth care field prior to graduation!
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.
- During their time in the program, students can earn industry-valued certifications to add to their professional portfolios, including Triple P Parenting, Safe Talk and DLE (Daily Life Events).
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
Expand your qualifications at Loyalist
- Accelerated studies may be available in the Social Service Worker (SSWA) program; 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
- Ontario Tech University – 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 (2020 – 21)
- Domestic Tuition: $2,722.08
- Full-Time Ancillary Fees:* $1,462.43
- Total: $4,184.43
- 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 Aid 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.