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Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Programs Child and Youth Care

Child and Youth Care

Available as an advanced diploma in five semesters

Child and youth care practitioners offer life-changing support to vulnerable children and youth. Prepare for a rewarding career helping young people by engaging with them in their everyday lives, building on their strengths, and empowering them to make positive changes. As a child and youth care practitioner, you have the opportunity to help youth find their own voice and make a profound difference in their lives.

This program will be delivered in a blended format (remote and in-person) for Winter 2021.


  • Credential
    • Ontario College Advanced Diploma (CYAS)

  • Start Date

    September entry

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.

Experiential learning

  • 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

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