Child and Youth Care

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Program Code: 1205

School: School of Community and Health Studies

Credential: Advanced Diploma

Program Type: Post-secondary program

Program Length: 3 years/ 6 semesters

Start Date: Fall

Location: Progress Campus


Telephone: 416-289-5303

In the Child and Youth Care program, you develop the knowledge and skills needed to advocate for children, youth and their families. You learn how to encourage children, youth and their families to be more resourceful and to be able to confidently use their voice.

This three-year Child and Youth Care program examines the principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth care practice from a child and youth-centred, developmental and ecological perspective (1). It also covers themes related to professional boundaries, child and adolescent mental health, psychology, counselling theories, crisis theory, intervention and counselling (group, individual, family), abuse, advocacy, and anti-oppression.

As a graduate of the Child and Youth Care program, you will be ready to provide prevention and early intervention strategies, assessment and treatment, and counselling to children and adolescents who may be in crisis, struggling with psychological challenges or who are dealing with other stressful situations. As such, you will become a valuable member of the mental health profession and use your knowledge and skills to provide life-changing support from a strength-based paradigm.

Child and Youth Care practitioners engage and work with children, youth and their families across a wide variety of settings including community-based child and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school-based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centres, day and residential treatment programs, early intervention, home-based care and treatment, private practice, psychiatric centres, rehabilitation programs, pediatric health care, child protection and youth justice programs (2).

(1) Adapted from Child & Youth Care Program Standards (2014), Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

(2) Settings adapted from the Association for Child and Youth Care Practice and Child and Youth Care Certification Board (2010), "Competencies for Professional Child and Youth Work Practitioner."

Semester 1
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-160/COMM-161 College Communications 1 Progress Campus
CYCP-102 Counselling & Communication Skills Progress Campus
CYCP-104 Psychology and Child Development Progress Campus
CYCP-112 Foundations in Child and Youth Care Progress Campus
CYCP-113 Child & Adolescent Mental Health 1 Progress Campus
CYCP-114 Preparation for Professional Practice Progress Campus
GNED General Education Elective Progress Campus
Semester 2
Course Code Course Title Location
COMM-170/COMM-171 College Communications 2 Progress Campus
CYCP-105 Field Practicum 1 Progress Campus
CYCP-106 Reflective Practice 1 Progress Campus
CYCP-115 Strength-Based Practices Progress Campus
CYCP-116 Child & Adolescent Mental Health 2 Progress Campus
CYCP-117 Group Dynamics: Processes & Development Progress Campus
CYCP-118 Psychology and Adolescent Development Progress Campus
Semester 3
Course Code Course Title Location
CYCP-201 Counselling Theories and Practice Progress Campus
CYCP-210 Child & Adolescent Mental Health 3 Progress Campus
CYCP-211 Introduction to the Family Progress Campus
CYCP-212 Advocacy and Children's Rights Progress Campus
CYCP-213 Group Dynamics: Theory & Practice Progress Campus
GNED-500 Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action Progress Campus
Semester 4
Course Code Course Title Location
CYCP-206 Field Practicum 2 Progress Campus
CYCP-207 Reflective Practice 2 Progress Campus
CYCP-214 Working with Traumatized Children and Youth Morningside Campus
CYCP-215 Professional Recording Progress Campus
Semester 5
Course Code Course Title Location
CYCP-301 Field Practicum 3 Specialized - Part 1 Progress Campus
CYCP-302 Reflective Practice 3 - Part 1 Progress Campus
CYCP-303 Child Abuse Progress Campus
CYCP-304 Advanced Counselling Skills Progress Campus
CYCP-311 Evidence-Based Practices 1 Progress Campus
GNED General Education Elective Progress Campus
Semester 6
Course Code Course Title Location
CYCP-306 Field Practicum 3 Specialized - Part 2 Progress Campus
CYCP-307 Reflective Practice 3 - Part 2 Progress Campus
CYCP-312 Crisis Theory & Interventions Progress Campus
CYCP-313 Working with Families Progress Campus
CYCP-314 Evidence-Based Practices 2 Progress Campus

Semester Note

- Minimum C grade required for all courses (excluding GNED)

Companies Offering Jobs

Some Toronto and Greater Toronto Area agencies that have hired Child and Youth Care program graduates include: Aisling Discoveries Child & Family Services, Children's Aid Societies, East Metro Youth Services, Frontenac Youth Services, Kennedy House Youth Services, Ontario Shores Mental Health Sciences, Turning Point Youth Services, Toronto, York Region and Durham School Boards; Youthdale Treatment Centre, Hincks-Dellcrest Treatment Centre, and Kinark Child & Family Services.

Program Highlights

  • The Child and Youth Care program may be taken full or part time and, if you are currently working in the field, through a government-funded apprenticeship program.
  • The program curriculum is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure courses are up-to-date and based on current research and best practices.
  • Program faculty are all trained in child and youth care and have extensive knowledge, expertise and field experience.
  • Three specialized field practicums are provided and include a variety of settings (school, residential, community, etc.). First year field practicum is in a school board setting and occurs two days per week in second semester. Second year field practicum is in a residential setting in either third or fourth semester and occurs four days per week (shift work could include day and/or evening hours). The final practicum is in a specialized setting three days per week, during the fifth and sixth semester. All three field practicums provide a valuable opportunity for integrating classroom learning and hand-on practice.
  • All graduates receive certification in SafeTALK (Suicide Prevention), ASIST (Suicide Intervention), and Positive Space training.
  • The Child and Youth Care program has a specially designed communications lab that is used extensively for interactive learning activities, counselling simulations, and small group observation and feedback.
  • You have the opportunity to engage in intra-professional collaboration with other programs within the college community (e.g. Police Foundations).
  • Global Citizenship and Equity Portfolio: Students in this Program will develop a portfolio documenting their engagement with the College's signature Global Citizenship and Equity competencies. For more information on Global Citizenship and Equity, the GC&E Portfolio and the supports available to you, please visit

Once you complete the Child and Youth Care Program, you will be able to:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with children, youth and their families applying principles of relational practice and respecting their unique life space, cultural and human diversity.
  • Assess and respond to the strengths and needs of children and youth, including complex responses impacted by developmental, environmental, physical, emotional, social and mental health challenges in order to promote positive change.
  • Analyze and evaluate the impact of the interrelationship among family, social service, and justice and community systems on children, youth and their families, and use this information in the planning of holistic care and in the reduction of systemic barriers.
  • Plan, implement and evaluate interventions using evidence-informed practices in the areas of therapeutic milieu and programming and group work to promote resiliency and to enhance development in children, youth and their families.
  • Advocate for the rights of children, youth and their families, and maintain an anti-oppression perspective and cultural competence in diverse cultural contexts.
  • Apply communication, teamwork and organizational skills within the interprofessional team and with community partners to enhance the quality of service in child and youth care practice.
  • Develop and implement self-care strategies using self-inquiry and reflection processes to promote self-awareness and to enhance practice as a child and youth care practitioner.
  • Use evidence-based research, professional development resources and supervision models to support professional growth and lifelong learning.

Synopsis of the Vocational Learning Outcomes: (MTCU, September 2014)

Educational Partners

  • Qualified graduates of this program may apply to continue their education with Ryerson University's Child and Youth Care direct-entry degree program or receive credit towards their university degree in related disciplines.
  • Graduates with a C+ average may apply to Vancouver Island University for direct entry into the third year of the Child and Youth Work degree program. A child protection specialization is also available for a limited number of students.
  • Students are encouraged to apply for membership in the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors (OACYC).

Career Outlook

  • Child and youth care practitioner
  • Youth outreach
  • Child life specialist
  • Youth advocate
  • Community justice
  • Family support
  • Youth employment
  • Educator
  • Counsellor
  • Specialized community support

Academic Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older)
  • English Grade 12 C or U, or equivalent (minimum grade required) or take the Centennial College English Skills Assessment for Admission


  • Admission to this program is highly competitive and the program fills quickly. We recommend that you apply prior to the Ontario Colleges equal consideration date of February 1 and submit transcripts or take your skills assessment as soon as possible.
  • You will receive an invitation to attend an Child and Youth Care Admission session shortly after you apply to the program. It is important that you attend the session to make sure that this program is the right fit for you.

1. Apply Online

Are you an International Student? Apply directly to Centennial College here.

If you are applying through the Second Career Strategy, please apply at the Employment Training Centre for Second Career (Progress Campus). Second Career Strategy is a funding initiative for those who have been laid-off and are in need of training. For more information go to Second Career Strategy.

If you have previously attended a full time program at Centennial College, you may be eligible for a Program Transfer. Visit Enrolment Services at any Campus for information.

All other applicants must apply online at A non-refundable application fee of $95 must accompany applications. The fee is payable online, by telephone, online banking, by mail, or in person to For more information go to Application Fees.

2. Submit Documents

Current Ontario high school students and graduates from Ontario high schools: Notify your guidance counsellor that you have applied to college and your school will forward transcripts to Centennial College via

Graduates of college/university, or high school outside Ontario but within Canada: You are responsible for requesting that your educational institute sends any required documents and transcripts to

Applicants who attended school outside of Canada: If you are submitting transcripts to meet admission requirements, you must have the transcripts assessed by an independent credential assessment agency such as World Education Services (WES) or International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS).

For more information go to Submitting your Transcripts.

3. Confirm Your Offer of Admission

Offers of Admission are sent by mail to eligible applicants. When you receive your offer, you must login to your account at and confirm before the Deadline to Confirm noted in your offer letter.

You may confirm only one college and one program offer at a time.

You must confirm your offer by the Deadline to Confirm noted in your Offer of Admission letter or your seat may be given to another applicant.

When you confirm your Offer of Admission at Centennial College you are given access to your personal myCentennial account where you can check your email, grades, register for courses, pay tuition fees, and see your class timetable.

4. Pay Fees

Centennial fees statements are sent by email to your personal email account and to your myCentennial email account. Fees statements are not mailed.

You must make a minimum payment by the Fees Deadline noted in your Fees Statement or your seat may be given to another applicant.

5. Build Your Timetable (Register for Courses)

Build your timetable (web-register for courses) at

Fall registration begins mid-July
January registration begins mid-December
May registration begins mid-April

Your web-registration will not open if:

You have not submitted your minimum fee payment by the deadline
You received a Conditional Offer of Admission and you have not met the conditions of your offer.

Once you have paid your fees or have made appropriate arrangements, register for your courses online through myCentennial.

Fees noted below are estimates only. Tuition is based on two semesters, beginning Fall 2015.

Student Tuition (2 Semesters) Incidental Fees Total
Canadian $2,767.00 $922.00 $3,689.00
International $12,400.00 $2,117.00 $14,517.00