Child and Youth Care

Program: CYCA
Credential: Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Delivery: Full-time (CYCA) + Accelerated (CYAC)
Work Integrated Learning: 4 Field Placements
Length: 6 Semesters
Duration: 3 Years (CYCA), 2 Years (CYAC)
Effective: Fall 2017 (CYCA, CYAC), Winter 2017(CYCA)
Location: Orillia


Learn to work with children and youth who exhibit social, emotional and behavioral problems that may be associated with mental health and cognitive issues, socioeconomic factors, trauma and abuse, and involvement with the justice system. Child and Youth Care practitioners engage with at-risk children, youth and their families as they navigate these challenges and build on strengths and capacities to facilitate positive changes. Students explore, practice, and implement a variety of evidence informed therapeutic prevention and intervention strategies that are based on a foundational understanding of risk and resiliency, the ecological perspective, relational practice, human development, family systems, cultural diversity and exceptionalities. To enhance learner experience, we emphasize experiential interactive learning, community service and social entrepreneurship.

Career Opportunities

Child and Youth Care practitioners engage and work with children, youth and their families across a wide variety of settings including:

  • public and private schools
  • group homes
  • residential centres
  • foster care agencies
  • day and residential treatment programs
  • youth detention centres
  • community-based child and youth development programs
  • early intervention programs
  • recreational programs
  • psychiatric centres
  • rehabilitation programs
  • pediatric health care centres within hospitals
  • home-based care, respite and treatment
  • private practice

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • develop and maintain relationships with children, youth and their families by 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 inter-relationship among children, youth and their families, social services, justice, and community systems and use this information to plan holistic care and to reduce 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;
  • employ environmental sustainable practices within the profession;
  • develop social entrepreneur skills to foster positive social change in the community.

External Recognition

Graduates may apply to become members of the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care (OACYC) – visit, and the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP) – visit

The Program Progression

Fall Intake - CYCA

  • Sem 1: Fall 2017
  • Sem 2: Winter 2018
  • Sem 3: Fall 2018
  • Sem 4: Winter 2019
  • Sem 5: Fall 2019
  • Sem 6: Winter 2020

Fall Intake - CYAC Accelerated Stream

  • Sem 3: Fall 2017
  • Sem 4: Winter 2018
  • Sem 5: Summer 2018
  • Sem 6: Fall 2018

Winter Intake - CYCA

  • Sem 1: Winter 2018
  • Sem 2: Summer 2018
  • Sem 3: Fall 2018
  • Sem 4: Winter 2019
  • Sem 5: Fall 2019
  • Sem 6: Winter 2020


A number of articulation agreements have been negotiated with universities and other institutions across Canada, North America and internationally. These agreements are assessed, revised and updated on a regular basis. Please contact the program co-ordinator for specific details if you are interested in pursuing such an option. Additional information can be found on our website at

Admission Requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Applicants with previous postsecondary education such as a degree or diploma from an accredited university or college in the area of Human Services, Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Sciences, Psychology or Sociology can apply to our accelerated delivery which can be completed in 16 consecutive months - studies begin in September, with graduation projected for December of the following academic year. 

NOTE: Applicants applying to the accelerated program through use the major CYAC.

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.

Additional Information

Applicants must have an up-to-date immunization record with a two-step TB test, Standard First Aid, CPR level C or HCP certification, and proof of completion of the Ontario Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Awareness training before proceeding on field placement. It is recommended that First Aid training is completed prior to program entry. Health & Safety Awareness training can be completed online at

Graduation Requirements

27 Mandatory Courses
2 Communications Courses

4 Field Placements
5 General Education Courses

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, from year to year, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.


Mandatory Courses
CYWK 1001Child Development
CYWK 1005Adolescent Development
CYWK 1007Introduction to Child and Youth Care
CYWK 1009Therapeutic Programming and Activities
CYWK 1014Interactive Lab 1 – Relational Practice
CYWK 2001Ethics and Professionalism in CYC
CYWK 2002Social Welfare, Community and Social Services
CYWK 2003Case Management
CYWK 2004Diversity and Multiculturalism
CYWK 2006Family Systems and Interventions
CYWK 2009Sex, Drugs, and Youth Culture
CYWK 2010Mental Health Issues and Interventions
CYWK 2020Field Placement Seminar 1
CYWK 2021Group Facilitation Theory and Techniques
CYWK 2022Crisis Intervention in CYC
CYWK 2023Field Placement Seminar 2
CYWK 3011Mental Health and Medications in CYC
CYWK 3017Field Placement Seminar 3
CYWK 3018Preparing for Your Career
CYWK 3023Advocacy in CYC
CYWK 3024Trauma and Abuse
CYWK 3025Holistic Health and Wellness
CYWK 3027Behaviour Interventions
ENTR 1004Social Entrepreneurship
HUMN 1007Information Ecosystems for Human Services
HUMN 1008Success in Human Services and Beyond
HUMN 2004Interpersonal Skills
Communications Courses
Select 2 courses from the communications list during registration.
General Education Courses
Select 5 courses from the general education list during registration.
Field Placements
CYWK 2012Field Placement 1 - Education/Community
CYWK 2015Field Placement 2 - Education/Community
CYWK 3012Field Placement 3 - Agency/Community
CYWK 3026Field Placement 4 – Agency/Community

Information contained in College documents respecting programs is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. The college reserves the right to add or delete programs, options, courses, timetables or campus locations subject to sufficient enrolment, and the availability of courses.