Child and Youth Care

Kingston Campus | Program Code: 0301 | Open for International Students
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(Formerly Child and Youth Worker program)

Child and Youth Care practitioners are specialists in facilitating change in children, youth and young adults who are experiencing a range of social, emotional and/or behavioural challenges. Children and youth respond to the impact of change, stress, loss, poverty, violence, abuse and neglect with a range of emotions and behaviours including confusion, anger, withdrawal, aggression, hopelessness, violence, and suicide. Many of the children or youth experience numerous challenges and may have a variety of diagnoses.

Additionally, increasing numbers of these youth are in conflict with the law and/or are receiving therapeutic intervention. Understanding the individual and the unique nature of his/her response is therefore an important first task. Child and Youth Care practitioners are a valuable resource to children, youth and their families in this process. They commit themselves to understanding and interacting in therapeutic relationships with these children, youth, and their families to promote and facilitate positive change.

Frequently Asked Questions about the program can be found here 

Program Details

Code 0301
Start Date September
Credential Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Campus Kingston
Program Length 3 Years
Delivery Full-Time
Open for international students

Program Outline


This course is designed to equip students with the professional mindset, conceptual framework, and technical skills necessary to select, program, facilitate, and evaluate activity-based interventions for children and youth. Students are introduced to the value of using play-based interventions to meet a variety of client needs and programming outcomes. Students explore the role that leadership, setting, relationship, and group dynamics play in effective programming. This course includes an applied learning component in which students facilitate planned interventions in a variety of settings, to match the needs of prospective clients.
This course introduces students to the phases of child development from early childhood through to middle childhood and examines various theories, heredities, environmental and cultural factors that affect development. Through lectures, class discussions and case study analysis, students learn to recognize typical and atypical development in the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains. Focus is on the Child and Youth Care Practitioner’s role in assessing and intervening to support optimal development.

This course provides students with the foundational skills and knowledge needed for developing and maintaining professional relationships with children, youth and families. Students explore the use of communication skills and engagement strategies to build positive interactions, understanding and trust within client-centered approaches, including topics such as strength-based focus, safety, confidentiality, empathy, empowerment, presence, and privilege. Students examine the ethics and legislation relevant to the Child and Youth Care profession, while participating in active learning models to integrate skill development with their own relational practice.

This course provides students with an introduction to the topic of self-awareness, self-care and well-being with an emphasis on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of well-being. Students develop the ability to reflect on the impact of self in relation to others in the context of the Child and Youth Care profession. Topics of discussion may include: defining the self, vicarious trauma, distorted thinking, emotional regulation, recognizing personal strengths, reflections on power and privilege, and cultivating wellness.

In this course, students are introduced to the professional practice of Child and Youth Care. Students examine the core principles, characteristics, and connections between the key domains of the field. Students explore career opportunities with children, youth and families; the history and context of the profession; self-awareness; and intervention strategies needed for success in the program and field. Course content is delivered through a variety of interactive and collaborative learning methods.

This course is designed to help students develop and practice the communication skills needed to succeed in college and workforce environments. Emphasis is placed on improving foundational communication strategies-reading, writing, listening, and speaking—and on developing research and critical thinking skills. 

This course introduces students to various forms of trauma and abuse of children and youth, both within and outside of the familial environment. Students gain an understanding of how children, youth, and their families are affected. Types and indicators of trauma and abuse, system responses, interventions, and prevention are explored in the context of Child and Youth Care. Special emphasis is placed on client disclosure and duty to report.

In this course, students apply relational practice techniques in counselling situations from a culturally sensitive perspective with children, youth, and families. Students use counselling skills, such as empathetic response, clarifying questions, reflection, focusing, summarizing, and crisis techniques, in role-playing activities to support clients’ needs. This active learning course is provided through individual and group learning.

This course familiarizes students with the developmental phases of adolescence through to young adulthood. Physical, cognitive and social factors that affect development are explored from a Child and Youth Care practice perspective. This course emphasizes assessments and interventions that support healthy development in teens and young adults using a variety of methods including in-class discussions and case study analysis.
This course focuses on relationship levels within the field of Child and Youth Care and corresponding behaviour intervention techniques for managing and redirecting the challenging behaviours of individuals and small groups. Students examine a number of behaviour management techniques for use with children, youth, and families. Students apply techniques to evaluate the level of relationship between them and the client(s), to intervene in ways that enhance this relationship towards positive change.

This course prepares students for fieldwork practicum by exploring the roles and responsibilities of the Child and Youth Care Practitioner and developing career-readiness and professionalism skills. Emphasis is placed on performance standards, code of ethics, and professional development. Students learn to set goals that align with their areas of interest in the Child and Youth Care field.

Prerequisite(s): CAYW110 + CAYW111 + CAYW113 + CAYW114 + CAYW1015

This course examines mental health issues faced by children, youth and families. Mental health diagnoses and treatments are reviewed. Students learn to recognize indicators, potential causes, and impacts of mental health challenges. The course also focuses on the role of the Child and Youth Care professional in mental health services as well as intervention strategies from a client-centered and strength-based approach.
Non Violent Crisis Intervention teaches safe, non-harmful behavioural techniques designed to prevent and deescalate crisis situations. Human service workers learn the framework required to promote the best care, welfare, safety, and security for clients, themselves, and colleagues. The main focus is on the verbal de-escalation process. This course is experiential and practical in approach and offers the opportunity to use behavioural rehearsal.

This course explores a variety of counselling theories used when working with children, youth, and families. Students examine theories from a variety of perspectives, such as humanistic, cognitive, and sociological. Students apply counselling theories to case studies or scenarios and choose appropriate intervention techniques. Students integrate and synthesize this knowledge into their Child and Youth Care counselling practice.

In this course, students examine the importance of documentation in the Child and Youth Care field. The procedures and techniques relating to effective clinical recording are demonstrated through various case examples, templates and forms. Through in-class demonstrations and labs, students practice and develop specific documentation skills in various record keeping and report writing formats that follow service delivery progression from intakes through to discharge planning. 

In this course, students enhance group counselling and facilitation skills. Students adapt counselling theories to the needs of diverse groups. Further, students incorporate knowledge of leadership styles, group dynamics, and conflict resolution to refine group facilitation strategies as they apply to the field of Child and Youth Care. Students guide groups through the various stages of group development and engage them in theory-driven interventions designed to promote healthy group interaction and growth.

Introduces health and safety regulations, emergency procedures, storage and administration of medications, infectious disease, current health, hygiene, and nutrition practices, to prevent harm and promote safe and healing environments. Students communicate methods and intervention approaches specific to practice settings in the field of Child and Youth Care in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Provides students with their first field placement experience within the scope of practice for Child and Youth Care. Students engage in clinical supervision with a faculty and field placement supervisor to debrief and analyze placement experiences. Students take responsibility for their learning through self-assessments, discussing observations, and seeking support with demonstration of competencies. Students demonstrate the elements of performance for the domains of Child and Youth Care practice at a foundational level. Guided seminars and clinical supervision with faculty and peers to assist the students in processing field related experiences and identifying how to relate theory to practice.

This course builds on the introductory practicum by providing students with experiential learning in a field-related setting that permits the student to continue to engage in the principles of Child and Youth Care practice. The focus of the course is on developing self-reflective practice with an emphasis on communication, professionalism, and clinical skills. Evaluations reflect the domains of the Child and Youth Care practice. Guided seminar discussions with faculty and peers encourage students to process learning and apply theory to practice.

Prerequisite(s): CAYW1025

In this course, students examine ways of supporting families as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner. This course provides an overview of family systems theory, family dynamics and family functioning. Students demonstrate relationship building, intervention, counselling and mental health techniques within the framework of working with diverse families.

In this course, students explore various creative methods (such as art, drama, music, play, and storytelling) as techniques for aiding expression and healing with children, youth, and families. Students consider the impact of trauma and the benefit of using creative methods in trauma-informed care. Through the use of programming and facilitation skills, students apply creative interventions to meet a variety of client needs within the field of Child and Youth Care.

This course examines the impact of addiction on children, youth, and families. Students study key concepts in both substance and process addictions. Students explore their role in addictions work, as it applies within the scope of Child and Youth Care. This course looks at current trends, prevention strategies, intervention techniques, and types of treatment. Course topics may include signs and symptoms, screening, assessment, setting treatment goals, systemic issues and barriers, stages of behaviour change, and interviewing and counselling skills.

This course explores how advocacy and activism contribute to social change for children, youth and families in the field of Child and Youth Care. Students practice their role as an advocate in inter-professional situations. Further, this course examines the idea of social activism from an anti-oppression and cultural competent perspective while recognizing privilege and status within society. The course is provided from a theory to active practice model, allowing students to develop competencies for societal change.

This course examines diverse populations relevant to the field of Child and Youth Care. Students explore their perspectives both personally and professionally, utilizing self-reflection and self-awareness to begin to build an inclusive, culturally-competent practice. The concept of power and privilege is discussed so students can address personal bias in their practice. Students develop strategies to promote sensitivity to the needs of diverse populations.

Considers the benefits of the purposeful partnering of animals in Child and Youth Care practice that is developmentally appropriate and culturally inclusive. Students explore the evidence and identify application methods for animal-assisted interventions to promote psychological flexibility and prosocial behaviours with children and youth.

This advanced field placement integrates the students cumulative knowledge with professional development. Advanced client engagement, intervention, case planning, and reflective practice skills are developed throughout the course. Students engage with clinical supervision to improve their professional practice through the guided seminar discussions with faculty and peers encourage students to enhance quality of service by integrating selected theoretical material into their Child and Youth Care practice.

This course provides an overview of human sexuality and how it is perceived in contemporary society. An understanding of sexuality and associated typical and atypical behavior are explored, including possible implications when working with at risk youth. This course is also geared towards enhancing the student's development in teaching sex education to clients; developing comfortableness with discussions and counseling sessions related to sexual issues; and being able to competently and compassionately deal with the sensitive sexual issues that arise when working with children, youth and young adults.

Prerequisite(s): CAYW112 + CAYW121

This course focuses on vulnerable and at risk children and youth who may be involved in the youth justice system. The history of legislation pertaining to children and youth in conflict with the law and the changing perspective over time is examined. Students are introduced to the rights of children and youth in terms of the justice system and strategies to reduce recidivism. The course analyzes how the practice of Child and Youth Care works in collaboration with the police, the courts and the youth justice system to promote positive change for children, youth and families.

Prerequisite(s): COMM11

In this course, students research and analyze current issues and trends affecting the Child and Youth Care Field. Students have the opportunity to explore literature and resources or to pursue certification in areas that reflect emerging trends and changes in the profession. Topics are enhanced by a variety of learning methods, such as guest speakers and/or professional development opportunities.

Introduces evidence-based problem-solving models for the application of life space counselling and professional practice of Child and Youth Care. The student has an ethical responsibility to promote the respect of differences and develop the skills for collaboration and communication.

In this final field placement experience, students synthesize knowledge and skill to prepare themselves for entry into the Child and Youth Care field. Students refine professional relationships and continuously enhance quality of service by participating effectively as a team member and networking with community resources. Students solidify their reflective practice and self-care approach through reflective exercises with peers, and clinical supervision in seminar groups and field interactions. Prerequisite(s): CAYW3002


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:

  • Grade 12 English at the C or U level
  • Grade 11 Math

For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.

If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older. 

Health Requirements

Immunization - Communicable Disease Requirements

Completion of the Immunization - Communicable Disease Form is a mandatory condition for your clinical/practical placement. THIS FORM IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.

Download your Immunization - Communicable Disease Form

Questions about completing this form can be sent to

Note: Full-time student coverage for vaccines received on or after September 1 can be claimed under the Student Sickness & Accident Insurance Plan.

Other Requirements

Criminal Background Check
Applicants are advised that Criminal Background Checks (CBC) conducted by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) are required for pro­grams with field or clinical placements. Certain criminal convictions may prevent participation in placements and program completion may not be possible. Attaining and paying for a CBC and Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) is the responsibility of the student, and these may have to be renewed every three to six months. Applicants with criminal records are advised to contact the Associate Dean/Campus Dean of the respective school prior to applying. Criminal Background Checks should not be ordered, until the student is advised to do so by Child and Youth Care (CYC) Faculty/Student Placement Facilitator (SPF).


Complete SLC Placement Requirements

  • 6 Training Modules
  • Student Declaration/Oath of Confidentiality
  • Student Covid 19 Waiver
  • Immunization




Placement agencies/partners: 

  1. LDSB
  3. Boys and Girls Club of Kingston
  4. Resolve
  5. Pathways to Education
  6. Kingston Community Health Centre, Immigrant Services Kingston and Area
  7. Home Base Housing
  8. Youth Diversion
  9. Quintilian Private School
  10. Family and Children's Services of Frontenac Lennox and Addington
  11. Community Living



Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$2,721.36 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,531.33 CAD
$4,252.69 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.

Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
$16,430.00 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$2,300.35 CAD
$18,730.35 CAD

Fees are estimates only.  Tuition is based on two semesters.


Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.

Kingston Campus

Career Opportunities

  • Specialized educational programs
  • Schools/residential treatment centres
  • Group homes/youth detention centres
  • Before- and after-care school programs
  • Street/community work with children/youth
  • Hospitals, children’s mental health centres
  • Family and children’s services
  • Self-employment initiatives
  1. Family Access Worker, Family and Children's Services of Frontenac Lennox and Addington
  2. Deployment Counsellor, Family Military Resource Centre
  3. Educational Assistant, LDSB & ALCDSB
  4. Youth Worker, ALCDSB
  5. Residential Support Worker, Program Facilitator, Community Living
  6. Police Officer, Kingston Police
  7. Emergency Support Worker, Home Base Housing
  8. Site Support Worker, Student Parent Support Worker, Pathways to Education
  9. Youth Outreach Worker, Youth Diversion
  10. Youth in Transition Worker, Resolve
  11. Program Facilitator, Boys and Girls Club of Kingston


"I enrolled in the SLC Child and Youth care program after taking a year off after highschool to decide what I really wanted to do. I am thankful that I took my time in selecting the right school and course for me, and ever since my first class I have received nothing but personal growth, close relationships, and valuable knowledge that directly correlates with what I’d like to be doing in the field! "
Kara Godfrey
"I am proud to say that I am a Child and Youth worker. This course encapsulates sociology, psychology, child development, practical life skills, hand on experience, and a variety of pathways and domains for after graduation. I look forward to completing my social work B.A and potentially my masters as well and become a youth psychotherapist."
Lauren Pederson

Program Contacts

Program Contact
Tanea Fortin (she/her)
CYW, B.A. CYC, CYC (cert.)
Professor/ Field Placement Lead Child and Youth Care Program
St Lawrence College, Kingston Campus
Office #33070
613-544-5400 ext:6797

Admissions Information
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