This program will be delivered using a combination of modalities. Courses may be taught face-to-face, online or in a blended/hybrid combination of both online and traditional classroom teaching.
In the Child and Youth Care program, you'll develop the knowledge and skills to advocate for children, youth and their families as you learn to encourage them to be more resourceful and to confidently use their voices.
This three-year Child and Youth Care program will examine the principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth care practice from child and youth-centred, developmental and ecological perspectives (1). It will also cover 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 this advanced diploma program, you'll be ready to provide prevention and early intervention strategies, assessment, 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'll 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, paediatric health care, child protection and youth justice programs (2).
- 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 will be provided and include a variety of settings. The first-year field practicum will be in a school board setting and will occur two days per week in Semester 2. The second-year field practicum will be in a residential setting in either Semester 3 or 4 and will occur four days per week (shift work could include day and/or evening hours). The final practicum, three days per week during Semester 5 and 6, will be in a specialized setting. All three field practicums will provide a valuable opportunity for integrating classroom learning and hand-on practice.
- All graduates will 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 will be used extensively for interactive learning activities, counselling simulations, and small group observation and feedback.
- You'll have the opportunity to engage in intra-professional collaboration with other programs within the College community (e.g., Police Foundations).
- Global Citizenship and Equity (GC&E) Portfolio: You'll develop a portfolio documenting your engagement with the College's signature GC&E competencies. For more information on GC&E, the GC&E Portfolio and the supports available to you, please visit www.centennialcollege.ca/citizenshipandequity.
Once you complete the Child and Youth Care Program, you'll 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 children and youths' strengths and needs, including complex responses impacted by developmental, environmental, physical, emotional, social and mental health challenges 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 planning holistic care and reducing systemic barriers;
- Plan, implement and evaluate interventions using evidence-informed practices in the areas of therapeutic milieu, 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.