A Child and Youth Care practitioner engaging in a discussion with a youth client while taking notes

Better the lives of others with a career as a child and youth worker

Child and Youth Care Ontario College Advanced Diploma program

Practise your skills in our interactive simulation labs. Cutting-edge community placements. Graduate job-ready or pursue further studies.

Program code CYCA
Duration 3 Years (CYCA), 2 Years (CYAC)
Credential Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Program Delivery Full-time (CYCA) +
Accelerated (CYAC)
Program delivery method(s) In person What does this mean?

Program information

Program description

Learn to work with children and youth who exhibit social, emotional, and behavioural challenges that may be associated with mental health, cognitive and neurodevelopmental 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 in a variety of settings 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 an understanding of risk and resiliency, the ecological perspective, relational practice, human development, family systems, equity and inclusion, and exceptionalities. We emphasize experiential interactive learning, community service and opportunities for social innovation, entrepreneurship, and changemaking.

Intake information

Start dateCampus
Fall 2024 Orillia
Winter 2025 Orillia

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

What are the admission requirements for the Child and Youth Care program?

Child and Youth Care admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status
  • 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 http://www.ontariocolleges.ca 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: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/


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 for Prior Learning 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 may be asked to provide community agencies with proof of completion of Standard First Aid and CPR Level C certification, Crisis Intervention certification, as well as an up-to-date immunization record with a two-step TB test in some circumstances to proceed with field placement. Students are required to review agency requirements provided by the field placement office. Proof of completion of the Ontario Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Awareness training must also be provided before proceeding on field placement. 

What career paths can I take in child and youth care?

Your Child and Youth Care diploma gives you many 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 live-in 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

Experiential learning opportunities

Changemaking in Child and Youth Care

In this video, Child and Youth Care student Erin explains how learning in social entrepreneurship helps her gain experience tackling major social issues and creating positive influences in a child’s life.

Explore a future in Human Services today.

Accelerated delivery option

We also offer an accelerated delivery format for this program:

  • Complete the program in 16 consecutive months
  • Studies begin in September, with graduation projected for December of the following academic year
  • Apply if you have previous postsecondary education – such as a degree or diploma – from an accredited university or college in the areas of human services, education, interdisciplinary studies, social sciences, psychology or sociology

NOTE: Use the major CYAC when applying to the accelerated program through OCAS.

What courses are included in the Child and Youth Care diploma program?

Course overview

27 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses

4 Field Placements
5 General Education Courses

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Child and Youth Care program outline.

  • CYWK 1007 – Child and Youth Care 1
  • CYWK 1015 – Child and Adolescent Development
  • HUMN 1008 – Success in Human Services and Beyond
  • HUMN 2004 – Interpersonal Skills
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Your course delivery method(s)

In person

This program is delivered fully in person and requires you to attend campus.

Please note, delivery methods are based on planning for the upcoming semester and are subject to change.

Do you have questions about Child and Youth Care? Contact us!

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