Child and youth workers in Canada have been involved in growth and development of children and youth, and their families in a variety of ways. They promote education, offer children and adolescents support and care, empowering them to fight against injustice, inequalities and build positive relationships.

The professionals have excellent conceptual and theoretical knowledge coupled with practical understanding of the various systems, including social, psychological and economic, which may be affecting the lives of youngsters. They also have abilities and competencies to develop therapeutic relationships with them, push the social boundaries and employ effective intervention strategies and communicate with the government and various ministries, in order to provide support for the children and youth.

Becoming a Child and Youth Worker in Canada

In order to become child and youth care workers in Canada, interested individuals need to fulfill following requirements:

Formal Education

Aspiring professionals need to complete a post-secondary course in child and youth worker in Ontario. They need to have a thorough understanding of developmental issues in childhood and adolescence, human psychology, child and adolescent mental health, group dynamics, and working with traumatized children and youth.

In order to enrol in a three-year post-secondary program, students will need to submit a secondary school diploma certificate or equivalent and scores of English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent.

Practical Training

Job readiness plays a crucial role in building a career in this field. Hands-on experience is a necessary condition to enter the world of work. So, it’s important to choose a college program that offers extensive hands-on skills and industry field placements. Centennial College’s program in child and youth care worker is recognized for because of its high quality standards and industry field placements.

The college provides students of this course in all three years; however, it may vary between two and four days per week. In addition, supplemental training is also provided to students in Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB).

The course focuses on helping students develop diverse skill sets that permit movement across multiple roles and various contexts in a variety of settings. They can work with crisis centres, shelters, education institutes, residential and day treatment programs, young offender programs, hospitals and community-based programs.

Skill Set and Emotional Competencies

The professionals should be able to assess individual children and adolescents and understand their issues and unique requirements. In addition, they are expected to design, implement and evaluate interventions to ensure support for traumatized or underprivileged children and youth.  

They must also be able to counsel them and build therapeutic relationships with them. They should also be comfortable in providing counselling and support to the families as well. As the job of child and youth care worker is extremely challenging, the professionals need to be emotionally stable yet sensitive towards the needs of children and youth. They are expected to be committed, innovative, proactive and hard working.

The employment prospects for child and youth care workers are bright. However, they need to fulfill the above mentioned criteria to enhance their employability.