Child and Youth Worker Program Offers Path to Career or Further Education

If you are looking to attend a Child and Youth Worker program that not only prepares you for the field in three years but also offers a seamless transition to further education, you may want to consider Centennial College. Students of this Toronto-based Child and Youth Worker program are in high demand upon graduation by agencies serving troubled youth and their families. They are also ready to work at Child and Youth Worker professionals in multiple roles and various contexts, including: residential and day treatment programs, hospitals, young offender programs, crisis centers, community-based programs and shelters.

On the other hand, students wishing to continue their education may do so through the program’s partnerships with various institutions. For instance, Child and Youth Worker grads can apply to Ryerson University’s Child and Youth Care direct-entry degree program or receive credit towards their university degree in related disciplines. Child and Youth Worker graduates with a C+ average may also apply to Vancouver Island University for direct entry into the third year of the Child and Youth Work degree program. A child protection specialization is also available for a limited number of students. Lastly, students may apply for membership in the Ontario Association of Child & Youth Counselors (OACYC).

This Child and Youth Worker program results in an Ontario College Advanced Diploma and the skills needed to be successful in the field. As such, students learn the principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth work practice such as co-creating relationships, working developmentally and understanding professional boundaries. This is achieved though an annually reviewed and revised curriculum that ensures courses and assignments are based on the latest research and based practices. Among the courses included in the Child and Youth Worker program are: Counseling and Communication Skills, Developmental Issues in Childhood and Adolescence, Working with Traumatized Children & Youth, Advocacy & Law in Children’s Mental Health, and more.

To ensure they are retaining what they learn, students of Child and Youth Worker program have access to specially designed communications lab to facilitate interactive learning activities, counseling simulations and small group observation and feedback. Supplemental training is also provided in Understanding & Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB).

To complement the Child and Youth Worker in-school curriculum, there are field placements in all three years of study that range between two and four days per week. Students must have a vulnerable sector criminal check prior to their field placements. Students must also possess a standard first aid and heart saver AED (C) certification. Lastly for placement, a medical certificate of health is necessary to ensure freedom of communicable disease. Certain criminal convictions will disallow placement in these agencies and program completion may not be possible.

Child and Youth Worker applicants are required to have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or are 19 years of age or older; and have a credit in the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent.
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