The Child and Youth Care program teaches students the necessary skills to work effectively with children, youth and families who are experiencing social, emotional, developmental and behavioural challenges. The program integrates a holistic approach embedding an ecological perspective and principles of human rights, resiliency and restorative practice.

Child and Youth Worker student stands among a group of children on placement in an urban school yard.


Program name
Child and Youth Care
3 years (6 semesters)
Starting month
Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 N/A
May 2019 N/A
International students
Sept. 2018 Closed
Jan. 2019 N/A
May 2019 N/A

Full Description

George Brown College's Child and Youth Care program (formerly the Child and Youth Worker program) combines best practice principles and a relational approach that is anchored in the values of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors' Code of Ethics.

The curriculum is organized into four distinct pillars:

  • resiliency
  • an ecological perspective
  • an anti-oppression human rights framework
  • restorative practices

Students learn to engage purposefully and effectively with children, adolescents and families who struggle with emotional, behavioural and developmental challenges that impair their abilities to relate to others.

Specific focus is on recognizing the impact of mental health challenges on children and youth.

Students learn to translate theory into practice to move at-risk youth from risk to resilience.

CYCEA logo

This Child and Youth Care program has earned national accreditation, becoming the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area and the third in Canada to do so.

Child and Youth Worker student interacts with a group of students

Your Field Study options

Field placement plays an important role in this program. Second year students can expect to be in placement two days a week for a total of 448 hours, and third year students can expect to be in placement three days a week over 28 weeks (includes both semesters one and two) for a total of 704 hours.

The first year provides students with an opportunity to develop a solid foundation of skills to build upon. The subsequent academic courses come to life in a wide range of supervised field placements in the second and third years of the program.

These placements may take place in professional settings such as:

  • residential care
  • hospitals
  • shelters
  • schools
  • community outreach programs
  • day treatment

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. 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.
  2. Assess and respond to the strengths and needs of children and youth, including complex responses impacted by developmental, environmental, physical, emotional, social and mental health challenges in order to promote positive change.
  3. Analyze and evaluate the impact of the inter-relationship among family, social service, justice and community systems on children, youth and their families and use this information in the planning of holistic care and in the reduction of systemic barriers.
  4. Plan, implement and evaluate interventions using evidence‐informed practices in the areas of therapeutic milieu and programming, and group work to promote resiliency and to enhance development in children, youth and their families.
  5. Advocate for the rights of children, youth and their families and maintain an anti-oppression perspective and cultural competence in diverse cultural contexts.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Use evidence-based research, professional development resources and supervision models to support professional growth and lifelong learning.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CYCS1004Introduction to Child and Youth Care
CYCS1055Human Rights
GSSC1105Introduction to Psychology
COMM1007College English
GNEDGeneral Education Elective


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CYCS1015Field Preparation Seminar
CYCS1022Therapeutic Activities
CYCS1054Interpersonal Communication
CYCS1056Legislation & Social Issues
CYCS1057Child & Adolescent Development


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CYCS1049Counselling Children & Youth
CYCS2024Field Work Seminar I
CYCS2031Professional Writing in CYC
CYCS2032Field Practice I
CYCS2002Relational Practice


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CYCS2026Trauma Informed Approaches
CYCS2027Field Work Seminar II
CYCS2033Field Practice II
CYCS2040Human Sexuality
CYCS2041Group Work in CYC Practice


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CYCS3008Field Practice III
CYCS3009Field Work Seminar III
CYCS3020Community Based Practices
CYCS3021Mental Health I
GSSC1138Introductory Sociology
BST2003Crisis Prevention & Intervention


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CYCS3010Field Practice IV
CYCS3011Field Work Seminar IV
CYCS3016Working With Families
CYCS3022Mental Health II
GNEDGeneral Education Elective

Your Career

Child and Youth Care graduates have found employment as workers in:

  • treatment centres
  • group homes/residential placements
  • hospitals
  • schools
  • community-based treatment programs
  • shelters

Future Study Options

Graduates of the Child and Youth Care program may qualify for advanced standing in other programs at George Brown College. Some examples include (but are not limited to):

Graduates are also eligible to apply for the degree completion program in Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University and Humber College.

Students are eligible for membership in the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counsellors (OACYC), the professional association representing Child and Youth Workers in the province of Ontario.

For further information, see


$3,885.00 *

Additional Cost

*Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in fall 2017. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in fall 2018 and at later dates.

International students: Visit the International Fees and Related Costs page for more information.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U) - Minimum grade of 65% required.
  • An information session is highly recommended.

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

Special Requirements

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (must be valid annually)
  • In compliance with the requirements of our placement partners, all students in this program are required to have a police vulnerable sector check completed, and this check must be renewed annually.
  • The police vulnerable sector check process typically takes two to three months, but under some circumstances can take four to eight months. This is required to protect the clientele of our placement partner agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the police vulnerable sector check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s).”
  • Students are required to keep the original copy of their police vulnerable sector check.
  • Students who are unable to provide a “clear” police vulnerable sector check may not be able to start their field or clinical placement and therefore may be unable to complete the program. Students who are not eligible to attend their practice placement due to a “not clear” status will jeopardize their progress in the program.
  • Failure to meet the requirements for field placement will prevent students from completing the program and/or securing employment.
  • The fees for the police record check vary and must be paid by the student. For more information, please visit the Pre-placement website at

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Success Stories

C133 Student Success -  Kirishika Ethayarajen

"I always wanted to be an advocate for children and youth. I met a victim services worker who told me about the program at George Brown. Knowing that I wanted to specialize in child abuse prevention and intervention, I felt that the courses in this program would help me set the foundation for my educational path. I also knew that I wanted to continue pursuing higher education and that Ryerson had a direct entry program, which allows George Brown students to go directly into third year. These reasons and the fact that George Brown provided 2 full-year placements made me choose this program at George Brown."

Kirishika Ethayarajan (Graduate 2016, Child and Youth Care)

Contact Us

School of Social & Community Services

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2185


Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Child & Youth Care Program Co-ordinators

Donna Reid: 416-415-5000, ext. 3000,

Andrew Buntin: 416-415-5000, ext 2316,

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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    George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.