Contact Us Sign In
  • Child and Youth Worker

    Child and Youth Worker

Program Code:CYW
Duration:6 Semesters (3 Years)
Start Dates:Fall,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Advanced Diploma

Program Description

The three–year Child and Youth Worker advanced diploma program is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to work with children, adolescents, and families experiencing a wide range of emotional, social, behavioural and/or mental health needs. Child and youth workers are specialists in facilitating change in children and youth and work alongside other professionals including educators, medical and social work professionals, correctional officers and family organizations dedicated to implementing a range of intervention, prevention and treatment strategies for children and their families. As a child and youth worker, you will be a valuable resource committed to understanding and interacting in therapeutic relationships that foster positive change.

Child and youth workers adhere to a professional code of conduct while engaging in a full range of prevention, intervention and treatment strategies. To succeed in both the CYW program and the workplace, you’ll need to be mature, outgoing, sensitive, action–oriented and possess the ability to handle stressful situations. Your studies will include various treatment, counselling and therapeutic theories based on a foundational understanding of human behaviour and development. Along with a minimum of 1200 hours of field placement, you will study areas including adolescent development, violence, abuse, diversity, crisis prevention, child and youth management, therapeutic activities, counselling theory and practice, child exceptionalities, health, sexuality, group and family work and much more.

Occupational areas where you may find employment include educational environments (schools, school boards, special education classes, etc.), government agencies, community agencies including children and family agencies, residential and day treatment centres, group homes, hospitals, young offenders' programs, children's aid societies, etc.

Program Learning Outcomes:

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to reliably demonstrate the ability to:

  • Develop and maintain therapeutic relationships.
  • Foster and utilize therapeutic environments of a residential and non-residential nature which respect culture and which promote well-being and facilitate positive change for children, youths, and their families.
  • Design and implement strategies which promote client advocacy and community education to enhance psycho-social development in children, youths, and their families.
  • Employ effective intervention strategies in the areas of therapeutic programming, individual counseling, and group work which comply with the treatment aims for the client.
  • Collaborate with other service providers and form professional relationships in order to enhance the quality of service for children, youths, and their families.
  • Perform ongoing self-assessment and utilize self-care strategies to enhance professional competence.
  • Identify and use professional development resources and activities which promote professional growth.
  • Communicate effectively in oral, written, nonverbal, and electronic forms to enhance the quality of service.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).


  • To be in compliance with our student placement partners all students in this program must complete a vulnerable sector police screening by the end of first year.
  • It is recommended that students complete a Ministry approved certificate in crisis intervention and prevention (CPI, TCI, UMAB) prior to graduation.

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


Loading Tuition Costs

Your Career

Make a difference in the lives of children, adolescents and their families through your career as a child and youth worker. Our six– semester advanced diploma program prepares you for career opportunities in government agencies serving troubled children, youth and families, residential and day treatment centres, group homes, hospitals, young offenders' programs, children's aid societies, community–based programs, schools, working with children and youth in special education classes.

Diploma to Degree... and Beyond

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Ryerson University• Bachelor of Arts, Child and Youth Care – Direct Entry
Tyndale University College• Bachelor of Arts (Human Services, Early Childhood Education, Human Services-Social Service Worker) or Bachelor of Religious Education (Degree Completion or Modular)
York University• Any relevant degree or major


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Algoma University• Bachelor of Social Work
• Bachelor of Arts in a related field
Carleton University• Any Relevant Major
King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario• Bachelor of Art, Arts or Social Science
Lakehead University• Honours Bachelor of Social Work
Laurentian University• Bachelor of Arts (General) in Psychology
University of Ontario Institute of Technology• Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) in Criminology and Justice – Bridge
• Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) in Forensic Psychology – Bridge
University of Windsor• BA Honours in Disability Studies


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Grant MacEwan University• Bachelor of Child and Youth Care
University of Victoria• Bachelor in Child and Youth Care (BCYC)


University/CollegeDegrees Available
Griffith University• Bachelor of Human Services
• Bachelor of Social Work
• Bachelor of Child and Family Studies

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant semester.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
CYW100 Introduction to Child and Youth Work 3
CYW103 Health, Wellness and Medication 2
CYW104 Child and Youth Care Practice 2
EAC150 College English 3
SSW101 Interpersonal Communications 3
SSW102 Diversity: Awareness and Practice 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
CYW200 Child and Youth Care Methods I 3
CYW201 Interviewing and Counselling 3
CYW202 Therapeutic Foundations 2
CYW206 Adolescent Development in the Lifespan 3
CYW247 Field Work Seminar II 2
SWL227 Community Studies: Families in Change 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
CYW300 Child and Youth Care Methods II 3
CYW302 Therapeutic Activities 3
CYW303 Assessment and Recording in CYW Practice 2 2
CYW347 Field Work Seminar II 2
CYW357 Field Work Placement 16
CYW377 Impact of Social Networking 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
CYW400 Exceptionalities of Children and Youth 2
CYW402 Crisis Interventions 3
CYW403 Group Work in CYW Practice 3
CYW447 Field Work Seminar III 2
CYW457 Field Work 24
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 5 Course Name Hrs/Wk
CYW376 Professional Elective: Human Sexuality 3
CYW502 Family Work for CYW 2
CYW503 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Disorders 2
CYW547 Field Work Seminar IV 2
CYW557 Field Work 16
Semester 6 Course Name Hrs/Wk
CYW602 Counselling Children and Youth Lab 3
CYW604 Specialization in Child and Youth Work 2
CYW605 Child Trauma and Abuse 3
CYW647 Field Work Seminar V 2
CYW657 Field Work 16

Contact Us

Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Shelley Ferguson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55115
International Admissions Advisor: Valentyna Gorodovych
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22432
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Shelley Ferguson
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55115
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: Justin Boudreau
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55336
Program Chair: Biljana Bruce
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55002
Need more information?

Fill out the form below and we will be in touch.

At Seneca College we respect your privacy. We do not share your information with third parties.

* indicates required field.

Seneca – Toronto, Canada Edit Page