Child & Youth Care

Specialize in the development and implementation of therapeutic programs for children and youth.

Start Date:
2 Years
Full-time (In-class)
+Locations & Availability
September 2017 Truro Campus • Truro  • Waitlist New applications may be waitlisted until {0} 20{1}. Waterfront Campus • Dartmouth  • Waitlist 2019New applications may be waitlisted until Fall 2019.

Program Overview

In this program, you develop the knowledge and skills needed to work as a Child and Youth Care practitioner. You must bring a high level of respect for children and youth to your study and be committed to helping them see their strengths and develop to their full potential.

In this field, you often work as a part of a team to design recreational, therapeutic and social programs for children and youth impacted by developmental trauma. In addition to being compassionate, you must also be firm enough to facilitate therapeutic programs and interventions with young people who demonstrate pain-based behaviour that can result in them physically and emotionally acting out towards others.

Child and Youth Care practice takes place 24/7 – you must be flexible in your work schedule. Children and youth range from 6-25 years old, so you'll no doubt broaden your idea of what passes for entertainment – get used to purposefully playing with dolls, sliding down hills and listening to music in order to support youth in expanding their experiences, thus building their resilience and relationship skills. This is physically and emotionally demanding work, but the more you put into the learning process, the more you gain – and the gains and rewards in this field are tremendous.

Students in this program will become members of the Nova Scotia Child and Youth Care Workers' Association. Graduates of this program are eligible to become Certified Child and Youth Care practitioners.

i Student Highlights are comments provided by students about their experiences. Students also share information that they think will help future students learn more about the program. Highlights reflect individual experiences (which can vary by student).

Student Highlights

  1. 1
    Cool Activity"Too many to name!! This is definitely an interesting course with lots of activities!"
  2. 2
    Why Take It"You have a passion for helping others, love working with youth, have an open mind, and seek a better understanding of issues that affect at-risk youth."
  3. 3
    Favourite"The exceptional teachers who all had real-life experience in the field that they are teaching."

Admission Requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.

Program Requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check, a Vulnerable Sector check and a Child Abuse Registry search are required to complete work placements. A conviction or finding on any of these checks may impact your ability to obtain a work placement. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact the student's ability to complete program requirements and proceed through to graduation. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.
  • Health & Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of first aid/CPR. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health & Human Services Program Requirements.

Choose NSCC

  • To work in this area, you must have a diploma in a recognized child and youth care program or an undergraduate degree in human services. NSCC's Child & Youth Care program meets this standard.
  • Learn from instructors who bring real-world experience. Every instructor in this program has practised or is still practising in the field.
  • Experience hands-on, practical learning, where you apply your skills and knowledge to real projects and work experiences.
  • Small class sizes enable you to be very involved in your learning and make the most of your class time.
  • Continue your studies at university. This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more.

Employment Opportunities

  • Graduates may find work in therapeutic treatment centres, group homes and small options for troubled children and youth throughout Nova Scotia and some work, on contract, with child welfare agencies.

Other Info

  • Alternate Intake – This program is not offered each year, at every location. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • There are work placements which will take place across the province. You may be placed anywhere in the province. Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to work placements are the responsibility of the student.
  • You will be interviewed with a placement agency as a pre-placement screening process and are required to provide your own transportation to work placement.
  • You are required to complete the Child Abuse Registry Request for Search Form which is available online from the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.
  • Shift work is an integral part of this occupation. Physical demands include 12-hour shifts in a 24-hour work environment, as well as spending long periods actively engaged with young people, participating and facilitating recreation and therapeutic programming.
  • Effective written and oral skills will be emphasized throughout your work placement and employment experiences.
  • Emotional demands include frequent stressful and emergency situations.
  • A valid Class 5 Driver's Licence is required for employment.

Courses May Include

Course descriptions
Code Course
CYCP 1000   Introduction to Child and Youth Care Practice
CYCP 1001   Introduction to Psychology for Child and Youth Care Practice
CYCP 1002   Service Learning for CYC Practice
CYCP 1003   CYC Practice Milieu I
CYCP 1004   Introduction to Team Work for CYC Practice
CYCP 1005   Writing Skills for Child and Youth Care Practitioners I
CYCP 1006   Introduction to Sociology for CYC Practice
CYCP 1007   Child and Youth Care Ethical Issues
CYCP 1010   Child and Youth Care Relational Communication I
CYCP 1013   CYC Practice Milieu II
CYCP 1014   CYC Professional Development
CYCP 1015   Writing Skills for Child and Youth Care Practitioners II
CYCP 1016   Children and Youth in Today’s Society
CYCP 1020   CYC Relational Communication II
CYCP 1050   CYC Work Experience Orientation
CYCP 1055   CYC Workshop Seminar
CYCP 2000   Child and Youth Care Methodology I
CYCP 2002   Child and Youth Care Practice Seminar
CYCP 2004   Group Facilitation for Child and Youth Care Practice
CYCP 2006   Developmental Psychology for Child and Youth Care Practice
CYCP 2007   Child and Youth Care Ethics and Professional Practice
CYCP 2010   CYC Applied Relational Communications I
CYCP 2013   Child and Youth Care Interventions
CYCP 2015   Writing Skills for CYC Practitioners III
CYCP 2017   Child and Youth Care Practitioner Identity Development
CYCP 2020   CYC Applied Relational Communication II
CYCP 2025   Writing Skills for CYC Practitioners IV
CYCP 2026   Family Systems – A Child and Youth Care Perspective
CYCP 2050   CYC Work Experience Residential
CYCP 2060   CYC Work Experience Community
CYCP 3000   Child and Youth Care Therapeutic Activity Programming
CYCP 3050   Child and Youth Care Internship
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act

Additional Graduation Requirements

Food Handler's Course
Immunization form Completion
Mental Health First Aid
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
Portfolio Development
Standard First Aid, CPR Level C
Suicide Intervention (ASIST)

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3
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