Create a Bright Future For the Next Generation as a Child and Youth Worker

If you’re an emotionally stable, patient and organized person with a high level of energy, who doesn’t crumble under pressure and enjoys helping young people, then a career as a Child and Youth Worker may be ideal for you. Child and Youth Workers are the people who are integral in the growth and development of children, youth and their families within a wide range of therapeutic contexts.

Agencies that work with troubled youths and their families are in desperate need of professionally trained child and youth workers. These agencies include: residential, day treatment, community-based and young offender programs, hospitals, crisis centres and shelters as well as schools. Therefore, the demand is high and job options are plenty, with yearly salaries ranging between $32,000 and $43,000 right after graduation.

Upon finding employment, child and youth workers have a number of various job tasks. Their main duty is to develop and maintain therapeutic, yet professional relationships with clients that promote wellbeing and facilitate positive change. This is done by designing and implementing strategies that work physically, mentally and emotionally for the child and his or her family. However, there are also times when child and youth workers must maintain a safe environment via safety inspections, perform crisis intervention techniques and emergency procedures and identify signs of abuse. Teamwork is another aspect of the child and youth worker field. Professionals participate as members of a team by promoting and maintaining proficient conduct, resolving conflict, acknowledging individual and cultural differences and supporting their fellow team members. Lastly, child and youth workers have administrative duties such as documenting, keeping neat files of client records and testifying in court if necessary.

The Child and Youth Worker program at Centennial College prepares graduates to be comfortable in all the mentioned roles. Students are taught the principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth work practice such as co-creating relationships, working developmentally and understanding professional boundaries. And, with a different field placement during each year of the three-year program, Centennial College gives you the advantage of having experienced a multitude of job settings by the time you graduate. In turn, this gives you an idea of the type of child and youth worker career path that best suits you. Due to the sensitive nature of the Child and Youth Worker field, Centennial College requires students to have a vulnerable sector criminal check prior to field placement. Certain criminal convictions will disallow placement in these agencies and program completion may not be possible. 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.

However, before students even apply to the program, Centennial College expects applicants to be holders of an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Also required are compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent. As well, English proficiency will be considered and a program admission session will be required. Possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the Child and Youth Worker program.

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