Child and Youth Worker 1205

About Centennial
Established as Toronto's first public college in 1966, Centennial College offers programs in business, communications, community and health studies, science and engineering technology, general arts, hospitality and transportation.
Program Image
Program code: 1205
School: School of Community and Health Studies
Credential: Ontario College Advanced Diploma
Program Type: Post-secondary program
Program Length: 3 years/ 6 semesters
Start Date: Fall
Location: Progress Campus
Tel: 416-289-5303

Professional child and youth workers enhance the growth and development of children, youth and their families within a wide range of therapeutic contexts.

Students will learn the principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth work practice such as co-creating relationships, working developmentally and understanding professional boundaries.

Global Citizenship and Equity Portfolio
Students in this program will develop a portfolio documenting their engagement with the College's signature global citizenship and equity competencies.  For more information on Global Citizenship and Equity, the GC&E Portfolio and the supports available to you, please visit

Semester 1 Courses
Course Code Course Title Campus
COMM-160/COMM-161 College Communications 1 Progress Campus
CYWP-102 Counselling & Communication Skills Progress Campus
CYWP-104 Developmental Issues in Childhood & Adolescence Progress Campus
CYWP-112 Introduction to Child & Youth Work Progress Campus
CYWP-113 Child & Adolescent Mental Health 1 Progress Campus
CYWP-114 Preparation for Professional Practice Progress Campus
GNED-129 Principles of Psychology Progress Campus

Semester 2 Courses
Course Code Course Title Campus
COMM-170/COMM-171 College Communications 2 Progress Campus
CYWP-105 Field Practicum 1 Progress Campus
CYWP-106 Integrative Field Seminar 1 Progress Campus
CYWP-115 Residential Treatment & School Based Programs in C.Y.W. Progress Campus
CYWP-116 Child & Adolescent Mental Health 2 Progress Campus
CYWP-117 Group Dynamics: Processes & Development Progress Campus

Semester 3 Courses
Course Code Course Title Campus
CYWP-201 Multimodal Therapies in Child & Youth Work Progress Campus
CYWP-210 Child & Adolescent Mental Health 3 Progress Campus
CYWP-211 Introduction to the Family Progress Campus
CYWP-212 Advocacy & Law in Children’s Mental Health Progress Campus
CYWP-215 Professional Recording Progress Campus
GNED-500 Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action Progress Campus

Semester 4 Courses
Course Code Course Title Campus
CYWP-206 Field Practicum 2 Progress Campus
CYWP-207 Integrative Field Seminar 2 Progress Campus
CYWP-213 Group Dynamics: Theory & Practice Progress Campus
CYWP-214 Working with Traumatized Children & Youth Progress Campus

Semester 5 Courses
Course Code Course Title Campus
CYWP-301 Field Practicum Specialized 3 - Part 1 Progress Campus
CYWP-302 Integrative Field Seminar 3 - Part 1 Progress Campus
CYWP-303 Child Abuse Progress Campus
CYWP-304 Advanced Counselling Skills Progress Campus
CYWP-311 Evidence Based Programming Progress Campus

Semester 6 Courses
Course Code Course Title Campus
CYWP-306 Field Practicum Specialized 3 - Part 2 Progress Campus
CYWP-307 Integrative Field Seminar 3 - Part 2 Progress Campus
CYWP-312 Crisis Theory & Interventions Progress Campus
CYWP-313 CYW Approach to Working with Families Progress Campus
GNED General Education Elective Progress Campus

Program Highlights
  • The program may be taken full or part time and, if you are currently working in the field, through a government-funded apprenticeship program
  • Field placements in all three years vary between two and four days per week
  • Supplemental training is provided in Understanding & Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB)

Career Outlook

There is a high demand for child and youth workers in agencies serving troubled youth and their families. Centennial's graduates are very well recognized because of their clinical focus and job readiness.

Graduates possess a diverse skill set that permits movement across multiple roles and various contexts, including residential and day treatment programs, hospitals, young offender programs, crisis centres, community-based programs and shelters.

Organizations hiring graduates include:

  • Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Services
  • Children's Aid Society of Toronto
  • East Metro Youth Services
  • Frontenac Youth Services  
  • Hincks - Dellcrest Child and Family Centre
  • Kennedy House Youth Services
  • Ontario Shores Mental Health Sciences
  • Turning Point Youth Services 
  • York Region District School Board

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Develop and maintain therapeutic relationships that promote growth and development
  • Foster and utilize therapeutic environments that respect culture, promote overall well-being and facilitate positive change for children, youths and their families
  • Design and implement strategies that promote client advocacy and community education to enhance psycho-social development in children, youth and their families
  • Employ effective intervention strategies that meet the needs and goals of children, youth, their families and relevant others
  • Form professional relationships that enhance the quality of service for children, youth and their families
  • Perform ongoing self-assessment and self-care to promote awareness and enhance professional competence
  • Identify and use professional development resources and activities that promote professional growth
  • Communicate effectively in oral, written and nonverbal forms to enhance the quality of service
Distinctive Benefits for Centennial Students
  • As a Centennial student, you will benefit from a highly supportive faculty group, which has extensive teaching and field experience and works closely with students to develop their full potential
  • Centennial’s CYW Program features three supervised field placements
  • Curriculum is reviewed and revised annually to ensure that courses and assignments are based on current research and best practices
  • A specially-designed communications lab is used extensively for interactive learning activities, counselling simulations and small group observation and feedback

Educational Partners

  • Qualified graduates of this program may apply to continue their education with Ryerson University’s Child and Youth Care direct-entry degree program or receive credit towards their university degree in related disciplines
  • Graduates with a C+ average may apply to Vancouver Island University for direct entry into the third year of the Child & Youth Work degree program. A child protection specialization is also available for a limited number of students
  • Students may apply for membership in the Ontario Association of Child & Youth Counsellors (OACYC)

The qualification requirements and costs for each external accreditation, designation, certification or recognition are set by the granting body, not by Centennial College.  In order to qualify for any external accreditations, designations, certifications or recognitions, students and graduates will need to follow the processes and meet the applicable requirements listed on the websites and in the materials of those external bodies.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status (19 years or older)
Academic Requirements
  • Admission to this program is highly competitive and the program fills quickly.  To be considered for the program, you should apply prior to the Ontario Colleges equal consideration date of February 1 and submit transcripts or complete a skills assessment as early as possible.  
  • For applicants who are currently attending high school in Ontario your midterm and final grades will be transmitted automatically to the college.
  • It is important that you attend a Program Admission Session. You will receive a letter with instructions for booking your session, after you apply to the program.
After admission, prior to beginning each Field Placement, students are required to:
  • Obtain a clear police check with vulnerable sector screening
  • Provide proof of immunization requirements
  • Successfully complete a standard first aid and heart saver AED(C) certification
  • Provide a medical certificate of health to ensure freedom of communicable disease

All of the above requirements must be in effect for the entire duration of each placement.

Career Outlook

Graduates possess a diverse skill set that permits movement across multiple roles and various contexts, including:

  • residential and day treatment programs
  • hospitals
  • young offender programs
  • crisis centres
  • community-based programs and
  • shelters.