Child and Youth Care Counsellor
Help in the healthy development of vulnerable children, youth and families by becoming a positive role model. Working with people in need can be demanding, but you will experience job satisfaction and the rewards are significant. Opportunities for employment include school programs, group homes, treatment centres, and community programs.
To become a child and youth care counsellor you need to be strong, emotionally and ethically. The children, youth and families you will work with may have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect and/or family breakdown. Some may also have behavioural or learning difficulties which require your knowledge, skill and support.
Throughout each year of the four-year program, experiential learning components in and outside the classroom will allow you to put theory into practice and gain the valuable skills that will support you in your career. Community-based practicums will help synthesize your learning and prepare you for the workforce or graduate/professional studies.Certification
The BCST — Child and Youth Care Counsellor major is designed to prepare graduates to meet professional certification requirements through the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta. The certification process is rigorous in relation to the strict practice/supervision hours, with an educational component, which is reflective of the complex nature of the work undertaken by the Child and Youth Care Counsellor.
You will gain knowledge and practical experience in a variety of areas, including:
- child and youth development
- intervention and assessment
- treatment strategies
The BCST — Child and Youth Care Counsellor major equips students with foundational knowledge by building upon the curriculum/courses previously offered in the highly-regarded Child and Youth Care Counsellor Diploma program. The four-year degree gives students the option to add a minor to complement their major with a balance of General Education courses and work experience components, Your job title could be:
- Child and youth care counsellor — you will be counselling and planning activities for children, youth and families in a variety of places including shelters, community centres, group homes, treatment centres and schools.
- Family support worker — help families in need get back on track by supporting them through counselling and supportive interventions.
- Team Leader/supervisor — provide leadership to frontline practitioners and develop programs to support them in having a positive impact on children, youth and families.
Students are encouraged to participate in research in this growing field. Current faculty research topics include:
- relationship violence prevention
- mental health strategies
- vicarious trauma for service providers
- youth transitioning into adulthood