Sunday, January 16, 2011

Help Nurture The Next Generation As A Child and Youth Worker

Child and Youth Workers are essential in helping children, youth and families to grow and develop, within a wide range of therapeutic contexts. In fact, agencies (including residential, day treatment, community-based and young offender programs, hospitals, crisis centers and shelters as well as schools) that work with youths and their families are seeing an increasing need for professionally trained people in this area.

At Centennial College, students of the Child and Youth Worker program spend three years learning the ins and outs of this sensitive-natured profession. In order to apply, the school expects applicants to present at minimum 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. Lastly, 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 at Centennial College.

In order to be successful in the Child and Youth Worker program, you must be dedicated to the theory and hands-on practice offered in the undertaking. Working with a highly supportive faculty, you will learn from a curriculum that is annually reviewed and revised. Courses such as Principles of Psychology, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Working with Traumatized Children and Youth, Child Abuse and more can be found in the program. Through these courses, students learn principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth work practice such as co-creating relationships, working developmentally and understanding professional boundaries. In addition to the in-school sessions, the Child and Youth Worker program provides the opportunity for students to participate in three field placement that not only allow you to apply what you have learned but also to discover the different settings available to you in the field.

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.

Upon graduation, students are in high demand, with yearly salaries ranging between $32,000 and $43,000. In the field, child and youth workers have a number of jobs. First and foremost, they must develop and maintain therapeutic, yet professional relationships with clients that promote well being and facilitate positive change. This entails designing and implementing strategies that work for the child and his or her family in a safe way. In addition, child and youth works perform safety inspections or emergency procedures, if for example, they work in a young offender program as well as looks for signs of abuse. Lastly, child and youth workers have administrative duties such as documenting, keeping neat files of client records and testifying in court if necessary.

Child and Youth Worker Video

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