Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Child and Youth Worker Program Focuses on Real-Life Experiences

When looking for a Child and Youth Worker college-level program, you should be aware of whether the undertaking offers practical experience prior to graduation. This is vital, as the sensitive nature of the industry requires you to be comfortable in a variety of settings. At Centennial College’s Child and Youth Worker program, one of the standout features is that each year of the undertaking has a field placement.

Let’s take a look at each of the three placements and the different benefits they offer to Child and Youth Worker students. The first-semester practicum is designed to provide you with the opportunity to work with special needs children or adolescents in a school-based environment. You will demonstrate a variety of shifts as defined in the C.Y.W. Field Evaluation Manual. Meanwhile, the second field placement sees you working directly with emotionally/behaviorally disturbed children or adolescents in a therapeutic residential setting. You will be given the opportunity to engage in therapeutic relationships with young people and possibly families, to promote growth and development. The final Child and Youth Worker field placement focuses on a particular area of treatment service that is of particular interest to you. Some of the possibilities include: day treatment programs, psychiatric/crisis units in hospitals, family support worker programs, residential treatment programs, and school and various community based programs.

Aside from this vital hand-on, real-life experience, Centennial College’s Child and Youth Worker program emphasizes the principles, philosophies and characteristics of relational child and youth work practice such as co-creating relationships, working developmentally and understanding professional boundaries. Among the topics covered are: developmental issues in childhood and adolescence, principles of psychology, child and adolescent mental health, professional recording, advocacy and law in children’s mental health, working with traumatized children and youth, and more.

To complement the theoretical aspects of the Child and Youth Worker program, you will have access to a specially designed communications lab to facilitate interactive learning activities, counseling simulations and small group observation and feedback. Supplemental training is also provided in Understanding & Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB).

Graduates of the Child and Youth Worker program have the opportunity to continue their education by applying to Ryerson University’s Child and Youth Care direct-entry degree program or receive credit towards their university degree in related disciplines. Child and Youth Worker graduates with a C+ average may also 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. Lastly, students may apply for membership in the Ontario Association of Child & Youth Counsellors (OACYC).

Child and Youth Worker applicants are required to have finished at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or are 19 years of age or older; and have a credit in the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent.

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