Do you have a desire to enhance the development and lives of children, youth and families? Then follow your heart to a career that can change someone’s life by enrolling in the two-year Child and Youth Care diploma program. You’ll learn how to enhance the development of children, youth and families, working from a developmental, ecological and strength-based perspective, emphasizing the interaction between persons and their physical, social and cultural environments.You will gain the knowledge, values and skills to promote, support and strengthen the development of children, youth and their families in a variety of settings such as residential treatment, community-based and youth programs, parent education and family support, family preservation and reunification, early intervention and within a variety of school settings.

Through a blend of theory and hands-on experiences, you’ll learn how to reach out to those who are struggling and make a difference in the lives around you. Your theoretical knowledge will come to life during practicum experiences that put you in the middle of this rewarding career before you even graduate.

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Career Opportunities

When you graduate, you'll be ready to work with children, youth and families in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Drop-in Centres
  • Family Support
  • Foster Care Work
  • Group Homes
  • Hospitals
  • Independent Living Programs                                                            
  • Recreation & Community Centres
  • Residential and Treatment Programs
  • Safe Consumption Sites
  • Schools                                                                                              
  • Women’s Emergency Centres                                                           
  • Young Offender Centres

Visit ALIS website for more career information.

Student Feature: Melissa Duggan

20 weeks

spent gaining hands-on experience during a meaningful practicum experience


of employers who recruited for child and youth care workers in Alberta in the last two years



September or January

Credential / Accreditation



2 years

Dates and Deadlines

Visit the Program Application Status page for more details.

Program Availability
Domestic Status
International Status
International Status with Study Permit
Fall 2024
Winter 2025


This program is available for International Students.

New applicants are accepted into the Child and Youth Care program for the Fall (September) term. Students wishing to enroll for the Winter (January) term may take courses in a revised curriculum based on course availability. This admission results in a five term curriculum for the completion of the diploma.

General Admissions Requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs, as indicated in the Admission section of this calendar.

Graduation Requirements

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are awarded a Child and Youth Care diploma.

Athabasca University

Lethbridge College's Child and Youth Care diploma graduates are eligible to receive up to 60 credits towards the Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services major or the Bachelor of Professional Arts in Governance, Law and Management major at Athabasca University. Diploma graduates are awarded up to 30 transfer credits towards year three or four in the Bachelor of Management degree (Major) at Athabasca University. Diploma graduates are awarded up to 30 transfer credits towards the Bachelor of Commerce Post Diploma or the Bachelor of Human Resources/Labour Relations Post Diploma at Athabasca University.

Griffith University, Australia

Graduates of Lethbridge College’s Child and Youth Care diploma program are eligible to transfer credit towards the completion of a Bachelor of Human Services or Bachelor of Child, Youth and Family Practice at Griffith University, in Australia. All students will be provided with an approved course completion pathway at time of offer of admission into a Griffith program. For more information, please visit 

MacEwan University

Graduates of Lethbridge College's Child and Youth Care diploma program with a GPA of 2.7 or higher may be eligible to receive up to 60 credits and entry into the third year of the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care degree at MacEwan University.

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Pre-Placement Requirements

This program has a required Work-Integrated Learning Pre-Placement Requirements (WIL) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the WIL.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the WIL setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OH&S requirements (e.g. CPR certification, Fire Safety, WHMIS, Mask Fit-testing, etc.).

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) coverage - WIL placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student.  Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage.  In certain instances for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a WIL placement outside of Alberta).  These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

Students with disabilities who may require accommodations must schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services at Lethbridge College preferably upon acceptance to the program and no later than the Add/Drop deadline to identify potential impacts of their disabilities in the WIL setting. As part of this process, it may be necessary to collaborate with WIL supervisors to determine appropriate accommodations that do not compromise the health and safety of clients, essential placement requirements, or mandatory licensing processes. Failure to consult with Accessibility Services in a timely fashion may compromise the student's WIL placement and opportunities for success in the WIL setting.

In order to participate in a WIL, a student may be required to complete a Police Information Check or other type of Security Clearance to the satisfaction of Lethbridge College and the WIL organization. Completion of a WIL does not guarantee employment with a WIL organization. Many disciplines are provincially or otherwise regulated (e.g. health professions under Alberta's Health Professions Act); such regulation is beyond Lethbridge College's control. Completion of a WIL and graduation from a certain program do not guarantee one's licensure or admission into a regulatory body. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with a representative of the relevant regulatory body if they have concerns.

WIL sites may include Lethbridge, surrounding rural communities, and may extend beyond these boundaries depending on WIL site availability and approvals.   WIL’s may include day, evening, and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

Program Practicum Overview

Students will complete 3 practicums during their program which allows them to apply concepts taught in the classroom in CYC practice settings. Each practicum is a block practicum where the student works full time in the practicum site for the duration of the practicum. CYC 1178 is 6 weeks, CYC 2255 is 7 weeks, and CYC 2285 is 7 weeks. Students must complete at least one practicum outside of the Lethbridge area (100 km away from Lethbridge). Students will be required to work a variety of shifts in their practicum sites. 

Any questions about practicum can be directed to the Practicum Coordinator: Kathleen Vink    [email protected]

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Delivery Formats

The Child and Youth Care program is available through the following delivery methods

On Campus

This program is delivered in a face-to-face format on the main Lethbridge College campus. Lectures, labs and hands-on training opportunities will all take place on campus in Lethbridge.


View all courses
Year 1
Term I
CYC-1158Communications in CYC Practice3
CYC-1169Observation, Reporting and Assessment3
CYC-1173Foundations and Roles of CYC3
HSP-1151Family Systems and Development3
PSY-1170Human Development Across the Lifespan3
Term II
CYC-1163Behaviour Management3
CYC-1175Therapeutic Interventions3
CYC-1178CYC Clinical Practice I3
CYC-1180Counselling Techniques I3
CYC-1194Activity Leadership3
PSY-1179Adolescent Development3
Year 2
Term I
CYC-2251Family Support and Intervention3
CYC-2255CYC Clinical Practice II6
CYC-2272Family Violence3
CYC-2280Counselling Techniques II3
Term II
CYC-2260Mental Health/Substance Abuse in CYC3
CYC-2269Case Management and Evaluation3
CYC-2285CYC Clinical Practice III6
CYC-2253Group Process3
 Total Credits66
View course timetables

Tuition and Fees

Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
Year 2
View detailed program cost estimates
International Students
Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
Year 2

Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.

Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.

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