If you have a desire to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and families, turn your caring nature and compassionate disposition toward a rewarding career in the Child and Youth Care program.
Sometimes life isn’t easy. There are families struggling with difficulties in their daily lives; maybe you even know a few. Your heart aches to reach out and help, it only you knew how.
Imagine being able to enhance the development and lives of children, youth and families. With a diploma in Child and Youth Care, you can. The two-year diploma program provides you with the know-how to follow your heart and reach out to those who are struggling. You’ll learn how to make a difference through a blend of theory and hands-on exercises. And your theoretical knowledge will come to life during practicum experiences that put you in the middle of this rewarding career before you even graduate!
Follow your heart by applying for the Child and Youth Care program today!
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
- Independent Living Programs
- Recreation & Community Centres
- Residential and Treatment Programs
- Safe Consumption Sites
- Women’s Emergency Centres
- Young Offender Centres
Alumni Profile - Justine Schmidt
Justine found Lethbridge College’s Child and Youth Care program in a time of need. It turns out the program was just what she needed to find a career path she was passionate about. Now Justine is graduating and ready to work in the field as well as further her education with a direct transfer to a degree.
For current application status, terms being processed and application deadlines visit the Program Application Status page.
- MacEwan University
- University of Lethbridge
- Athabasca University
- Lethbridge College
- University of Calgary
- BC CYC Consortium
- Griffith University (Australia)
- Institute of Technology Carlow (Carlow, Ireland)
The following courses are also available through online learning:
- ENG-1150 Composition
- HSP-1151 Family Systems and Development
- PSY-1170 Human Development Across the Lifespan
The following courses are also available through online learning:
- PSY-1179 Adolescent Development
New students 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 admission requirements
All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.
Practice-based experience (PBE) requirements
This program has a required practice-based experience (PBE) component coordinated by the Placement Office. The college dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the practicum experience.
Applicants are advised they will be required to provide a Criminal Record Check and an Alberta Children’s Services Intervention Record Check (IR Check) before entering the PBE component of the program. The existence of an IR or criminal record may affect practicum placements, program completion and employment prospects.
The consequences of a prior criminal conviction will be examined and discussed on an individual basis. The logistics for obtaining a Criminal Record Check and an IR Check will be discussed with students during program orientation. Cost of the Criminal Record Check is approximately $75 on each occurrence. Students are advised that it is necessary to have these checks completed at least once per year. Applicants will be required to have St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid and CPR (or equivalent) certificates prior to their practicum experiences. The cost for this certification is approximately $125.
Find out more about pre-placement requirements for your program.
Prior learning assessment (PLA)
If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.
Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the Academic Upgrading program to upgrade their academic skills.
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- 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.
- Tuition for international students is assessed at three times that of domestic students. The cost of additional fees, books and supplies is the same for all students.
Learn from the best
We’ve always known our Child and Youth Care program was among the best in Canada. So when the opportunity arose to apply for accreditation through the Child and Youth Care Educational Accreditation Board, we jumped on the chance. And our belief was validated by the results – we received accreditation and are recognized as a premier program in Canada.
But what does that accreditation mean for you? Well, it means:
- receiving high-quality, relevant education: Accreditation ensures that our program delivers a high-quality, relevant curriculum that follows current industry best practices.
- learning from the best: You’ll receive your education in a program that has been and continues to be examined by a nationally-ranked accrediting body. This scrutiny ensures that we continually work to remain among the best CYC programs in Canada.
- being the best: When you graduate and look to enter the industry, employers will know that by hiring you they’ll be getting a graduate from a credible program who meets the highest standards in Canada.
A student perspective
From here to there: alumni updates
Lethbridge College isn’t just a place to go to school – we’re a community that is here to support you from your initial interest in our program through to the moment you cross the stage at Convocation and beyond. Just take a look at where an LC education has taken some of our graduates.
“I love my job. I truly do not think I would be where I am today without those experiences at Lethbridge College. I am pretty much doing all of my practicum placements in one. I'm in a residential setting where the residents are like a second family to me, I get to do some outreach work and connect with community resources as well as deal with crisis situations often, and I get to help provide care to children who need it and support their parents. I am very proud of what I do. Thank you Wendy, Donna, Allan and Ron for making my experience at Lethbridge College what it was – for challenging me and not giving me the answers to all of life's problems but for making me figure it out and supporting me through the tough situations.”
“I went into the CYC program knowing that I wanted to help others, and everything about the CYC program has helped me do that. … In my 13 years as a child and youth care worker, I have been a crisis counsellor at a women's shelter, a youth counsellor at a secure treatment facility, a youth counsellor with children who were at risk of, or were, being sexually exploited within the PSECA act, and I am currently in the role of a youth development counsellor at an elementary school in Calgary. There have been some breaks in those 13 years. There was a year of travelling, a summer of thinking I wanted to be a flight attendant, a few winters working at the ski hill, more education in my degree in psychology, and a year maternity leave. Child and youth care work has always been what I have come back to.”
“I am proud to say that I am a graduate of the Child and Youth Care Program, Class of 2010. I feel like this program fundamentally changed and influenced my life and further set the framework for my career path thus far. Graduating from the CYC Program has allowed me to experience a depth and breadth of career options, which is one of the highlights of this education. ... In my current professional role, I manage a program called Project SPARC within Lethbridge School District 51; in that role, I help at risk youth ages 16-20 or youth that self-identify wanting extra support in navigating career and or educational pursuits. … I am proud to promote the Child and Youth Care program any chance I get to those that might share this passion and interest. The instructors are not only outstanding at what they do, they are empathetic, compassionate and passionate about the work they do and it shows. Not only did the Child and Youth Care faculty go above and beyond when I was a student in school, they continue to do so even though I graduated over seven years ago. It was through this program that I decided that I wanted to continue my education where I later earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services.”
"When I reflect on my time in the Child and Youth Care Program, it feels like my heart is getting a big hug. This program was a safe space not only for myself but for other students in the program to engage in self-exploration, to feel vulnerable and also to feel empowered. Throughout my time in the program, the therapeutic relationship was a common theme; it was a subject in numerous classes, it was practiced in our student practicums and our instructors modelled the therapeutic relationship daily amongst the students. Today, when I communicate with my clients, coworkers and staff, I often carry the gentleness in my interactions with them in the present while simultaneously reflecting on the gentleness that I felt in the past within the Child and Youth Care program."
Change the world in CYC
Teaching excellence develops distinguished alumni
Greg Schmidt: 2009 Distinguished Alumnus
For his commitment to the child- and youth-care profession, Greg Schmidt, Executive Director of Family Ties Association, was chosen by Lethbridge College as its Distinguished Alumnus for 2009.
After obtaining a Communication Arts diploma from Lethbridge College in 1986, Schmidt returned to Lethbridge College where he quickly distinguished himself with the Child and Youth Care faculty for his leadership skills, commitment, vision, sense of humour and advocacy.
Since his graduation, Schmidt has employed those virtues in his field. He was hired by his practicum agency, Sifton Family and Youth Services, before taking on his position at Family Ties and later the post of executive director.
"As I look back, what permeates my view is the commitment, dedication and loyalty of all those involved in ensuring students are able to immediately step into a position after graduation," says Schmidt. "I felt very prepared and ready to start work and feel the same of students that join us at Family Ties Association."