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Child & Youth Care

“Children are one third of our population and 100% of our future.” – Unknown

You are:

  • Caring and patient
  • Looking to make a difference
  • Passionate about helping children and youth
  • Professional and approachable

What does a Child and Youth Care Worker do?

Caring for children and youth in our society is a unique calling. It takes a special kind of person to work with young people facing trauma, those most at risk, and those who are struggling to survive, let alone thrive. Our Child and Youth Care Diploma Program prepares you for a career in this expanding field, in a wide range of work settings, including community-based programs, schools, family support, group homes, residential treatment facilities and hospitals.

How does Oulton prepare me to help such a variety of youth in such a varied setting?

You will learn the principles, philosophies, and characteristics required to provide quality youth care. To better prepare you for the rewards and challenges of your chosen field, this program also includes hands-on opportunities in two practicum placements (one lasting 8-weeks during your first year and the other lasting 12-weeks during your second year.) Such training gives real-life experience that allows you to practice the skills learned in class in real-life situations.

What kinds of learning areas are found in the program?

Our Child and Youth Care Program provides hands-on practical experience and training in:

  • Working as a member of a team in a support network.
  • Courses in child abuse, psychology, counselling and behaviour management.
  • A trauma informed approached to treatment
  • Certification in ASIST: Suicide Intervention.
  • Certification in CPI: Non-Violent Crisis Intervention.
  • Tours of the New Brunswick Youth Centre, Portage Atlantic, other community agencies, and observation of Youth Court.
  • Guest speakers from numerous agencies/employers.
  • Employment Readiness: report writing, resume writing and cover letters.
  • Computer Applications I

What paths are open to me after graduation?

Oulton has partnered with Crandall University here in Moncton to allow students in this program to transfer credits toward their Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management. You can earn both a diploma and a degree in as little as 3 years, all while working and gaining valuable experience!

Term (Year 1): September – July

Term (Year 2): August – November

Practicum: 8 weeks (Year 1) and 12 weeks (Year 2)

You Will Learn:

  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
  • Effective Human Relations, Practices
  • Behaviour Management
  • Counselling Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Suicide Intervention
  • Report Writing
  • Group Facilitation
  • Program Development and Implementation

Admissions Requirements:

  • Grade 12 Diploma, Adult Diploma or GED
  • 19 years of age prior to commencement of practicum
  • Meeting with an Admissions Advisor
  • Acceptance by the Admissions Committee
  • Completion of the Pre-Enrollment Package

Unless they have completed a minimum of three years of study at a school where English is the language of instruction, international students whose first language is not English must submit proof of English language proficiency:

  • CAEL – minimum score of 60
  • IELTS – 6.0 with no individual score lower than 5.5
  • TOEFL (IBT) – 80, with no individual score lower than 18
  • MELAB – minimum score of 80
  • Duolinguo – minimum score of 55
  • Cambridge English – minimum score of 169
  • Pearson Test of English – minimum score of 50

Education Pathways:

Oulton College is proud to partner with Crandall University to provide students with a base education (a college education that can be credited towards the completion of a degree!))

Your diploma from Oulton College will allow you to transfer 27 credit hours toward the Adult Degree Completion Program– Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management.

Course Descriptions:

Foundations of Human Service

Students will explore the foundation of generalist human service work practice. Through an interactive class students will discuss the profession’s historical roots, examine essential components of sound practice, and problem solving processes and review best practices. Students will explore interdisciplinary approaches and discuss ethical dilemmas.

Interpersonal Relations

This course will introduce students to the principles and practices of the human relationship. Students will have opportunity to integrate theory and skills development as they begin to recognize the process of human interaction. Giving and receiving feedback, needs, assertiveness, self-esteem, and conflict resolution are emphasized as important influences on interpersonal communication skills. Students will learn to develop collaborative and positive relationships. Focus will be placed on self-exploration and experiential learning.

Lifespan Psychology

This course will explore lifespan development (birth to death). Students will develop an understanding of social, emotional, physical, moral, and cognitive growth exploring widely accepted theories. Students will apply these theories to an observational learning experience.

Self Care

Students will have the opportunity to explore and examine areas of personal stress and their maintaining variables. Traditional and holistic methods of self-care will be examined in this applied course.

Youth and Deviance in Canada

This course, facilitated through lectures, class discussions, field trips and guest speakers, will introduce the student to the concepts and theories associated with adolescence, delinquency and youth culture. Topics discussed include, but are not limited to history of delinquency, youth crime statistics, youth as victim, schools and delinquency, female deviance, and the Juvenile Justice Act.

Fundamental Skills in Counselling

This course emphasizes the necessary skills to begin any helping relationship. Basic helping skills will be examined and practiced – active listening, reflecting, leading, challenging, paraphrasing, summarizing, etc. – through lectures, class discussions and role play demonstrations.

Crisis Intervention

These courses will provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills for managing crisis situations. Based on the premise that “Crisis is Opportunity”, Introduction to Crisis Intervention teaches students introductory intervention methods and safe practices through activities, self-reflection, and script writing. Certifications include Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Suicide Intervention. In Advanced Crisis Intervention, Students develop a deeper understanding of crisis intervention and focus primarily on learning more advanced techniques required to implement the stages of Life Space Crisis Intervention.

The Family-System, Issues, and Helping

This course will examine the family system; its communication patterns, rules, and life cycle. Students will have the opportunity to review historical and current practices through a literature review and instructor led lectures. Students will also be introduced to the process of assessment, engagement, empowerment and discharge as it relates to working with at-risk families. Students will gain skills for working with families, as well as facilitating skill development in families. Students will examine their own family system as well as gain the skills required to work effectively with traditional and non-traditional family structures.

Abnormal Psychology

Students will study the procedure and DSM-V criteria associated with being diagnosed with mental health illnesses. Areas to be explored include, but are not limited to, Bipolar Disorder, Mood Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Students will learn the symptoms and behaviours associated with the above mental illnesses, through case studies, videos, and a variety of instructor led demonstrations. Students will explore and research prevention and treatments including psychotherapy, group therapy, psychoeducational therapy, and psychopharmacological treatments.

Behavioural Management

This course introduces the student to a wide variety of applied behavioural techniques used to modify behaviour. The course will assist the student in observing behavior in an objective and analytical manner. Classical and operant conditioning theories and procedures will be emphasized in a practical manner and implemented through case studies.

Group Dynamics and Therapeutic Activity Planning

This course provides opportunities for the student to utilize the skills and techniques of the group process in social and work situations. The focus is on group behavior in therapeutic settings and the use of various techniques, methods and approaches within the group process with children, youth and their families. Students will apply this theoretical knowledge to a group therapeutic activity planning project.


This course will educate students on the different forms of abuse inflicted against children, adults, elders and vulnerable persons. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of many types of abuse, such as: neglect and psychological, physical, sexual, and economic abuse. Students will learn how to identify signs of abuse and what to do if they suspect abuse. Risk factors and prevention will also be covered in respect to victims and perpetrators.

Child and Youth Care in the School Setting

This specialty course will assist students to further develop their skills for work in the educational setting. Topics discussed include professional practice, integration, special education planning, participating in the IEP process, and supporting children with exceptionalities. Up-to-date information will be provided by experts in the field when possible.


Through an interactive classroom environment the student will gain the basic skills and techniques necessary to communicate appropriately with staff, clients, families and other human services care providers. Focus will also be given to the importance of proper documentation and reporting. Students will learn how to create client portfolios, individualized case plans, incident reports, daily logs, and other documentation commonly used within the human services field. Students will also be given the skills to prepare and lead a mock case management meeting.

Employment Readiness

The purpose of this course is to assist students to develop employment readiness skills. Among skills explored are: professional resume development, cover and thank you letters, interviewing skills, mock interview, and specific topics associated with professional behavior in the workplace.

Substance Use, Mental Health and Treatment

This course will provide students with information regarding substance use and abuse. Special emphasis will be placed on assisting students to develop an understanding of such topics as risk factors and protective factors for drug use/abuse, models of assisting (stages of change model, harm reduction model, abstinence model, motivational interviewing, etc.), the links between mental health issues and drug use/abuse and the core functions of a substance abuse counselor.

Community Support and Integration

This course is designed to increase students’ knowledge and skills in the area of community based child and youth care practices. It will focus on the importance of resiliency and recognizing and building factors to promote resiliency among at risk youth. An emphasis on understanding the youth care workers’ role, barriers faced by youth, promoting inclusion and understanding the stigma youth face will be covered. Volunteer experience offers a practical approach and valuable experience in local community efforts to engage youth and promote advocacy. Student will apply concepts through a variety of community projects and in class presentations.


This course will introduce students to a correctional facility. This includes emphasis on security, protection and prevention from an institutional standpoint. Introductions to core values surrounding corrections, with an emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration. Basic introduction to tools used by correctional staff will also be discussed. Students will be given a formal tour of a correctional environment and experience firsthand how various searches are conducted.

Independent Directed Workshop

Students will participate in an individual project which is designed for the purpose of an in-depth study of a preapproved topic within the field. Students will be provided a framework for the work required with specific deliverables due throughout the course. Students will be required to submit a written report and as well, will be required to create a workshop related to the field of study. Instructors will support students by providing an appropriate audience for the presentations.

Trauma Informed Care

Will provide students with the knowledge of the different forms of trauma, the symptoms and co morbid disorders that present with children who have been through traumatic events as well as best practices to support these populations. Students will be given the current trends in school and residential practices to treat and build relationships with children and youth who have experienced complex trauma.

*Content is subject to change by administration as required to meet program and profession standards.

Career Choices:

Do you enjoy children and interacting with youth? Looking for a fulfilling career that’s always in demand? Our Child and Youth Care Program can be the first step in finding your calling.

    • Residential Counselor
    • Addiction Worker
    • Clinical Case Worker
    • Autism Support Centers
    • Recreational Counselor
    • Educational Assistants
    • Behavioral Interventionist/Specialists
    • Outreach Workers