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Child and Youth Care

Available: Fall

Program Description

The three-year Child and Youth Care advanced diploma program is designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to work with children, adolescents and families experiencing a wide range of emotional, social, behavioural and/or mental health needs. Child and Youth Workers are specialists in facilitating change in children and youth and work alongside other professionals including educators, medical and social work professionals, correctional officers and family organizations dedicated to implementing a range of intervention, prevention and treatment strategies for children and their families. As a Child and Youth Worker, you will be a valuable resource committed to understanding and interacting in therapeutic relationships that foster positive change.

Child and Youth Care professionals adhere to a professional code of conduct while engaging in a full range of prevention, intervention and treatment strategies. To succeed in both the Child and Youth Care program and the workplace, you'll need to be mature, outgoing, sensitive, action-oriented and possess the ability to handle stressful situations. Your studies will include various treatment, counselling and therapeutic theories based on a foundational understanding of human behaviour and development. Along with approximately 1200 hours of field placement, you will study areas including adolescent development, violence, abuse, diversity, crisis prevention, child and youth management, therapeutic activities, counselling theory and practice, child exceptionalities, health, sexuality, group and family work and much more.



6 Semesters (3 Years)

Credential Awarded

Ontario College Advanced Diploma

Your Career

In the Child and Youth Care program, you will develop skills to work in a variety of therapeutic contexts where you can make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth and families dealing with complex emotional issues. Our six-semester advanced diploma program prepares you for career opportunities in organizations that provide care and treatment for children, youth and their families such as residential and day treatment centres, group homes, hospitals, young offenders' programs, children's aid societies, community-based programs and schools, working with children and youth in special education classes.

Related Careers


This Seneca program has been validated by the Credential Validation Service as an Ontario College Credential as required by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s) or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).


To be in compliance with our student placement partners, all students in this program must complete a vulnerable sector police screening by the end of first year.

A Ministry approved certificate in the following crisis intervention and prevention prior to graduation is recommended for your success in the program:

  • Crisis Prevention & Intervention (CPI)
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI)
  • Understanding & Managing Aggressive Behavior (UMAB).

Program Costs

Choose academic year:

Tuition – Domestic


Tuition – International


Book & Supply Costs


Please note: All costs are approximate, may vary by campus and are subject to change at any time without notice. Parking, locker and some mandatory incidental fees are among the charges not included in the figures above.

Program Details

The Degree and Credit Transfer Office provides a number of services for students continuing their education at Seneca, and for graduating students considering degree transfer options.

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at various post-secondary institutions. Please refer to the Degree Transfer Guide for more information.

Transfer Credit may be granted for courses deemed equivalent to courses at Seneca that have been completed at recognized postsecondary institutions. Additional information is available online.

Students who successfully complete this diploma with a minimum 3.0 GPA, may be considered for admission into the 5th semester of the Honours Bachelor of Community Mental Health program, after a bridge semester in the summer.

Summer Bridge Courses
MHB399 Advanced Studies in Community Mental Health
MHB499 Health and Community Psychology
MHB799 Trauma Methods and Practice in Community Mental Health

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant term.

Please select the curriculum from the Academic Year in which you started (or will be starting) your studies. An Academic Year begins in September and ends in August of the following year.

Also see: English and General Education requirements.


Need to know more about your application and/or the application process? Reach out to our admissions advisors for assistance.

416.491.5050 ext. 55013

Student Recruitment

Have questions about Seneca’s campuses, financial aid, student supports and more? Connect with one of our student recruiters for more information or to book a campus tour.

416.491.5050 ext. 22608
Additional Contacts
Financial Aid & Awards

Program Coordinator

Justin Boudreau 416.491.5050 ext. 55336

Program Chair

Biljana Bruce 416.491.5050 ext. 55002

Why Choose Seneca?

Passionate, expert faculty from a range of professions

Real-world learning experiences through paid and non-paid work opportunities

Curriculums developed in collaboration with industry advisory committees

A variety of credentials offered from certificates, diplomas, degrees, and graduate certificates

Opportunities to pathway to higher level credentials at Seneca and other universities in our transfer partnership network


“Classroom learning is completely relevant to the field of child and youth care, and experienced professors encourage intelligent discussions which are fostered by small class sizes. The faculty is just as passionate in helping children as you are which provides motivation to accomplish, and even surpass, your personal goals. After accepting a pre-graduation job offer, I have been working full time for the York Region District School Board. I have worked with and made strong connections with a large number of children and couldn’t be happier.”

Emma Bannister