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Child and Youth Care Worker

Child and youth care workers strive to improve the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of vulnerable children, youth and families.

Also Known As

Caregiver, Child Care Professional, Community Support Worker, Youth Care Worker

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Community and Social Service Workers (4212) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Community and Social Service Workers (E212) 
  • 2011 NOC: Social and community service workers (4212) 
  • 2016 NOC: Social and community service workers (4212) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Community and Social Service Workers

2006 NOC: 4212

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
SOCIAL

Interest in consulting with social assistance recipients and pensioners to advise and aid them in locating and utitizing a variety of community resources; in referring clients to other social services; in counselling clients living in group homes and halfway houses and assisting in pre-release and release planning; in providing crisis intervention and emergency-shelter services; and in co-ordinating volunteer activities of community and social services organizations

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to participate in the selection and admission of clients to appropriate programs; to assess clients' relevant skill strengths and deficits; and in maintaining contact with other social service agencies and health care providers involved with clients to provide information and obtain feedback on clients' overall progress

innovative

Interest in assisting clients to sort out options and develop plans of action, and in implementing and organizing the delivery of life-skills workshops, substance-abuse treatment programs, behaviour management programs, youth services programs and other community and social service programs under the supervision of social workers and health care professionals

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Child and youth care workers may work with young people who are:

  • Temporarily housed in government or private homes, agencies, treatment centres or group homes
  • Involved in community youth programs, recreational programs, early intervention programs, family support or foster care programs, or school-based programs

In general, child and youth care workers:

  • Establish trusting and meaningful 1-to-1 relationships with children, youth and families
  • Implement strategies that include planned daily activities, coordinated treatment interventions, structured environments, and organized recreational and social activities
  • Help individuals and families identify personal strengths and resources for positive change
  • Help develop and implement individual and group treatment programs
  • Respond effectively to acts of aggression and depressive, destructive or self-injurious behaviours
  • Act as a resource for individuals and their families
  • Engage in behaviour management programming and safety and security programming for young people in residential centres
  • Complete written documentation

Child and youth care workers are often part of a team of social workers, psychologists, recreation therapists, foster care workers, teachers and other professionals. They help integrate the efforts of all these specialized professionals with children, youth and families who may be experiencing emotional or behavioural challenges. Due to their ongoing close involvement with children, youth and families, child and youth care workers are in an ideal position to help them advocate for themselves and take responsibility for their actions.

The number of individuals or families assigned to each worker varies depending on the needs of the individuals and families and the type of services being offered.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 02, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Child and youth care workers may be required to work day, evening and some night shifts, 7 days a week. The work can be physically and mentally demanding, and may require physically restraining young people.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Child and youth care workers need:

  • Desire, ability and maturity to engage in intense therapeutic relationships with children, youth and families
  • Flexibility and creativity to adopt new ways of doing things
  • Communication skills (both written and oral)
  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Reliability and consistency
  • The ability to work in a team environment with children, youth and families and other professionals

Child and youth care workers should enjoy working with young people and families, keeping in touch with others involved in the helping process and finding innovative solutions to problems.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Social and community service workers

2016 NOC: 4212

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jul 08, 2022 and Nov 29, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Construction Specialization: Team player
Security and Safety: Criminal record check
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Construction Specialization: Initiative
Construction Specialization: Flexibility
Construction Specialization: Excellent written communication
Construction Specialization: Judgement
Work under pressure
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 02, 2021
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary

Child and youth care workers must be familiar with the developmental, educational, emotional, social and recreational needs of young people and families. Employers generally prefer to hire applicants with related post-secondary education, preferably a diploma or degree in child and youth care or a related degree in social science or human services. Previous work experience with young people is a definite asset. In some settings, knowledge of native culture and language may be required.

Child and youth care 2-year diploma programs are offered throughout Alberta. Articulation agreements from post-secondary schools, both within Alberta and across Canada, provide smooth transfer for those wishing to continue their education into a bachelor or master's degree.

To enhance employees' formal education, most employers offer orientation training for newly hired child and youth care workers.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

ABES (Alberta Business and Educational Services) - Calgary
Alberta Business & Health Institute
Alberta Business and Health Institute
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Edmonton
Bredin College of Business and Health Care - Red Deer
Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus
Canford Institute of Technology
Capstone Edge College
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North
Lethbridge College
Medicine Hat College
NorQuest College
Red Deer Polytechnic
Reeves College - Calgary City Centre
Reeves College - Calgary South
Reeves College - Edmonton North
Reeves College Edmonton South
Robertson College - Calgary
Robertson College - Edmonton
Thompson Rivers University
Vancouver College of Counsellor Training

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 02, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

The Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta offers a certification program for child and youth care workers. Certification is not mandatory in this occupation at this time, but may be an asset when seeking employment.

In 2018 the Mental Health Services Protection Act [pdf] was amended to include addictions counsellors, child and youth care counsellors, and counselling therapists under the new College of Counselling Therapy of Alberta (CCTA). Regulations are being developed and these professions will be regulated in the near future. Once this happens, counsellors will need to be approved by CCTA to work in these professions. For updates on the regulation, visit Alberta Counselling Therapists Association (ACTA).

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Child and youth care workers are employed by:

  • Provincial governments
  • School boards
  • Private agencies such as residential treatment programs, group homes, and family support and independent living programs
  • Community resources such as emergency shelters, community leagues, schools, after-school programs and recreational programs

Experienced child and youth care workers may advance to supervisory positions. Further advancement generally requires additional education.

 

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 4212: Social and community service workers occupational group, 77.9% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 4212: Social and community service workers occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 3.1% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 489 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

 

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 02, 2021

For information about current collective agreements in the public and not-for-profit sectors, see the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Social and community service workers

2016 NOC: 4212
Average Wage
$23.98
Per Hour
Average Salary
$41,099.00
Per Year
Average Hours
32
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 4212 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $35.54 $21.05 $18.00
Overall $15.84 $45.60 $23.98 $20.20
Top $18.00 $47.29 $26.99 $23.69

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Public Administration
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
55%
55%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
20%
20%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
8%
8%
Vacancy Rate
10%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta (CYCAA) website: www.cycaa.com

Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations website: cyc-canada.org

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) website: hsaa.ca

The International Child and Youth Care Network (CYC-Net) website: cyc-net.org

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 02, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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