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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.

  • Avg. Salary $34,493.00
  • Avg. Wage $20.09
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 16,100
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

65%
65%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Child and Youth Care Worker is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Community and Social Service Workers
NOC code: 4212
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

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 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 More

Duties
Updated Mar 20, 2017

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 20, 2017

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 20, 2017

Child and youth care workers need to possess:

  • the desire, ability and maturity to engage in intense therapeutic relationships with children, youth and families
  • the flexibility and creativity to adopt new ways of doing things
  • excellent written and oral communication skills
  • good 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.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 20, 2017

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.

Lethbridge College

Medicine Hat College

Robertson College - Calgary NW

Robertson College - Calgary SE

Robertson College - Edmonton

Vancouver College of Counsellor Training - Vancouver

Victory Bible College - Calgary

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 20, 2017

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.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 20, 2017

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

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.

Child and youth care workers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4212: Social and community service workers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (PDF) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 12,200 Albertans are employed in the Community and social service workers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.9% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 354 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As child and youth care workers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for child and youth care workers.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 20, 2017

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

Social and community service workers
NOC code: 4212

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $13.05 $27.03 $18.10 $17.00
Overall $14.10 $30.00 $20.09 $18.59
Top $16.00 $34.78 $22.87 $20.48

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.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Educational Services
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

65%
65%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

29%
29%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 20, 2017

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

Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Association website: cyccanada.ca

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

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

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2017. 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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