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This version of the Child and Youth Care program will no longer be accepting new students effective Fall 2021.

Please visit the new Child and Youth Care program webpage for the revised program. 

  • Two-year diploma
  • August entry date
  • Delivered at:
    • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg
  • Practicum 
  • Credit transfer opportunities:
    • Athabasca University
    • University of Calgary
    • University of Manitoba
    • University of Victoria
  • If you have a criminal record you may not be able to complete this program. If you are listed on a Child Abuse Registry or Adult Abuse Registry you will not be able to complete this program. See Program Progression Requirements for more info. 
  • International applicants please visit Academic Program, Dates and Fees for a listing of programs for international students, current availability and online application instructions.

This program provides you with the skills and knowledge to work with children and youth experiencing behavioural and emotional difficulties. You will learn how to intervene and assess situations and formulate strategies to help children, youth, and their families identify and resolve concerns and enhance their quality of life.

The program covers the dynamics of human development within a multicultural perspective. Courses include child and adolescent development, special issues affecting child and youth care, and care for children who have emotional or behavioural difficulties.

This program includes training in relationship development, group process, and family dynamics. It also includes skill-oriented family support and intervention courses, child and youth care methods, listening skills, and activities programming.

Prior to starting the program, you will be invited to attend a program information session. You may also be asked to participate in an individual interview.

Students can exit from the program at the end of Year 1 with a Child and Youth Care Certificate.

Some courses are also available through The School of Continuing Education.

Please view our PowerPoint Information Session Presentation.

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account (preferred method)

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to apply.rrc.ca and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Mail or In-Person: Student Service Centre Click here for address and hours of service

E-mail: register@rrc.ca

Fax: 204-697-0584

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit www.rrc.ca/credentials for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 30 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

However, if you apply within 6 weeks of the program start date, admission requirements are due within 5 days of applying.

This program requires completion of an assessment.  We strongly advise you complete the assessment before applying to ensure you meet this program's required levels. If you choose to complete the assessment after applying and do not achieve the required levels, your application will be cancelled without refund. See Regular Admission Requirement 2 for more information.

Volunteer or employment experience in the child and youth care sector is not an admission requirement but may be helpful preparation for this program.

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit of:
      • Grade 12 English
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Assessment or Academic Communication Assessment
    • ALL applicants must complete either an English Language Assessment or the Academic Communication Assessment
    • We strongly advise you complete the assessment before submitting your application to ensure you meet required levels
    • Assessment results must be dated no more than two years prior to your application date
    • Before applying, determine which assessment is appropriate for your situation by answering this question: 
      Have I successfully completed three years of full-time high school (secondary) education in Canada, the United States, or an English language requirement (ELR) exempt country where English was the language of instruction?
      • If YES:
      • If NO:
        • Before applying, successfully complete one of this program's approved English language assessments (ELA) at the required levels
        • After applying, submit your ELA results. Once we confirm you meet this program's English language requirements, we will request submission of your transcripts* for review.
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but you did not graduate high school:
    • * If your transcripts are from the USA or an ELR exempt country, we will assess an International Credentials Assessment Fee to be paid before your transcripts will be reviewed.
  3. Applicant Declaration for Check Documents Form

RRC Youth Recreation Activity Worker (YRAW) or RRC/Ndinawe Child & Youth Care Worker (C&YCW) Programs

If you are a graduate of the YRAW or C&YCW program:

  • You will not be assessed an RRC application fee if, within 30 days of graduating:
    • You submit a RRC paper application form
    • You identify yourself as a graduate on the application form
    • You submit your YRAW/C&YCW transcript confirming graduation
  • Upon confirming your graduation status, RRC will waive Regular Admission Requirements 1 and 2. You are required to meet Regular Admission Requirement 3.
  • Upon admission to RRC’s Child and Youth Care diploma program, you will receive credit for Year 1.

If you did not graduate from one of the above programs but successfully completed individual courses, you may be eligible for transfer credit for individual courses.  Follow our usual application process by submitting an online application and transcripts confirming you meet all of the Regular or Mature Student Admission Requirements. Your transcripts will be forwarded to RRC’s Child and Youth Care program to determine if you are eligible for transfer credit. 

Mature Student Admission Requirements

If you are 19 years of age or older and have been out of high school for a minimum of one year at time of application, and you do not meet the regular admission requirements, you may apply under the Mature Student admission requirements.

  1. Academic Requirement
    • High school graduation is not required, but you must have successfully completed or be enrolled in one credit of:
      • Grade 12 English
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. Meet Regular Admission Requirements 2 and 3

Program Progression Requirements
Program progression requirements are not due within 30 days of applying and should be submitted after you start classes.

  • Criminal Record and Adult and Child Abuse Checks
    • This program requires students to submit current original/official versions of one or more of the following checks:
      • Criminal Record Check (CRC)
      • Provincial Child Abuse Registry Check (CAR)
      • Adult Abuse Registry Check (AAR)
    • If you have a criminal record you may not be able to complete the program
    • If you are listed on an Abuse Registry you will not be able to complete the program
    • For details on this program's requirements, when to obtain and submit the documents, review the Applicant Declaration for Check Documents Form
    • These documents have expiration dates and should not be obtained prior to timeline indicated on the Applicant Declaration for Check Documents form
    • For general information on why RRC requires these checks and for links to check providers such as the Winnipeg Police, visit our Criminal Record Checks webpage
    • Submit your check documents to the RRC program contact listed on the Contact Information section of your program
  • First Aid Course
    • Submit proof of current certification in the appropriate First Aid course. To confirm which course you need to complete for this program click here 

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
AEPUCE (Academic English Program of University and College Entrance )
Requirement: Submission of a parchment (certificate) indicating successful completion of the AEPUCE program, including language levels achieved if available.
CAEL and CAEL Online (Canadian Academic English Language)
CLB (LINC) (Canadian Language Benchmark - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
Canadian Citizens: LINC programs are not available.
CanTEST (Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
As of October 20, 2021 the RRC CanTEST is no longer offered at RRC Polytechnic. RRC Institutional CanTEST results dated within 2 years of your application date will still be accepted to meet English language proficiency requirements. Please note the Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS)program requires the Official CanTEST (The RRC Institutional CanTEST will not be accepted)
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Due to closures related to COVID-19, RRC is temporarily allowing applicants to provide Duolingo English Test results to meet RRC's English language requirements.

Red River College will accept Duolingo assessments up to December 30, 2021. Beginning December 31, 2021 we will no longer accept Duolingo assessments to meet English language requirements.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
TOEFL-iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet Based Test)
To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test in selected areas.

Who Should Enrol?

To work as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner, you must have a genuine commitment to working with children, youth, and their families. Your ability to be a positive role model for children and youth and to promote the development of healthy relationships is essential. 

To meet the demands of this occupation you must be in good general health and be vigilant in monitoring your own stress level. Evening work will be required during the co-op work experience. This program requires motivation, organization, self-discipline, and competent reading and study skills.

Locations, Dates and Fees

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Year 2
Books and Supplies
Year 1
Year 2
Other Fees
Year 1
Year 2
Program/Student Fees (International)
Year 1
Year 2
1CYCWAM Membership
2CYCWAM Membership

Students may apply for financial assistance through the Manitoba Student Aid program. For general information on applying please call 204-945-6321 or 1-800-204-1685, or visit their website at www.manitobastudentaid.ca, which also includes an online application. For detailed information, please visit one of the RRC Polytech Student Service Centres or call 204-632-2327. Applicants requiring financial assistance should complete their student loan applications well in advance of the class start date.

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check www.rrc.ca/rpl for additional contact information.
COMM-1158Interpersonal Communication
More Information

This course explores the complex styles of communication within various forms of relationships including discussion of self-image, perceptual differences, emotions and the impact of language. The course also addresses nonverbal communication and explores a variety of dynamics within relationships including effective listening, appropriate self-disclosure, defensiveness, assertiveness and managing conflict. Interpersonal communication with respect to cross-cultural, Indigenous and diverse perspectives are examined.

CYCP-1005College Preparation and Professional Development
More Information

This course is intended to enhance the College orientation process and assist the student in developing college level writing skills.  Employability skills will be emphasized in both classroom and skill based activities.

CYCP-1008Youth Criminal Justice Issues
More Information

This course provides an introduction to the construction and responses to youth crime. These processes are examined in historical and contemporary contexts. Attention is focused upon the social impact of the young offender including media portrayal as well as the role of the child and youth care practitioner. A series of related topics such as youth corrections, and gangs will also be introduced.

CYCP-1009Emotional and Behavioural Disorders of Youth
More Information

This course begins with a brief overview of normal human development and the research methods employed to gather and evaluate evidence concerning development. We will then explore the problem of defining abnormal or disordered behaviour in children, the frequency of disorders of youth, and the special needs presented by youth as clients. Our discussions will then turn to some of the most common disorders of youth including anxiety disorders, depression and social problems, conduct disorder, ADHD, developmental language and learning disabilities, autism, and schizophrenia. Discussion for each of the above will include an overview of various perspectives from which to view the causes of the disorders, common behavioural indicators, and an emphasis on biological and cognitive behavioural approaches to treatment.

CYCP-1010Mental Health Literacy for Child and Youth Care Practice
More Information

This course will focus on the development of mental health literacy for child and youth care practitioners. Students will be introduced to a variety of DSM diagnoses including ADHD, CD, ODD, PTSD, depression, eating disorders, psychosis and other child and adolescent mental health concerns.

CYCP-1011Counselling Skills for Child and Youth Care Practice
More Information

Counseling Skills focuses on the role of the child and youth care practitioner in motivating youth to develop and create a plan for change. The reasons for why people change will be outlined and counseling skills will be reviewed and practiced. Additionally students will learn the comprehensive steps of counseling youth and supporting them to  explore their values and skillfully inquire as to what is motivating the youth to change. Students will acquire the skills, approaches and attitudes of a successful helper and be able to demonstrate these in their counseling labs.

CYCP-1012Preparing for Professional Practice
More Information

Students will create a professional career portfolio which will highlight their child and youth care skills and delineate a career path. The professional portfolio will become a living document streamlined to reflect the uniqueness of the Child and Youth Care Practitioner. Students will assess their employability skills and will learn how professionally present in the interview process. The career portfolio will be utilized to illustrate the student’s skills and talents to prospective employers.

CYCP-1013Group Facilitation
More Information

Group Facilitation provides a focus on the role of groups in the treatment of children, youth and adults. Individual helping techniques are extended into group work practice with the opportunity for students to practice their skills. Theoretical concepts used in group practice will combine with experiential learning to create the foundation for this course.

CYCP-1014Behaviour Theory and Intervention
More Information

This course is intended to help the student learn behavioural theories and frameworks to develop their ability to assess and understand challenging behaviours of youth.  Students will become familiar with various approaches to behaviour management that will assist young people and families in a variety of settings in a positive way.

CYCP-1016Family Support and Intervention
More Information

Students will be introduced to conceptual frameworks to assess family systems and utilize a strength based approach to working with families. Family assessment and intervention skills required to work in the life space of the family are a major focus of this course. We will examine how issues such as poverty, family violence, being a newcomer to Canada and addiction can influence risk.

CYCP-1018Activities Programming for Youth
More Information

This course is designed to equip students with the attitudes, conceptual frameworks and skills to develop appropriate recreational activities for young people. Students will be able to program such activities to facilitate leisure, educational and therapeutic goals.

CYCP-1019Community Based Programming
More Information

Child and youth care practitioners will acquire knowledge in regard what community services offer to  youth in the in the areas of: Youth Support  & Development, Supporting Families to Succeed, Transition Programs, CYCP in Schools, Newcomers and Refugees, Addictions , Homeless/Street youth, Mental Health.  Students will assess the gaps in services for youth by conducting independent survey and academic research. After reporting on the community services available, students will develop a community based program and write a proposal outlining the rationale and need for a program which will help fill the gaps in services for youth.

CYCP-1021Issues for Youth At Risk
More Information

 “Youth at Risk” are some of the most vulnerable people in our society.  They are faced with many issues and are at-risk of harm.  This course is designed to be an introduction to the current areas and issues facing youth today and begin to explore assessment and planning skills for youth care professionals. Topics of exploration in this course will include culture, diversity and sexual orientation; youth affected by FASD; youth suicide; sexual exploitation; homelessness and “street-involvement”; addictions; risky sexual behavior and adolescent sexual offending.

CYCP-1022A Context for Practice With Indigenous PeoplesRPL
More Information

This course will acquaint Child and Youth Care students with many of the significant issues affecting Aboriginal children, youth, and families. The theme of historical context and its relationship to cultural competence in child and youth care practice will be highlighted. In addition, the course will identify respectful ways in which Child and Youth Care professionals can incorporate an Aboriginal worldview into their care practices with children, youth, and families.

CYCP-1024Observation and Documentation
More Information

This course will assist students in developing the communication skills that are required in the professional practice of child and youth care. Observation, documenting observations, using critical thinking skills, conducting assessments, and developing intervention plans in child and youth care practice is the primary topics that are discussed in this course. The principle of accountability in professional practice provides the foundation for the course.

CYCP-1025The Child & Youth Care ProfessionalRPL
More Information

This course is an introductory course to the field of child and youth care. Students will explore the professional tasks of a child and youth care practitioner and the challenges of being a member of this profession. An overview of the needs of youth, the types of agencies providing service, governing legislation, professional roles, and future trends and issues will be studied.

CYCP-1026International Practicum & Seminar IV
More Information

(No description available at this time)

CYCP-1027Case Mgmt Child & Youth Care Practice
More Information

The process of child and youth care assessment and intervention planning are fully examined in this course. Assessment methods that have been learned over the four semesters of the program will be reviewed and applied. Child and youth care intervention techniques will also be reviewed and applied as part of the treatment planning process. The students will demonstrate and apply their learning in assessment and intervention in a comprehensive treatment planning and case management process.

CYCP-1029Understanding Substance Use, Misuse and Abuse
More Information

This course helps students reflect on the current issues in the field of substance use and abuse and provides an overview of terminology, theories of addiction, psychoactive substances, treatment options, treatment resources and prevention strategies. The skills required to become a competent helper for those who struggle with use and abuse of substances will be discussed with particular emphasis on the role of the child and youth care professional.

CYCP-1032Child and Adolescent Development
More Information

This course begins with an overview of the major theoretical perspectives and research methods of contemporary human developmental research.  Discussion then turns to an exploration of development from a chronological perspective, beginning with conception, then moving through the stages of infancy and toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, concluding with adolescence. Within each period, discussion is structured around the physical, motor, cognitive, and social-emotional aspects of development. Selected topics of interest will be explored in greater detail. A central theme of the course is the complex interaction between the environmental and biological factors that correspond to development.

CYCP-1033Introduction to Field Placement and Seminar
More Information

Introduction to Field Placement and Seminar focuses on professional development with an emphasis on teamwork and communication along with interview and presentation skills. Students will be introduced to the role of a Child and Youth Care Practitioner via agency visits and complete field research to prepare for Field Placement and Seminar 1.

CYCP-1056Child and Youth Care PracticeRPL
More Information

This course will introduce the main concepts involved in Child & Youth Care best practice to the student. The focus of this course is on the identification and exploration of the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and group processes involved in the establishment of the caring relationship within the therapeutic environment.

CYCP-1057Family DynamicsRPL
More Information

Family Dynamics is an introduction to the study of the family as a system. The course begins with an overview of basic family systems theory and will then focus each student's attention on his or her own family of origin. This self-study approach is seen as an aid to recognition of issues that may affect the student's ability to work with troubled youth and families.

CYCP-1134Field Placement and Seminar 1
More Information

(No description available at this time)

CYCP-2004Field Placement and Seminar 2
More Information

Field Placement and Seminar 2 provides students with the opportunity to combine classroom seminars and workplace experience in order to further develop their skills and integrate classroom learning in to practice. This field placement requires students to apply child and youth care skills to practice, in a school, justice, mental health or community based setting. In some settings, students will be challenged to develop a role for the child and youth care professional. The seminar requires students to present cases, workplace challenges and request feedback in order to demonstrate their learning.

CYCP-2067The Impact of Maltreatment and TraumaRPL
More Information

This course is intended to help students explore the impact of neglect, abuse, and other forms of trauma on the developing young person. Students will learn to identify the physical and behavioural symptoms associated with maltreatment and trauma as well as the potential impact of the trauma on the young person. Students will develop an understanding of the healing process and learn intervention strategies which can be used in their work with young people who have experienced maltreatment and trauma.

CYCP-3000Ethics & Issues in Professional Practice
More Information

This course is designed to assist students to become informed about current issues and trends in the profession of child and youth care.  As the standards of professionalism require that the child and youth care practitioner be well informed, stay abreast of current issues and remain involved in ongoing professional development and growth, it is important that the student become familiar with this process prior to entering the field.

CYCP-3001Field Placement and Seminar 3
More Information

Field Placement and Seminar 3 provides students with the opportunity to combine classroom seminars and workplace experience in order to further develop their skills and integrate classroom learning into practice. This field placement required students to apply child and youth care skills to practice in a school, justice, mental health or community based setting. In some settings, students will be challenged to develop a role for the child and youth care professional. The seminar portion of the course is student led, and students are required to prepare case studies for seminar, including the creation of questions for group discussion.

NVCI-1003Non-Violent Crisis Intervention
More Information

This course describes factors which contribute to violent behavior and describes warning signs of potential violence; identifies stages of escalation to violence; demonstrates personal safety techniques; demonstrates individual and team restraint techniques; identifies supportive behaviours for helpers; and discusses how to do a post-crisis analysis and explores ethical issues.

PSYC-1001Introduction to PsychologyRPL
More Information

This course is an introductory study of general and developmental psychology. It is designed for students in health care programs and as such, is aimed at practical application of social science knowledge in the helping relationships. It emphasizes fundamental principles of growth and development. Key concepts of personality motivation, emotional behaviour and methods of coping/adapting are included. Overall, the student is expected to gain insight into the roots of human behavior from both a physical and psychological perspective.

CO-OP/Practicum Information

Practicums will take place at a variety of treatment centres, mental health centres, family service support programs, youth correctional facilities, and school or community-based programs. The length of time you spend at practicum sites and the extent of your responsibility will increase as the program progresses. During this off-campus training your instructors will visit you on a regular basis to offer guidance and evaluate your progress.

Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College students require, at minimum:

1.  Off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam

2.  A high speed internet connection

• Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload
• Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.
• Please refer to https://www.rrc.ca/future-students/computer-requirements/ for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Please note that any anticipated costs are not included in Books and Supplies estimates.

Transfer Credit Opportunities

The following universities offer credit for the Child and Youth Care program.

Athabasca University

  • Credits toward a Bachelor of Professional Arts Degree - Human Services Major

University of Calgary 

  • Graduates of this program will receive credit for the first two years of the U of C’s Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation (BCR) degree program.  However, the U of C may require additional courses be successfully completed prior to taking senior level courses.  In addition, a junior human science prerequisite course is required but can be completed after acceptance in the program. Please contact the U of C for more information.

 University of Manitoba

  • 60 credit hours for the RRC Child and Youth Care diploma program, which is equivalent to the first two years of a four-year Bachelor of Human Ecology degree, in Family Social Sciences
  • 15 credit hours consisting of 12 unallocated credit hours based on the successful completion of the RRC Child and Youth Care diploma program and all required Social Work with the exception of 47.208(ICES)

University of Victoria

  • Credits toward a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care

Recognition of Prior Learning

For information on RPL for the Child and Youth Care program, contact:

Susan Claire Johnson

Graduate Employment Report

Red River College Polytechnic surveys its graduates on an annual basis to collect data related to the graduates’ employment status, salary, occupation and skill use. In addition, graduates are asked to indicate their level of satisfaction regarding the education they received at Red River College Polytechnic.

Visit www.rrc.ca/numbers/reports/graduate-satisfaction for graduate satisfaction and employment reports.

Employment Potential

Knowledgeable, skilled, and sensitive graduates will be in demand and eligible for positions in:

  • Treatment homes
  • School-based programs
  • Community-based programs
  • Family support programs
  • Mental health centres
  • Young offender programs

The Child and Youth Care field is expanding rapidly in Canada and other countries. A majority of graduates are successful in finding employment within six months of graduation. With experience, graduates are often able to move into managerial positions in agencies and organizations providing service to children, youth, and families.

Contact Information

For general information about this program or how to apply, contact Enrolment Services at 204-632-2327.

For detailed program information, contact:

Diane Parris
Program Coordinator
Red River College
A315B - 2055 Notre Dame Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3H 0J9
E-mail: dparris@rrc.ca

Admitted students may submit their criminal record and abuse registry check documents by mail to the above individual.

College Support Services

Red River College Polytechnic is committed to student success and provides valuable support services to assist in helping students make the most of their time at RRC Polytech.

Visit www.rrc.ca/supports for more information.

Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.