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  • Two-year diploma
  • Course-based registration (students can take this program on a full-time or part-time basis)
  • 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.
  • Covid-19 vaccinations are currently required by most practicum sites. Students should be prepared to present their proof of (double) vaccination.

Child and youth care is a dynamic profession that is fundamentally based on your ability to build and experience relationships with others. It is through relationship that you will be able to support young people with their life challenges.  
This diploma program provides graduates with the foundational knowledge and practical experiences to begin working alongside of children, youth, families and communities. Graduates work from a trauma informed, relational, and anti-oppressive framework, supporting community members towards individualized growth, development and self-motivated transformation.  

The skill-oriented courses deliver students the opportunities to engage in learning how to facilitate assessments and interventions that are developmentally considerate and utilize evidence based best practice. The professional competencies driven by National Standards are woven into the curriculum, delivered as a tapestry of knowledge and practice, supporting students to begin their journey in the diverse field of Child and Youth Care as professionals that adhere to the foundational attitudes of practice. 

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; international secondary (high school) studies.
The college requires transcripts verifying your complete academic history including any public or private high school, college, university, or technical institute you have attended.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • 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.

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 15 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.

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

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 15 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 
RRC Polytechnic Youth Recreation Activity Worker (YRAW) or RRC Polytechnic Child & Youth Care Worker (CYCW) at Ndinawe 

If you are a graduate of the YRAW or CYCW program, or are wanting to transfer into the RRC Polytechnic CYC diploma program, admission into the program is as follows:

  • 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. 

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.
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


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

Only Duolingo English Test scores that have been verified through the Duolingo English Test Portal will be accepted.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
Please Note: 3 year expiry date for Nursing Program Applicants
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)
Password Skills (An in person English Language Assessment hosted by RRC Polytech)
This in-person, computer-based test is composed of four test modules: reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and is conducted in two parts. The first part assesses reading, listening, and writing, and the second part assesses speaking in a separate room. Password Skills costs $139 to take through RRC Polytech. Password Skills is hosted by the RRC Polytech Testing and Assessment Centre: E440, Manitou a bi Bii Daziigae building, on the fourth floor. If you wish to do Password Skills remotely (not in-person), Password Skills Plus can be taken online. RRC Polytech does not offer Password Skills Plus, but we do accept the results for entry into program.
Password Skills Plus (Password Skills Plus is an online assessment that can be taken instead of Password Skills. )
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?

Do you have the desire to help make a difference in the lives of others? Do you want to build relationships with children, youth, families and community? Do you want to be introduced to the skills for working in the helping profession?  

The Child and Youth Care program can be your first step to supporting the lives of children, youth, families and communities. This program and community encourages individuals who are BIPOC (black, Indigenous, and people of color), LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Two-Spirit, and/or who have lived experiences to consider applying for the program. The Child and Youth Care program offers a variety of courses including relational youth care practice, child and adolescent development, impacts of trauma, family work counselling skills and Indigenous contexts for practice.

To work as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner, you must have a genuine commitment to working with children, youth, and their families. This program requires motivation, organization, self-discipline, and competent reading and study skills. To meet the demands of this profession you must be in good general health and be vigilant in monitoring your own stress level. Evening work will be required during the field practicum experiences.  

Locations, Dates and Fees

Next Estimated Term 1 Start Date (subject to change)

Location Start Date Apply Link
Notre Dame Campus Aug 25, 2025 Apply Now

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
1Child and Youth Care Association of Manitoba – Student Membership fee $30/year
2Child and Youth Care Association of Manitoba – Student Membership fee $30/year

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-1169Interpersonal Communication
More Information

(No description available at this time)

COMM-1173Communication StrategiesRPL
More Information

Everyone communicates, but are they doing it well? Communicative competence takes practice and self-awareness. By developing their communication skills, the student will improve their interpersonal ability, intercultural competence, and digital fluency to prepare the student for success in the workplace. In Communication Strategies, the student will learn through discovery and project-based activities to practice approaching situations critically and collaboratively. The strategies the student will gain in this course will be useful throughout their program and in their chosen industry.

CYCP-1034Foundations of Child and Youth Care
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Welcome to the field of child and youth care! Built on the foundations of core competencies in practice, this course examines the roles and responsibilities youth work assumes in a variety of settings. Current theory and practice perspectives are explored, in addition to professional identity, ethical practice, youth’s rights, and interdisciplinary work. An overview of the needs of youth, the types of agencies providing service and governing legislation will also be studied. Reflection of one’s personal readiness for professional child and youth care practice is a focus of this course.  

CYCP-1035Therapeutic Activities and Groups
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One of the greatest impacts a Child and Youth Care Practitioner can have on children and youth is “doing with.” Through the use of humor, art, creativity, fun, sports and activities, students learn to guide young people toward individual growth and development. This course is designed to equip students with the leadership and planning abilities to develop therapeutic activities that foster physical, emotional, social and cultural development in the lifespace.

CYCP-1037Family Across the Lifespan
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Families are strong, diverse and resilient and are an integral part of every young person. This course is designed to introduce foundational theories and explore family across the lifespan. Using an ecological framework, students will gain an understanding of how contemporary issues (i.e. poverty, addictions, family violence) affect children, youth and families. Students will also explore family of origin, and the impact of self in family work. 

CYCP-2014Trauma Informed Care
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This course is intended to have the student develop a trauma informed, evidence based professional practice that enhances relationship and development with young people who have been affected by trauma. Students will explore the impact of trauma on individuals in a holistic way. Emphasis is placed on trauma-informed skills and strategies which students will then utilize case studies as opportunities to go beyond theory and explore realistic simulations.

CYCP-2015Assessment and Intervention
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Have you ever wondered why an intervention just will not work, or simply why you aren’t able to connect with a young person? In this course, we encourage students to examine the intricacies of relational development and interventions associated with relational levels. Students are able to critically assess behavior to determine needs. After assessment is completed students are then prepared to create therapeutic goals and intervention plans appropriate for a wide range of life spaces. Throughout the course students, reflect on “self” allowing for reflective and reflexive growth.

CYCP-2034Relational Child and Youth Care Practice
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Child and Youth Care is about caring and acting – about being present, thinking on your feet, interacting and growing with children and youth (Kruger, 2000). The intention of this course is to provide students with theory and techniques practiced in class concurrently to their practicum placement. Students will develop a strength based, ecological, anti-oppressive and relational approach to working alongside of young people. We will focus on the specific child and youth care processes involved in establishing trust and caring relationships with young people.

CYCP-2038Critical Social Issues for Youth
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In a complex world where social issues impact the lives of  young people, developing practitioners will explore causality and the systems that support and contribute to the ongoing issues youth face. This course examines social issues within an ecological framework, using a trauma informed, strength-based critical lens that honors diversity and the impact of colonization on risk and resiliency. The critical social issues to be considered include substance use, mental health, homelessness, suicide, sexual exploitation as well as issues specific to youth involved with child and family services and the youth justice system.

CYCP-2039Substance Use Theory and Intervention
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In this course, you will be led through a tapestry of knowledge surrounding use, misuse, and addiction of psychoactive substances. This course helps students reflect on the current trends and issues related to substance use, misuse and abuse. Students learn a breadth of history, theory, terminology, leading to the understanding of holistic treatment and best practice when helping people affected by substance use.

CYCP-2040Youth Criminal Justice
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Crime is a multifaceted and often controversial issue. This course will introduce major theoretical models of justice, explore historical and contemporary explanations of crime, and will provide students with an overview of the Canadian criminal justice system. Special attention is given to youth criminal justice legislation as well as risk factors for youth criminal justice involvement. This course will also introduce the restorative justice paradigm and discuss a trauma-informed approach to understanding crime. Students are challenged to think critically and explore personal values and beliefs surrounding justice related topics.

CYCP-2041Family Support and Intervention
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Family Support work provides helping professionals with the unique opportunity to understand children and youth within the context of their family. In this course family assessment and intervention skills required to work within the family life space as well the broader social, economic, cultural, and community environments will be explored. Students will be introduced to a variety of topics including; family risk and resiliency; foundations for family assessment and assessment tools; evidenced based family intervention and support techniques; an exploration of personal values and beliefs and reflective family practice.

CYCP-2042Mental Health Literacy
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Mental Health affects everyone. It is imperative that we explore not only the classifications, theories and research about what we know about mental health, but the interventions and supports for an individual’s mental well-being. In this course, the student will explore major frameworks and perspectives from which to view definitions and explanations for some of the most common disorders of youth. From this foundation, the student will develop their relational, holistic and strength-based lens for working with children, youth and families and the promotion of healthy mental wellness.

CYCP-2043Counselling Skills
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Child and Youth care professionals provide counseling to children, youth and families in multi-dimensional environments through relational practice. The foundational components of communication strategies will be reinforced and students will be introduced to the practice of Motivational Interviewing. Students will acquire the MI skills necessary to assist youth with motivation for change. Individual helping techniques will be extended into group work practice and the role of groups in working with children, youth and families from a holistic and culturally appropriate approach. 

CYCP-2044Professional Practice Issues
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Professional and ethical practice is not about what we say, but rather what we do. The primary purpose of this course is to enable students to expand their critical thinking about professional practice issues. As a co-requisite, Practicum II will provide students with the practical experiences for integration of learning. Through a combination of seminar groups, reflective readings, and discussions of case examples and experiences from the field, students will have the opportunity to explore the professional values and principles that guide Child and Youth Care practice. Guided by national child and youth care competencies and ethical theories, students will develop a deeper familiarity with the various conceptual resources all while considering the complex and diverse roles of CYC in youth care practice. 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-3018Anti-Oppression and Equity in Practice
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This course will invite students to explore the various forms of individual, cultural and systemic discrimination experienced by diverse groups of people in Canada. Students will be challenged to use an anti-oppression framework to critically analyze social inequities and to develop their own reflective practice. Learners will come to understand their responsibility to youth in care with respect to self-determination and the need to combat systemic oppression. The concept of ally ship will be threaded through the course so students can immediately begin their anti-oppressive practice. Students have the responsibility to enhance community by creating programs that embrace equity, empowerment and advocacy, students will have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with community mentors.

HUMA-1004A Context for Practice With Indigenous Peoples
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This course is intended to familiarize students with some of the current issues facing Indigenous children, youth and families in Manitoba. The themes of historical context and cultural humility in helping skills are the foundational theories. We will work toward embracing an Indigenous worldview in our practice and develop culturally respectful anti-oppressive child and youth care practice. Topics in the course include the impact of colonization and residential schools, the child welfare system, past and present, racism and prejudice and individual practitioner self-awareness.

PRAC-1103Practicum 1
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“How we are, who we are, while we do, what we do” (Fulcher & Garfat, 2008).  Practicum allows students field experiences with children, youth and families. Emphasis is placed on the development of self in professional practice. Students focus on establishing therapeutic relationships in the lifespace that enhance and support the growth and development of young people. Students are expected to demonstrate competency in professionalism, cultural and human diversity, human development, relationship and communication and developmental practice methods.  

PRAC-2103Practicum 2
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This is the second practicum experience in the field of child and youth care. Students will explore, pursue and lead their practicum interests in the field. Practicum II allows students the opportunity to develop skills and competencies in a second life space or therapeutic milieu. Students will continue to develop their professional and ethical practice focusing on the integration of knowledge and developing goals across the five domains of Child and Youth Care competency. Students will embrace their accomplishments as a helper and will finalize the creation of a professional career portfolio which will assist them in delineating the career path of their choice. 

PSYC-2003Child and Adolescent Development
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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.

CO-OP/Practicum Information

The two-year Child and Youth Care diploma program offers two unique field placements in the community. Under the guidance of field and instructor advisors, students are provided with the opportunity to integrate theory into practice in a supported learning environment. Students have the unique opportunity to work alongside youth and their families in the therapeutic life space. Practicum experiences occur in a variety of settings: managed group care facilities and treatment programs, school programs, mental health programs, youth justice programs, family support and services, addiction services, and a variety of community support programs.  

NOTE: Covid-19 vaccinations are currently required by most practicum sites. Students should be prepared to present their proof of (double) vaccination.

Computer/Laptop Requirements

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

Kathryn Wolschinski

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the Child and Youth Care Diploma program, all students must satisfactorily complete all 14 required courses in the program, plus 2 elective courses and 2 practicum courses, totaling 18 courses. Students must also have achieved a graduating GPA of 2.0.

Employment Potential

Knowledgeable and skilled graduates are in high demand and upon graduation have successfully secured employment in managed care and treatment facilities, schools, community, family support, mental health, justice and addictions. With experience, graduates have been able to move into supervisory and managerial positions in agencies and organizations serving children, youth, and families. The Child and Youth Care field is expanding rapidly in Canada and other countries and there are global employment opportunities.  
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.