Child and Youth Care

Does a career of working with children and youth at risk interest you? Check out the Child and Youth Care Worker program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. You’ll find two options: the one-year certificate or the two-year diploma. Whichever you choose, you’ll need a steady personality, strong listening skills, compassion and respect for others. 

The one-year Child and Youth Care Worker certificate program is offered part-time through distance education. Graduates of the one-year certificate program are qualified for jobs as youth or family service workers in educational, residential, social services or community-based agencies. Qualified instructors with experience in the field will help you develop the skills you need to build therapeutic relationships with children, youth and families. Your studies will focus on:

  • Indigenous awareness;
  • addictions and the criminal justice system;
  • behavioural intervention strategies and therapeutic activities;
  • communication, employability and problem-solving skills;
  • crisis prevention/self-protection strategies;
  • health & wellness, human growth and development; and
  • planning and implementing activities.

The program combines classroom theory with practical learning. You’ll learn from guest speakers and participate in experiential activities. Two work-based practicums give you an opportunity to work directly with children and youth at risk on a day-to-day basis. You’ll apply core concepts learned in class, develop your skills and engage in the design and delivery of programs.

Students who have previously met admission requirements and were accepted into the Youth Care Worker program will have two years to complete this program. The Youth Care Worker certificate program must be completed by 2024 and the Youth Care Worker diploma program by 2025. For students completing their existing certificate or diploma courses through PLAR, the same completion dates apply: certificate 2024 and diploma 2025.

You may contact the student advisors for assistance in making an education plan to complete your program.

Part-time students who have a few courses and would like to explore the option of attending the revised in-person Child and Youth Care diploma program should contact the program head, Suong Polley at 306-659-4908 or

Career and salary information

Your career

When you graduate, look for positions as a youth worker, family support worker, group home staff, community outreach worker or classroom assistant. There are job opportunities in community-based child and youth programs, school-based programs, residential treatment centres, recreation programs, home-based care, child and youth advocacy, and community development.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at a campus nearest you.

Potential careers

Sample job title NOC classification
Youth worker Social & community service workers (42201)
Group home worker Social & community service workers (42201)
Community worker Social & community service workers (42201)

Part-time delivery

Students may take the following courses prior to admission to the program: COMM 291, EMPL 180, HUMD 188. To register for individual courses, please view the part-time offerings available in the Courses section below.


Admission requirements


  • Admitted students will be required to provide evidence of a Criminal Record Check and a Vulnerable Sector Search prior to entering required coursework and practicum with children, youth and adults. At the discretion of the agency, a student may be declined access to a practicum placement based on the contents of the Criminal Record Check, personal interview and/or medical assessment. A student must complete the practicum placements to graduate from the program. The cost of the Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Search is the student's responsibility.
  • Proof of current Standard First Aid and CPR 'C' or equivalent may be required prior to entry into a practicum.
  • Accepted international students require a co-op work permit to complete the practicum requirements for this program.  This is mandatory.  Students who do not have a co-op work permit will not be allowed to participate in their practicums.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure they have the required documentation to study in Canada and a co-op work permit to complete the practicum requirements of this program.  

Alternative admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through an alternative admission assessment. Applicants are automatically considered for alternative admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met.


Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Alternative Admission using Accuplacer.

  • 250 Arithmetic
  • 250 Reading
  • 245 Writing
  • 4 Writeplacer


Some programs allow applicants to meet the admission grade level requirement using 15 approved post-secondary credits. Review additional information.

If the program applied to has specific course requirements, they may be met through alternative post-secondary courses. Review already approved courses that may be used for admission purposes for your programs.

Admission method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as approximate cost for books and supplies. Visit the Tuition and Fees web page for a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program.

2023-24 academic year



Get credit for what you know

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.

See link(s) below to get more information about PLAR.

Transfer credit

Many Sask Polytech students benefit from transferring course credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit to Sask Polytech or to another college or university.

Institution Agreement details
Athabasca University Graduates of this program may receive 30 credit units toward Bachelor of Professional Arts-Human Services (BPA-HRSV). Students are required to present an additional 30 university level credits prior to admittance into the BPA-HSRV program.

Child and Youth Care diploma

Additional information

Su Polley
Program head

Marilyn Philipchuk
Student advisor