Child and Youth Care Counsellors who are certified have proven knowledge of treatment modalities and are endorsed by their employing agency as knowing how to utilize the knowledge to effectively help children, youth and their families.

Supervisors who wish to learn more about the certification process can review the following:

Supervisor Manual

Supervisor Assessment Tool

Core Attitudes in Child and Youth Care Practice

What is Certification?   

The Certification Committee, which oversees the certification process for Child and Youth Care Counsellors(CYCC), has particular educational and practice standards that are met by the CYC wishing to become certified. The certification process is rigorous in relation to the strict practice/supervision hours and the increased educational component of the process, reflective of the complex nature of the work undertaken by the Child and Youth Care Counsellor.

The certified CYCC has demonstrated an expansive knowledge in a variety of theoretical frameworks as well as the ability to apply these when working with children and families. Additionally, the certified CYCC considers the environmental factors within the life space and the impact of that environment on the child, youth or family receiving service. The foundation of all effective Child and Youth Care practice is the ability to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with the child, youth and/or family, encouraging growth.

To achieve Certification, Child and Youth Care counsellors progress through a four-stage process which includes membership, registration, intermediate certification and full certification statuses. Each has specific eligibility criteria that must be met.

If you have a Child and Youth Care Diploma or Degree the process is membership, registration and request exemption from the written and oral exam. Please provide a copy of your degree or diploma and a registration form.

Information Regarding Certification Process 

For those seeking insights to help prepare for the written and oral exam here are some information and strategies.

From a certification coordinator’s perspective, I strongly encourage certification candidates to check the code of ethics and the scope of practice for the field. These are integral aspects of the exams and for your affiliation with the profession of Child and Youth Care. Please pay special attention to what makes the field a separate entity from other professions in terms of specific skills and knowledge. For instance, you should be able to discuss core areas (e.g., therapeutic relationships, life span development, and behavioural skills) as they are foundations for your practice.

Within the site, is a list of things to consider and a framework to answer questions from the Basic Core section. This was compiled by Donna Charles as part of a project for her B.A. in Child and Youth Care. She makes some interesting comments about strategies that will assist in both the written and oral exams. These are important details based on her interviews and research with the Certification Coordinator and her experience as a certification examiner (so give them serious consideration). I especially encourage candidates to look at the self-assessment tool as this is the basis of many of the oral exam questions.

Also, keep in mind that certification coordinators can help you to clarify if you meet the standards to apply for certification and can provide some guidance in working through the certification process.

On another note, people have asked how they can designate that they are fully certified Child and Youth Care Workers. Errol Hedin proposed to the certification board that the designation could be: Certified in Child and Youth Care or C.C.Y.C. for short. Surprisingly enough it took several months to research this and why this was the final decision endorsed by the Certification Board around 2002.

Written by: Shaun Holmstrom, Northern Alberta Certification Coordinator, November 2016