Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations
Definition of Child and Youth Care

Child and youth care practitioners work with children, youth and
families with complex needs. They can be found in a variety of
settings such as group homes and residential treatment centres,
hospitals and community mental health clinics, community-based
outreach and school-based programs, parent education and
family support programs, as well as in private practice and
juvenile justice programs. Child and youth care workers
specialize in the development and implementation of therapeutic
programs and planned environments and the utilization of daily
life events to facilitate change. At the core of all effective child
and youth care practice is a focus on the therapeutic
relationship; the application of theory and research about human
growth and development to promote the optimal physical,
psycho-social, spiritual, cognitive, and emotional development of
young people towards a healthy and productive adulthood; and
a focus on strengths and assets rather than pathology.

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