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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

CYCA 2001: Introduction to Professional Foundations of Child and Youth Care

This course provides an overview of the foundations of professional child and youth care practice. Topics include a review of the history of the child and youth care field and an identification of current child and youth care practice settings. Current theory and practice perspectives are explored, in addition to issues related to professional identity, ethical practice, children’s rights, and interdisciplinary work. Reflection on one's personal readiness for professional child and youth care practice is a focus of this course.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe the historical context of Child and Youth Care.
  • Articulate the foundational identity of a Child and Youth Care practitioner.
  • Explain key concepts within Child and Youth Care practice such as social competence, therapeutic relationships, ecological context, and multi-system intervention.
  • Describe the current influences in the field of Child and Youth Care.
  • Describe your role as a professional within the context of ethical Child and Youth Care practice.
  • Outline the dynamics of team functioning and the role of a Child and Youth Care worker within an interdisciplinary team.
  • Reflect on your personal strengths, values, and attitudes consistent with professional child and youth care practice.
  • Reflect on your own caring experience using the critical factors of caring.
  • Reflect on your feelings and experiences of the helping relationship from a client perspective.

Course topics

  • Unit 1: Introduction
  • Unit 2: Working with the Characteristics of Child and Youth Care
  • Unit 3: Historical Perspectives on Children and the Profession
  • Unit 4: Learning and the Development of Child and Youth Care Professionals — The Journey
  • Unit 5: Understanding the Importance of Milieus of Practice
  • Unit 6: Child and Youth Care Theory and Domains of Practice — An Overview
  • Unit 7: Domain of Self
  • Unit 8: Domains of Communication and Relationships
  • Unit 9: Domains of Theory in CYC Practice — Critically Applied Human Development and the Systems Context
  • Unit 10: Domains of Theory in CYC Practice — Resilience: The Promotion of Optimal Well-Being in Children and Youth
  • Unit 11: Domain of Intervention Theories  
  • Unit 12: Teamwork and Interdisciplinary Practice 

Required text and materials

The following material is required for this course:

  1. Stuart, C., & Fryer, K. (2022). Foundations of Child and Youth Care (3rd Ed.). Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-1792486364


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course. 

Assignment 1: Linking Knowledge to Self and Others  25%

Assignment 2: Open Book Test — Units 1-5


Assignment 3: Experiencing Client-hood 


Assignment 4: Open Book Test — Units 1-12




Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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