Careers in child and youth care

Jessica Evans, Shelter Program Manager at the Victoria Women's Transition House, talks about her career path, how she applies her degree in the workplace, the value of a Child and Youth Care (CYC) degree and shares advice for CYC students.

What can you do with a degree in child and youth care?

Child and youth care is committed to the well-being of children, youth, families and communities. It emphasizes care, education, relationships and social change.

Our program prepares students to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, families and communities in a variety of settings. Our graduates lead and work in community agencies, government departments and educational institutions.

& education
  • Child protection practitioner
  • Child and youth practitioner
  • School-based practitioner
  • Corrections
  • Agency administration
& social services
  • Youth outreach practitioner
  • Family support practitioner
  • Recreation leader
  • Intake counsellor
  • Settlement practitioner
  • International development
  • Pediatric health care practitioner
  • Mental health practitioner
  • Child and youth counsellor
  • Substance use practitioner
  • Infant development practitioner
  • Residential practition

Additional education and training may be required.


Develop your career

Meet our alumni

Kay Otani

Settlement Worker in Schools
Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria

Kay Otani is a Settlement Worker in Schools (SWIS) with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria. His role takes him to multiple school districts in the Greater Victoria area. He supports newcomer children, youth and families settle and integrate into their schools and community by working with them on their settlement issues.  Read more

BCYC (2011)

Meagan Saulnier

School-Based Youth and Family Counsellor
Craigflower Elementary

Meag is a Youth and Family Counselor in a public school that neighbours two local First Nations communities: Songhees and Esquimalt nations. She's a fierce advocate for culturally-informed curricula and to centre Indigenous knowledges, and she works passionately with children to be proud of their Indigenous heritage and to rightfully take their place in creating a better world for themselves and their communities. Read more

BCYC (2010)

Kimberley Ainsworth

UVic Child Care Services

Kim is an early childhood educator who has worked in a variety of child and youth care settings including family resource programs and parent participation preschools. She currently oversees the general operation of six child care centres. Kim returned to UVic in 2012 to pursue her MA in CYC with an interest in exploring how post-foundational theories can shape our views of children, families, carers and early childhood environments and open up new possibilities. Read more

MA - CYC (2016)

Carinna Kenigsberg

Program Manager
Power To Be

Carinna manages the day-to-day operations of Power To Be’s Adaptive Recreation team. She trains and supports a phenomenal team in running inclusive nature-based programs for people living with a barrier or disability and develops partnerships and collaborates on internal and external community-based events. She has worked with people with diverse needs for more than 20 years and believes that nature has the power to transform, teach and support people. Read more

BA - CYC (2003)

Griffin Russell

Regional Harm Reduction Coordinator
Island Health Shared Services BC

Griffin promotes equitable access to harm reduction supplies across Vancouver Island, including safer sex supplies, safer injection and inhalation supplies, Take Home Naloxone, and affiliated information resources and clinical care. This requires continued education and training for staff, both external and internal to the organization, focusing on cultural competence, person-centred care, and trauma-informed practices to promote safe spaces and interactions with care providers. Read more

BCYC (2007)

Shauna Underwood

Indigenous Advisor
Faculty of Human and Social Development, UVic

Shauna provides academic advising, emotional support and advocacy to Indigenous students in HSD. She helps students succeed by being available to provide that extra support they may need. She has one daughter and three sons and is a traditional person who values her culture. She practises her Coast Salish and Nez Perce culture every day and believe this has helped her succeed throughout her educational journey. Read more

BCYC (2013)

Sareesha Nile

Behavior Interventionist
Easterseals Southern California

Sareesha provides one-on-one in home services to children and youth with autism. With each child, she uses applied behavior analysis specific services and monitors their development through data collection. When necessary she also provide parent training so that each family has individualized skills to deal with their child's own special behaviors and needs. Read more

BCYC (2015)

Scott Kouri

Clinical Counsellor
Camosun College

Scott provides strengths-based, culturally attuned and client centred counselling for a range of mental health and addictions issues. He works with clients to build capacity at individual, family, and community levels. Read more

BCYC (2011), MA - CYC (2014), PhD - CYC (2019)

Audrey Wolfe

Program Coordinator
St. Leonard's Youth and Family Service

Audrey is a program coordinator for a specialized long-term residential program for youth in care. She fills the house with love and stability, acting as a primary caregiver and managing a home with a team of child care workers. Her master's thesis research is looking at how LGBTQ youth make sense of their experiences with sexualized and intimate partner violence. Read more

BCYC (2014)

Janet Newbury

Adjunct Professor
School of Child and Youth Care, UVic

Janet is passionate about intergenerational and intercultural civic engagement. She has done post-doctoral research on community based approaches to economic development, and is presently an adjunct professor at both UVic and VIU. She is currently a researcher for the development of a community social plan for the Powell River region as well as a researcher and writer on a national project with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. Read more

PhD - CYC (2012)

Andrée Lacasse

Manager of Policy in the Lands and Economics Development Sector
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Andrée's degree shaped her thinking about child and youth development and provided her with the knowledge and skills to make sense of concrete and tangible issues facing Indigenous communities. Her career as a public servant has involved positions focused on social policy, regarding homelessness, caregiving, multiculturalism, marginalized youth and human rights. Read more

BCYC (2014)

Teri Derksen

Professor & Student Advisor
Child and Youth Care Programs, Vancouver Island University

Teri has worked for over 30 years in the field of child and youth care, as a front-line youth worker, program administrator and community development worker in both the non-profit and municipal government sectors. In her role at VIU, Teri teaches a variety of courses and also has the opportunity to support child and youth care students in community based service-learning projects. Read more

BA - CYC (1986), MA - CYC (2012)