Position Profile

Job Title:  Child and Youth Care Worker 1

Work Unit:  Northwest Alberta Child and Family Services Authority Region 8

Ministry:  Alberta Human Services

Competition Number:  1040442

Date:  March 2017


  The Child and Youth Care Worker participates as a member of a multi-disciplinary team, providing direct services to support the needs of youth and their families. This position ensures that the therapeutic and social environment is safe and secure and that individual treatments plans are developed, followed and are meeting the individual needs of the youth. As a primary care provider, the position is relied on to continuously evaluate individual treatment plans, monitor and record behaviours, oversee and arrange for daily activities, and provide input to the treatment team based on observations and direct interaction with the youth. The position may supervise a practicum student from a college or university.

Responsibilities and Activities


Environment is therapeutic and youth are empowered to function in a socially acceptable manner

  • Assume role of ‘key worker’ for up to two youth and ensure that their needs are met (average stay in residential treatment program is from three to eight months)
  • Assess risk and developmental levels by observing, interviewing, consulting with other professionals, review the history and the youth’s response to the milieu. Ensure that family, cultures including ethnic and spiritual practices are adhered to.
  • Participate in the development of individual treatment plans with youth and allied professionals. Identify where they are, where they need to be and how they get there. Include long and short term goals. May include such things as addictions management, anger management, developing social skills. Plan is unique to each youth and is approved by the Team Leader and other allied professionals including the clinical team, the case-manager and the youth.
  • Utilize various types of support such as group counselling, individual counselling, addictions information sessions, separation and loss sessions, role plays, life and pace interviews, family involvement and acceptable behaviour management techniques.
  • Continually reflects on their own attitudes, values and biases to ensure that our interactions with each youth are appropriate
  • Provide routines and structure for the youth, observe and record their responses.
  • Maintain daily anecdotal records for inclusion in individual client reports
  • Meet formally with youth once per week to review progress toward goals and build rapport; ensure all documentation is completed.
  • Complete monthly progress reports on treatment plans. Include progress toward goals, absence without leave (AWOL)s, behaviours in the centre and at community events, contacts, interaction with other youth and staff, significant events such as suicide attempts, fighting, threats to staff and peers and any searches or restraints required.
  • Participate in case conference once per month with treatment team (key worker, youth, Team Lead, psychologist, case worker, teacher, placement coordinator, family (if applicable).
  • Maintain contact with family members to provide updates on progress and any support required
  • Facilitate a motivational session monthly with all youth to provide an opportunity to discuss how treatment plans are going etc.
  • Ensure psychologist appointments are scheduled and attended  

Safe and healthy milieu for youth, staff, and visitors

  • Continually assess and minimize risks. Be aware/alert to potentially risky situations
  • Utilize crisis intervention techniques when required such as verbal de-escalation, time-outs, restrictive procedures Conduct searches as required i.e. room searches; youth returning from going AWOL must be searched with metal detector
  • Constant observation of suicide risks at all times including night time.
  • Regularly account for and/or safely secure all potentially hazardous objects unless worker is present, i.e. cutlery, CDs, paper clips, glass objects, belts, craft supplies, medicines, pool cues and balls, hair spray.
  • Incorporate some daily physical activity into schedule i.e. hip hop or aerobics class, hockey, fitness centre activities
  • Provide basic needs including three well-balanced meals.  Ensure daily hygiene needs are met (shower, clean clothes). Follow-up with consequences if rules are not followed.
  • Ensure that some internal and external social activities are scheduled i.e. bowling, swimming, walks, wiener roasts, movie marathon, pool tournament, Sunday night movies at theatre, Halloween Party
  • Teach living skills i.e. Give consequences for negative talk such as a time out to their room, or quiet room. Youth may have to be escorted to this area. After 5 minute time out, discuss behaviour.
  • Ensure medical needs are met and conduct follow up, i.e. Book medical, dental, optical appointments and take youth to appointments. Administer prescribed and non-prescribed medication if directed.
  • Assist sick youth. Child and Youth Care Workers are required to accompany youth/ambulance to the hospital, i.e. serious sudden illness, seizures, self-inflicted wounds
  • Book and take youth to other appointments i.e. haircuts, health information sessions, dietician, AADAC, mental health, probation office, court,
  • Ensure youth attend school and bedtime is adhered to, i.e. know where youth are at all times through constant vigilance
  • Teach youth how to complete chores and ensure that they complete them, i.e. dishes, laundry, cleaning bedrooms and modules, cleaning bathrooms, cooking, vacuuming
  • Build rapport and healthy relationships through open communication, structure and routine, and caring

Prepare for transition to independence.

  • Provide skills/education for successful transition, ensure tools are available
  • Assist youth to become aware of behaviours and strategies for dealing with them
  • Teach social skills to be used in community, with authority figures, families and peer groups
  • Work with families to advocate for youth. Contact families (if appropriate) to keep them aware of incidents including if youth leaves centre.  Make appointments and supervise family visits.

Administration and related duties are completed as required

  • Provide briefing on all youth at the end of every shift, i.e. suggest how a new approach needs to be implemented
  • Back-up cooking as required i.e. some weekends or cover-off during absence of designated personnel.
  • Maintain complete and accurate records and files for each youth i.e. update notes, critical incidents,
  • May supervise a practicum student from a College or University and document performance
  • May be assigned shift coordinator/lead hand duties
  • May be required to be on call
  • Answer phones and door after administration staff has left for the day
  • Attend staff meetings
  • Be a supportive co-worker and recognize own well being



This position directly impacts the youth receiving the services and their families or guardians and indirectly affects the community.  Some youth acquire the learnings, information, and life skills to make healthy lifestyle choices and successfully transition back to the community whereas others may revert to unhealthy choices such as street life, addictions and crime.

The youth are from diverse backgrounds and have diverse issues, problems and needs.  These may include victims or perpetrators of sexual abuse, those with addictions, anger problems, learning disabilities, mental health issues, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), eating disorders and/or other issues.  The total needs of the youth may be complex and differ greatly and interventions are not always well received.  The complexity lies in determining how to best support and assist the child in a structured but nurturing/caring environment.

Responses to unique situations require unique solutions. One must think on one’s feet to utilize the right tool/technique or speak the right words at the right time.  One must also think ahead and utilize proactive solutions.  There are often new schools of thought regarding behaviour modification techniques and the worker must change with the times. Must have access through professional development opportunities on and off site to material for example journals, workshops and training to address the complexity of the client’s needs.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities



  • Degree or Diploma in Child and Youth Care or related area in human services
  • Directly related experience with adolescents is preferred
  • Certification with the Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta desirable
  • Child development theories, behaviour management techniques, intervention skills and family dynamics
  • Knowledge of health issues affecting youth such as FAS and FASD, drug and alcohol addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, suicide and others
  • Knowledge of disabilities such as mental health, epilepsy, Autism (parents or youth may have disabilities)
  • Knowledge of community resources
  • Knowledge of safety and security measures
  • Knowledge of the related acts including the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFE) and Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA)
  • Familiarity with Mental Health Act, School Act, Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (FOIP), Young Offenders Protocol
  • Knowledge of appropriate legislation and policy such as CYFE handbook, AASCF Standards, Regional and Centre policy and procedures, PSECA protocol for police services, Public Health Act
  • Knowledge of cultural differences and how they impact treatment approaches for youth
  • Basic knowledge of assessment tools and program planning
  • Basic knowledge of cooking

Skills and Abilities:

  • Behaviour management
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Team player
  • Computer skills
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Ability to do a restraint and other physical activities
  • Mandatory Training includes:
  • Standard First Aid
  • Non Abusive Restraint Techniques
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Aboriginal Awareness


Clients Purpose

Supervisor and Manager

Staff and youth



To gather or share information on youth, case plan, discuss issues, identify gaps, problem solve, develop strategies, provide updates


Families and guardians

Community Agencies such as Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), Youth Shelters

Police, Schools, Hospitals, probation officers, lawyers,

Religious leaders or Elders

Consulting psychiatrists/psychologists

Linked agency Family Support Workers

Children’s Advocate

To make referrals; gather and exchange information, consult

Supervision Exercised

  May supervise practicum students from college.


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