Over the last two years, the OACYC has made the move towards legislated recognition a priority. To that end, we have reached out and consulted with provincial politicians, the office of the provincial advocate for children and youth and other stakeholders.  We have also consulted with the child and youth care association in Alberta, which has been working on this process for a couple of years.

As you are aware, child and youth care practitioners (Child and Youth Workers, Child Care Workers, Child and Youth Counsellors) provide front line supports to the most vulnerable children and youth, parents, and partners within residential treatment facilities, schools, and their communities.

Child and youth care practitioners offer support in the life space and across sectors through:

  • therapeutic relationships,
  • evidence based practice,
  • life space interventions,
  • social and life skill development,
  • problem solving methods,
  • restorative practices, and
  • crisis management.

The OACYC has adopted a professional Certification program to ensure a standardized set of competencies and qualitative standards. This we identify as a necessary step towards becoming a legislated profession.

Presently our profession remains unregulated; as such, we are concerned that the very children and youth whom we aim to support are put at risk.  As an unregulated profession, anyone can call themselves a child and youth care practitioner regardless of their training, skill set and experience and be hired to work with vulnerable children and youth.  Early childhood educators, nurses and social workers are regulated to ensure that only trained professionals are able to provide services under these titles and that those who receive services are protected.  We would not want an unregulated nurse tending to our medical care or a social worker without adequate education providing counseling.  Regulation in child and youth care is just as important.  Without regulation the future of our profession is in jeopardy.   Our ability to aid in the therapeutic care of our provinces most vulnerable children and youth is compromised.

Please click here to read about The Proposal, to download and sign The Petition, to read more about Letters of Support and to find out how you can Get Involved!


In October, 2015, our President met with James Janeiro, Senior Policy Advisor to Premier Kathleen Wynne, and presented our report on legislating Child and Youth Care. We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss our work and our goals with the Provincial Government!
Laurie Scott, Member of Provincial Parliament Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock met with our President to find out about our report and our request for legislation of Child and Youth Care Practice in Ontario. Thank you Laurie Scott for your time and consideration.