College Gallery

Northern Lakes College Launches Child and Youth Care Diploma

Posted on Jul 8, 2024

Slave Lake, Alberta (July 8, 2024): Northern Lakes College has added the Child and Youth Care Diploma to its Human Service Careers program offerings. The two-year program starts in September and is available through Supported Distance Learning.

The Child and Youth Care Diploma program equips learners with the necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively with children, youth, families, and communities. This comprehensive program focuses on mental health, trauma-informed care, assessments, interventions, advocacy, and ethical practice.

Year one of the program includes fall semester courses running from September to December, winter semester courses from January to April, and a spring semester practicum in May and June. Year two of the program follows a different format, with students enrolled concurrently in theory courses and a practicum in the fall and winter semesters. There are three practicums over the course of the two-year program providing students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in a practical setting, while under the supervision of an agency.

The Child and Youth Care Diploma is designed to be a very practical program, with students spending equal time in theory courses (720 hours) and in practicum opportunities (750 hours). Graduates will have developed and honed their practical skills and will be ready to go directly into practice and become contributing members of a team. This will contribute to building needed capacity in the sector of mental health specifically focused on children and youth.

Dr. Michelle Mitchell, Dean, Health, Human Services & University Studies, Northern Lakes College

Graduates of the program have the opportunity to be recognized as a Child and Youth Worker and will be prepared to pursue careers in various settings, such as therapeutic campus-based care programs, schools, the justice system, mental health centres, community-based programs, foster care, shelters, treatment centres, youth centres, and government organizations. They will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide trauma-informed care, advocate for social justice, support young people experiencing mental health issues, and implement informed interventions to support children, youth, families, and communities.

Northern Lakes College expanding its program offerings with the new Child and Youth Care Diploma addresses a critical need in our communities, providing students with the essential skills and knowledge to support the mental health and well-being of young people. By offering this program through Supported Distance Learning, Northern Lakes College continues to demonstrate its commitment to accessibility and innovation in education, ensuring that learners across Alberta can pursue their career aspirations while balancing life commitments.

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education

To learn more about the Child and Youth Care Diploma and to apply, visit Northern Lakes College.


About Northern Lakes College
Northern Lakes College (NLC) provides flexible educational opportunities through innovative delivery. With accessibility as a cornerstone value, we provide quality educational programs and services. NLC’s innovative Supported Distance Learning (SDL) and Supported Distance Teaching (SDT) models include unique online delivery options such as NLC LIVE Online™ and NLC Anytime, Anywhere. SDL provides learners with the flexibility to balance work, home, and education, so that they can continue their education, improve their employment opportunities, and enhance their quality of life. Committed to its communities in northern Alberta and to its students, wherever they may be, NLC collaborates with business, industry, and other post-secondary institutions to benefit students and communities. Explore at

For additional information contact:
Rachel Ouellette
Director, External Relations, Marketing & Communication
Office of the President

Northern Lakes College