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Child and Youth Care

Why Study Child and Youth Care?

The IIE Bachelor of Child and Youth Care (BCYC) degree offered at IIE MSA offers specialisation in the development and care of children, families and communities. Improving the conditions of children and families are key to most government policy drives and the role of CYC workers in these drives are being acknowledged through inclusion in legislation like the Social Services Act and The White Paper (delivering mandated social services to children and families) and the Criminal Procedures Act (involvement in intermediary and diversion programmes). The Children’s Act allocates tasks to a range of social service professionals to diversify the services offered and to relieve the burden on other social service professionals (like social workers). It is estimated that there are about 90 000 children in 50 000 child-headed households in South Africa. One in every 3 children experienced or witnessed various forms of violence in their homes or communities. Furthermore, the average population age in South Africa is young and this makes the need for adequately trained professionals to address the issues of children and youth even more of a national and international priority.

The IIE Bachelors of Child and Youth Care (BCYC) is specifically designed to equip child and youth care professionals to work in various fields where services need to be delivered to vulnerable children, youth and families. The degree addresses a variety of areas towards the Millennium Goals aimed at children, by offering specialized knowledge childhood development, including the prenatal stage as affected by maternal health and risk factors related to the adolescent stage (youth-at-risk); by providing knowledge of the different levels of intervention as prescribed by the Framework of Services, adopted by the Department of Social Development, that includes preventative community level projects; and by providing training in various skills and techniques, from the designing of activities and programmes within the lifespace, to counselling techniques and strength-based approaches. Another area of need being addressed through the degree is for CYC workers to act as Intermediaries when young people have to be witnesses in criminal court proceedings.

The purpose of the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care (BCYC) is to produce graduates to assume professional roles in a range of child and youth care settings. Completion of the degree will enable graduates to apply for registration as professional child and youth care workers with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP). In this role professionals will be able to offer developmental and therapeutic services with a focus on relational and lifespace work with children, youth and families. Graduates would be able to take on administrative and supervisory roles with auxiliary level child and youth care workers.

The IIE Bachelor of Child and Youth Care degree offers a set course map with specialised modules, a minor in public health and a choice between Criminology or Psychology as electives. From the second to the fourth year, students will be completing six modules of fieldwork (placements). The qualification includes your fourth year, meaning a student does not need to again meet entry requirements to an honours year. On successful completion of this professional degree, student have the opportunity to articulate into a Master degree, considering further entry requirements.

Professional Registration

From their second year, prior to commencing their field placement, students are required to be registered with the South Africa Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) as Student Child and Youth Care Workers. This professional degree is endorsed by the SACSSP and therefore enables students to register as Professional Child and Youth Care Workers on successful completion of the degree.

What are My Career Outcomes?

Graduates of the IIE Bachelor of Child and Youth Care will be equipped to promote the optimal development of children, youth and their families in a variety of settings, such as:

  • School-based programmes
  • Residential care facilities
  • Day Care Centres
  • Intermediaries (in courts)
  • Community Development Projects and Programmes, including Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Hospitals (with developmentally delayed children)
  • Correctional Services / Places of Safety (rendering care and developmental programmes)
  • Home-based care (rendering developmentally appropriate programmes)
  • Parent education and family support
  • Institutions whose mandate is to ensure the development of Children and Youth and where supervision of Auxiliary CYC workers are required:
    • NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations)
    • CBO’s (Community-Based Organisations)
  • Private practice / consulting

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