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Mandate and Focus

The Child & Youth Care Accreditation Board aims to ensure quality education for child and youth care practitioners through the assessment and review of post-secondary educational programs and the development of standards which support quality improvement.

The Child & Youth Care Accreditation Board is charged with accreditation of programs, departments and specializations. The Board is not responsible for institutional accreditation or certification of students, faculty, or professionals.

CYC accreditation activities document efforts to be accountable to children, youth, and families, to students, and to the profession.

Why Accreditation?

High quality education is a result of sound evaluation and continuous improvement. Accreditation is a process for regular, rigorous review of program goals, pedagogies, and outcomes. It facilitates dialogue and education within and across CYC programs about innovation and quality, assisting with decision-making about where and how to situate a School, Department, or Program.

Accreditation contributes to high quality education and consistently high standards of professional practice in a variety of manners through the potential functions it may perform –

  1. a vehicle for organizational change;
  2. a method to achieve sound quality assurance practices;
  3. a system for demonstrating accountability to
    a) children, youth, and families,
    b) students, and
    c) child and youth care educators; 
  4. a mechanism to create a community of practice among child and youth care education programs.

There are over 50 publically funded post-secondary institutions offering Child and Youth Care (CYC)/Child and Youth Work (CYW) education in Canada. CYC/CYW educators believe quality of care and service to young people and their families will be enhanced by setting standards for educational programs, assuring both the public and aspiring professionals that graduates of those programs will have a common base of knowledge and skill that can be directly linked to a child and youth care competency document and the affiliated curriculum.  The CYCEAB uses a model that focuses on program outcomes, with the intent that graduate outcomes will ultimately affect the quality of life and quality of care received by young people who are served by child and youth care practitioners.

The specific standards and the model have undergone extensive and comprehensive review and adjustment based on the feedback of educators and professional associations across Canada. The model will be implemented in conjunction with existing provincial and institutional program approval and program review processes. As new CYC programs develop and as existing programs undertake their regular cycle of review and evaluation, the model will evolve.

The focus in this accreditation is on outcomes and the use of outcome results by programs. Programs must demonstrate that their institutions have plans in place for assessing educational outcomes. They must show evidence that the results of these assessments have led to the improvement of teaching and learning processes and improved preparation of program graduates to enter professional positions upon graduation.