Child and Youth Care Certification

altNational Safe Place Network is pleased to partner with the Academy for Competent Youth Work to provide Child and Youth Care (CYC) Certification training. The Academy for Competent Youth Work is effectively transforming the practice of child and youth care by focusing on these core goals: 1) Prepare a competent, international youth care workforce; 2) Help youth care organizations develop and implement research-based best practices; 3) Advocate for quality services for children, youth, and families; and 4) Advocate on behalf of Child and Youth Care Practitioners. 

Through this partnership, NSPN offers the official "Child and Youth Care: Foundations" course and certification exam. Participants may pursue certification at the basic and associate levels (national certification) or the professional level (international certification).

There are many benefits to becoming a certified youth care worker:

  • Receive the benefits of high-quality, cost-effective training that builds on individual experiences of child and youth workers.
  • Become part of a competent, certified group of child and youth care workers advancing the youth services field.
  • Individuals with varying levels of experience are welcome.
  • Discounted course registration fees available for NSPN members and licensed Safe Place agencies. Course registration is free for FYSB-funded RHY grantee agencies.

The "Child and Youth Care: Foundations" course covers the following areas of focus:

  • Introduction to Professional CYC Practice
  • Professional Ethics and Regulation
  • Brain-based Guidance Techniques
  • Assessment and Documentation
  • Communication
  • Developmentally-based Programming
  • Relationship Development
  • Group Work
  • Activity Development and Leadership
  • Supervising Children and Youth
  • Cultural Diversity

The cost to attend the CYC: Foundations course is:

  • NSPN members: $600
  • Non-members (standard fee): $800

Please note: Course fees listed above do not include certification testing or application charges. These charges are managed by the Child and Youth Care Certification Board and are subject to change at any time. CEUs are available to licensed professions for an extra fee of $25.00.

Upcoming CYC: Foundations Courses

The fall 2022 session of the CYC: Foundations course has sold out. Information on the 2023 session can be found below.

Summer 2023

The summer CYC: Foundations course will start Friday, August 4, 2023. The session will be held weekly from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT through September 8, 2023. Registration will open in the Summer of 2023. Check back here for more information.

Have questions?

Download the Child and Youth Care: Foundations course informational flyer or contact the NSPN team at [email protected]

Ethics of Child and Youth Care Professionals

National Safe Place Network recognizes the Standards for Practice of North American Child and Youth Care Professionals as a model for child and youth care professionals.

This code of ethics provides a framework for the child and youth care field and can help guide the thinking and actions of professionals. It is an essential component of recognizing the child and youth care field as a profession as well.


View the complete code of ethics here.


For more information about becoming a certified child and youth care professional, check out this information about training and certification: