Why Become A Child And Youth Care With Addictions Support Worker?

February 6th, 2017 / By Eastern College

Did you know that in any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue or addiction problem?

youth talking with a child and youth care worker

Assisting and counseling young people and their families through difficult circumstances is part of the role of a Child and Youth Care Worker.


Many children and youth who have had less than ideal upbringings are at an increased risk. This is simply one of the many reasons why child and youth care is essential to our society, particularly for individuals with addictions. For those who may be considering this as a potential career path, here are five reasons why you should become a child and youth care with addictions support worker—and why Eastern College is the place to learn the essentials.

Be an Advocate

Children and youth who are at risk or are already suffering from a mental illness or addiction, may not be able to advocate for themselves. In some cases, they may not have a parent who is able to advocate for them. This is often where child and youth care workers come into play. A large part of the job is to ensure that the child’s best interests and wants are taken into account. Sometimes behavioural issues can result from the child feeling as if they do not have any control. An advocate can help ensure they do have control, while also monitoring the situation so nothing gets out of hand.

Provide Early Support for Mental Health

According to statistics on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s website, 70% of those with mental health issues often have the first occurrence during their childhood or adolescent years. Furthermore, those between 15 and 24 are more likely to experience problems with substance abuse and mental illness than any other age group.

Child and youth care with addictions support workers are in a prime position to not only provide early support for those suffering (e.g. many implement substance abuse treatment programs in their positions), but also help prevent the issues from occurring in the first place. This is often by providing preventative support when the child or youth is in a risky situation.

Provide Support for Substance Abuse

As stated previously, one of the roles you would play as a child and youth with addictions support worker is the implementation of substance abuse programs tailored towards that demographic. Most general substance abuse treatment programs are for individuals over the age of majority. That leaves out a critical portion of the population: youth. Providing access to or facilitating treatment and support before they reach the age of majority can make all the difference in the world.

Make a Difference

So far, all the reasons listed have one major thing in common. As a child and youth care worker, particularly one who also has addictions support training, you will be making a significant difference. This goes for society as a whole, but also for all of the individual children and youth you encounter throughout the course of your career.

Translate Volunteering Into a Career

Have you always been interested in volunteering more often, particularly in sectors related to addiction, mental health, or youth work? Have you only been held back by the need to support yourself and/or your family? The good news is you can do a lot of good in the world while also having a fulfilling paid career. Become a child and youth with addictions support worker!

At Eastern College, the child and youth worker with the addictions support component includes a field placement spanning six weeks, as well as field trips to community agencies. You will also take an in-depth looks at the significant challenges surrounding children and youth with substance abuse problems and similar disorders. For more information, please visit the Child And Youth Care With Addictions Support Worker program page on the Eastern College website!


Check out our 64-week Child and Youth Care Worker page to learn more about this program.