Professional Support Services
Child and Youth Services (CYS) at the Toronto District School Board is made up of Child and Youth Care Practitioners also known as Child & Youth Workers (CYW) and Child & Youth Counsellors (CYC). CYS at the Toronto District School Board provide support to many students in a wide variety of educational settings. We are part of Professional Support Services and school-based and mental health teams that provide social and emotional support through a relational and anti oppressive approach. We strive to work with a Child and Youth Care lens rooted in culturally responsive practices to ensure safe, equitable and identity affirming spaces.
What We Do
Child and Youth Services (CYS) provides support to students using strength-based approaches with an anti-oppressive lens within the context of the classroom and school community; we support students in the moment and in the space where the support is needed.
Child and Youth Care Practitioners work with school teams, including principals, teachers, social workers and psychologists, to provide successful experiences at school by building relationships with children, youth and their families.
Child and youth care practitioners help students with social, emotional and academic growth by fostering effective coping, life and social skills within caring, safe and stimulating environments. In addition, we advocate on behalf of our students and their families to ensure equitable opportunities, centering anti-oppression and anti-racism, in their educational journey.
We create and implement individualized and group programs based on the unique needs of the students and school community.
Child and Youth Workers
- Respond to immediate concerns and needs using life space interventions and crisis interventions.
- Provide culturally appropriate social skill and life skill development programming for individuals and groups.
- Focus on behaviour, social and emotional development with attention to communication, self-regulation and social skill acquisition.
- Provide behaviour management programs to identified individuals or groups of students of all ages.
- Participate in the development of IEPs and Safety Plans and attend SST, IST and case conference meetings.
Child and Youth Counsellors
- Provide group/individual short-term goal oriented counselling.
- Provide support during crisis situations.
- Provide support to the school community with school avoidance, bullying, and healthy relationships.
- Assist students in the acquisition and maintenance of academic, communication, social, emotional, and personal management goals.
- Work to promote mental health and well-being in elementary and secondary settings to maximize educational opportunities.
- Participate in SST, IST and case conference meetings.
Where We Are
Child and Youth Services (CYS) staff can be found working in elementary and secondary schools. We are assigned to classrooms and individual students through SIP grants, or we work with students by referral.
CYS staff also work in specialty schools and programs, such as
- Caring and Safe Schools;
- Alternative and Year Round Schools;
- Urban Indigenous Education Centre;
- Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement;
- Behaviour Prevention & Intervention Team;
- the Autism Spectrum Team.
- Itinerant Child and Youth Counsellor Team
While services are provided to groups and individual students, an effort is made to enrich the school community, focus on mental health and wellbeing, and enhance student and school safety.
Contributing to the Success of Children and Youth
The role of Child and Youth Care Practitioners contributes to the success of children and youth, centering equity in the school system. We believe this is because:
- Our practice is relational. To be effective we must develop relationships with the children and youth we support, who benefit from relationships with caring adults.
- We practice in the life space. Child and Youth Care practice is about supporting children and youth through everyday life events, challenges and successes. We are in the school where children and youth spend many hours of each day.
- We act as an Advocate. Our role as advocates for the children and youth we work with is important to ensure that their voices are heard and needs and responsibilities are respected.
- Our practice is based in Theory. Our approach is proactive, strength based and holistic. We work from an anti-oppressive, developmental and ecological perspective, understanding that children and youth belong and interact within many different systems (peers, teams, home, neighbourhood, cyberspace, etc.) as they grow and develop.
- We are skilled in Crisis Management, Behaviour Management and Skill Building. Child and Youth Care Practitioners have the educational background and ongoing training to ensure they are able to de-escalate crisis, provide guidance, problem solving opportunities and goal setting.
- We believe in the benefits of Collaborative Teamwork. We often work in collaboration with teachers in the classroom or with other professional colleagues. We maintain contacts with community agencies, programs and resources and share this information with staff, students and families who need to access services in the community.
How to access our support
Child and Youth Services (CYS) support is primarily assigned to classrooms and individuals in elementary schools. Secondary school students and their families can access CYS support by contacting the school Principal, Vice Principal or Guidance Counsellors to begin the referral process.
Follow us on Twitter @TDSB_CYS and Instagram @TDSB.CYS
For further information, please contact:
Manager of Child and Youth Services LC 1 & 4
Child and Youth Services Google Website