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Child and Youth Services

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Who are Child and Youth Services?

Child and Youth Services is composed of Child & Youth Workers and Child & Youth Counsellors at the TDSB and are part of Professional Support Services. We are part of school based and mental health teams that provide services to enhance school performance and improve academic achievement.  We provide support to many students in a wide variety of educational settings.

What We Do
Child and youth care is based in ecological and strength based approaches. Support is provided to students using life space interventions with an anti-oppressive lens within the context of the school community, the family and the peer group. We support students in the moment and in the space where the support is needed.

In collaboration with inter-disciplinary school teams, child and youth care practitioners strive to provide successful experiences at school by building relationships with children, youth and their families. 

Child and youth care practitioners help 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 provide an equitable environment in their educational pursuits.

We assess strengths and support students in achieving short and long term attainable goals with an understanding of the underlying and systemic issues faced by them on a daily basis. Based on the unique needs of our students we create and implement individualized and group programs

Contributing to the Success of Children and Youth
The role of Child and Youth Care Practitioners contributes to the success of children and youth 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 advocate 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 deescalate 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. 

Where We Are
Child and Youth Services staff can be found throughout the system working in elementary and secondary schools.  We are assigned to schools, classrooms and individual students through SIP grants or work with students by referral. 

CYS staff also work in specialty schools/programs, such as:

  • Caring and Safe Schools;
  • Alternative and Year Round Schools;
  • Urban Indigenous Education Centre;
  • Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement;
  • Behaviour Regional Services Team; and,
  • the Autism Spectrum 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.  

Child and Youth Workers

  • Provide behaviour management programs to identified individuals or groups of students of all ages.  
  • Focus on behavioural, social and emotional development with attention to communication,    personal management and social skill acquisition.   
  • Provide social skill and life skill development programming for individuals and groups.
  • Respond to immediate concerns and needs using life space interventions.

Child and Youth Counsellors

  • Work to promote the social and emotional growth of students in the secondary setting to maximize educational opportunities. 
  • Assist students in the acquisition and maintenance of academic, communication, social and personal management skills.
  • Provide support to the school community with school avoidance, bullying, healthy relationships and friendships.
  • Provide group and/or individual short term goal-oriented intervention/conflict resolution counselling. 


** Follow us on Twitter @TDSB_CYS and Instagram @TDSB.CYS

For further information, please contact:

Koryn Marshall,  Manager of Child and Youth Services LC 1 & 4

Christine Gaitens,  Manager of Child and Youth Services LC 2 & 3



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