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body or mind



Social Services

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Prepared to Study for Years


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Child & Youth Care Worker


If you love working with children and are passionate about their emotional and physical health and wellbeing, then becoming a child and youth care worker could be for you.

It’s an unfortunate part of our society, but many young people suffer abuse, neglect and emotional distress and various aspects of their lives including within their family or at school. Child and youth care workers make an important difference in the lives of these young people by using their specialised skills to help promote a healthy environment and helping them to reach their full potential.

A large part of the job will be assessing the protective, developmental and therapeutic needs of a young person, provide information and act as a mediator.

How to be a Child & Youth Care Worker in South Africa

Get the Required Qualifications

To become a Child & Youth Care Worker in South Africa, you will need a number of qualifications. Entry requirements differ for each of the educational institutions, but typically, you will be expected to have a:

  • Diploma (Diploma in Child and Youth Care Work)
  • Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Technology in Child and Youth Care)
  • Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Social Work)
  • Postgraduate Degree (Master of Technology: Child and Youth Care)

Demonstrate Competence in the Required Subjects

For a Bachelor’s degree or a Diploma, you will need your NSC or NS(v) certificate. Entry requirements differ, but the following school subjects are recommended:

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Child and Youth Care Workers in South Africa typically study for 1-4 years depending on your choice of qualification and educational institution. However, more specialised career tracks may require up to 10 years of study to qualify for employment.

In a nutshell, the career path can be as follows:

  1. Learner CYCW –  Minimum requirement 10 years of school
  2. Auxilliary CYCW – Further Education and Training Certificate
  3. Child & Health Care worker – Degree
  4. Specialist CYCW – Masters or PhD degrees

Infographic showing the career path to become a Child and Youth Care Worker


Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

There are many employment opportunities for Child Care and Youth workers in South Africa. They often work in:

  • Government and NGO’s and non-profit organisations (such as shelters and places of safety)
  • Educational centres
  • Community development programmes
  • Assistant probation officers in courts of law
  • Probation programmes
  • Daycare centres, schools, after-care centres and hostels
  • Children’s homes and treatment centres dealing with substance abuse programmes
  • Mediator or facilitator in communities who are “at-risk”

Do note that you will have to register with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) in order to legally practise professionally as a social worker.

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about Child Care and Youth workers, contact the National Association of Child Care Worker or the Department of Social Development.


Child Care and Youth Worker Related Careers

Related University Degrees

Related Qualifications and Skills Programs

HW SETA Accredited

FETC: Child and Youth Care Work

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