South African woman in a scrub suit symbolizing health and welfare careers

Additional information

body or mind



Social Services

Boss or Team



Good Communicator

Work With


Math & Science


Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years


Busy Environment

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 become qualified in this field (learning path):

There are a number of qualifications that you can study in order to have a career in this field. Some of them are university degrees but there are other shorter courses available too.

Entry requirements differ for each of the educational institutions.

  • Diploma in Child and Youth Work
  • BTech in Child and Youth Work
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Postgraduate qualification in Child and Youth Work

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

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

CYCW Career Path

Level of Schooling & School 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:

  • English as a subject is recommended
  • Maths literacy

Length of Study:

1-4 years depending on your choice of qualification and educational institution:


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. as well as

There are many opportunities for jobs and careers in the field of Child and Youth Care Work.

These include: 

  • 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”

Further Information:

National Association of Child Care Workers

Department of Social Development:

Educational Institutions offering this qualification:


IIE MSA, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care:

Durban University of Technology, Community Health Studies, Child and Youth Care Programme:

Shorter courses and certificates

Candiz Training Academy:


Empirical Academy:

Gem Auxiliary Nursing School:


Khutuza Strategic Development:

Mako Institute South Africa:

Rostech College of Health Science:

Soyisa Learning Institute:

Zigna Training:

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