Introduction to Aboriginal Child, Youth and Family Practice

Applied Community Studies
Child, Family & Community Studies
Course Code
CFCS 1142
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging from 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course provides an introduction to Aboriginal child, youth and family work. Students will gain an understanding of the history of colonization and the impact of residential schools on many peoples and the implications of this for their work. Students will observe and discuss professional practice and develop observation and assessment skills in an Aboriginal context. Students will also explore values and ethics in relationship to working with and for Aboriginal families and communities.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Aboriginal child and youth care, early childhood and classroom and community support  practitioners work with children, youth, adults, families and communities in culturally appropriate ways.
  • Good practitioners are aware of and refer to formal and informal networks, programs and sites.
  • The history and legacy of colonization of Aboriginal peoples and people with different abilities has significant implications in the lives of children, families and communities
  • Effective Aboriginal helpers are grounded in Aboriginal ways and teachings
  • There are a variety of models of supports available to children, youth adults and families. An exemplary practitioner is aware of the implicit values and potential positive and negative implications of these models.
  • Learning from elders, other practitioners and community members provides insight into roles, responsibilities and context for practice.
  • Effective observers have clear focus, purpose and intention. They conduct themselves in a legal, culturally respectful and ethical manner.
  • The ways in which observations are recorded and reported influences how the information is used. Cultural awareness, self awareness, contextual factors, choice of language and openness to reflection, review and revision need careful attention.
  • Observation of and reflection on self are integral to effective Aboriginal human service work and on-going personal and professional development.
  • Context and events are linked, thus contextual factors need consideration when observing, recording and interpreting.
  • Positive change in the lives of children, youth and families happens with support, encouragement, planning, discussion, action and reflection.
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Discussion
  • Guest Speakers
  • Field Trips
  • Films
  • Experiential Learning Activities
Means of Assessment

This is a Mastery/Non-mastery course and will conform to Douglas College policies regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.

Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Student Journals
  • Field Observation
  • Group Projects
  • Class Presentation
  • Written Assignments
  • Participation & Attendance

This is a letter graded course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe a range of perspectives on the meaning of ‘caring for children, youth and adults’ within a broad range of models and settings, from Aboriginal perspectives.
  2. Articulate an understanding of the impact of colonization and the historical treatment of Aboriginal peoples, as well as people with different abilities.
  3. Identify, observe and report on the roles of child and youth care, early childhood education, and Classroom and community support work in a range of Aboriginal settings.
  4. Describe and record human behaviours and interactions verbally and in writing using the skills of observation, recording, interpreting and reporting, with attention to context.
  5. Discuss situations from multiple perspectives: community, family, child, parents, siblings, relatives, workers, community agencies.
  6. Discuss introductory cultural, legal and ethical issues involved in professional support of children, youth and families.
  7. Demonstrate awareness of the impact of personal experiences, values, assumptions, biases and  cultural experiences on one’s own practice (through written and oral work).
  8. Articulate an understanding of health, wellness, and safety in our professional work.
Textbook Materials




Enrolment in Aboriginal Stream or permission of Coordinator


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Students who complete CFCS 1142 will not receive additional credit for CYCC 1141, CCSD 1140, CFCS 1160, or ECED 1121.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CFCS 1142
Athabasca University (AU) AU INST 2XX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG GNST 1XXX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CYC 202 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC IS 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU CYCL 1st (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023