Developmental Theory and CYC Practice with Youth

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CYCC 3341
Developmental Theory and CYC Practice with Youth
Child and Youth Care
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours: Lecture
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Group work
  • Student presentations
  • Audiovisual presentations
  • Other
Course Description
This course focuses on contemporary developmental theory and clinical application with youth. The content examines the history and application of eight contemporary theories to the various community agencies and issues relevant to the field of practice with youth and their families. The course emphasizes program design and professional practice for all work with youth and their families.
Course Content

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

  • An understanding of the dominant theories of human growth and development with youth is fundamental to professional child and youth care.
  • In CYC practice, the significance of theories is in the application to real life situations and conditions.  CYC practitioners need current theoretical developmental knowledge so that they can provide quality care and planning with children, youth and their families.
  • The youth with whom CYC practitioners work often have specific support needs. CYC practitioners need to have a thorough developmental understanding of a particular support need.
  • CYC practitioners need to develop a general understanding of a broad spectrum of developmental support needs of youth. Practitioners need to be able to analyze the youth’s need for support within the ecological context in which the youth and family live.  Youth who need support and their families are usually dependent on community-based services to meet their needs.  CYC practitioners often play the role of identifying services for the family.  CYC practitioners are often the mediators between the community service and the family. CYC practitioners often are advocates for youth and families in the network of services.
  • CYC practitioners have specific roles to play in meeting the support needs of youth.  CYC practitioners will work with many other professions in the provision of service to the youth and family.  It is critical that CYC practitioners know their role and understand the roles of other professionals.  Effective child and youth care practice is both the provision of service and referral to the services of other professions and/or agencies.
  • CYC practitioners write reports on youth with whom they work.  These reports are read by other professionals and may be subpoenaed by the courts.  It is critical that these reports be thoughtful and accurate and support the best interests of the youth.  Similarly, child and youth care workers will participate in conferences on youth with whom they work.  Effective, thoughtful, informed verbal communication is a significant professional skill.
  • CYC practitioners work in teams, often several different teams in the course of a work week. The ability to effectively participate in teams and discuss developmental issues in the lives of youth with professionals who may have different perspectives than those of the CYC practitioner is a reality of professional life.  Learning how to discuss ideas and remain focused on the best interests of the youth (and not on professional rivalries) is a challenge and a necessity.
Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Examine and apply prominent developmental theories to CYC practice with youth, including:
    • ethological theories
    • social learning theories
    • educational theories
    • cognitive theories
    • humanistic theories
    • moral development theories
    • maturational theories
    • epigenetic theories
  2. Examine the development of youth who need support using theories and an ecological framework
  3. Discuss developmental and systemic issues for youth who need support
    • describe linkages of community concerns and CYC issues
    • describe how the community-based systems impact (either positively and/or negatively) the youth’s developmental needs
    • discuss changes in ecological systems important to positively affect the development of youth who need support
    • using developmental theory, critically examine current issues in the media concerning  youth
  4. Discuss the role of the CYC worker with youth with a specific support need
  5. Demonstrate effective communication skill, both written and verbal
  6. Demonstrate teamwork skills.
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

  • Written research assignments
  • Case evaluation
  • Tests
  • Group presentations. 


This is a graded course.

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students



Which Prerequisite