Youth Justice (Diploma)


Fall 2023: Applications open Oct 3, 2022

Learning Format
Admission Type
Limited Enrolment


Do you want to make a positive difference in the lives of young offenders or youth at risk of offending? Help improve the lives of young people in your community or who are involved in the justice system with a career in youth justice.

Unique in British Columbia, Douglas College’s two-year Youth Justice Diploma program blends studies in child and youth counselling, criminology and youth justice. Courses in behaviour theory, public policy, skill development and professional practice, plus real-world experience through two practicum placements, ensure you are prepared to effectively assist at-risk youth or those who are already involved in the justice system once you graduate.

During your education, you'll take part in two supervised youth justice work practicums. These practicum placements often lead to permanent positions. You'll do practicums in a variety of settings, including schools, youth centres, custodial settings for young people in conflict with the law, community policing, victim services, outreach services and support services.

Get hired

The Youth Justice program at Douglas College enjoys an excellent reputation with employers, with many offering our students practicum positions and full-time jobs. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared for careers in a variety of social-service settings, including community and government agencies, school settings, treatment programs and justice system settings.

Social and community service workers are in high demand in B.C., with 12,000 job openings expected between 2021 and 2031. Workers in this industry can expect a median salary of $43,798 annually, with opportunities to advance in both pay and position as management-level roles for social, community and correctional services are also expected to increase in the coming years.

Further your studies

The Youth Justice Diploma transfers into the third year of Douglas College’s Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care and the second year of Douglas’s Bachelor of Social Work. The diploma credits can also be used to fulfill some of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Criminology.

Your credential may also transfer to youth justice programs at other post-secondary institutions. Visit the B.C. Transfer Guide and your transfer university’s website regularly to confirm which courses transfer.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 credits
  • 25% (15 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College

Program Requirements:

Course Number

Course Title


CRIM 1100

Introduction to the Criminal Justice System


YJWD 1100

Personal and Professional Issues For The Youth Justice Worker


CFCS 2432

Understanding Aboriginal Perspectives And Experiences


CYCC 1220

Counselling & Relationship Building With Children And Youth


YJWD 1240

Youth Justice: Practicum I


CRIM 1150

Introduction to Criminology


CRIM 1160

The Canadian Legal System


CRIM 1170

Introduction to Corrections


CFCS 1130

Change and Development Lifespan


CFCS 1260

Continuum of Substance Use


CRIM 2251

Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour


CRIM 2253

Youth, Crime and Law


CRIM 2260

Criminal Law


CFCS 2333

Change and Development: Families


CYCC 2360

Mental Health In Childhood & Adolescence


CYCC 2460

Family Violence and Abuse


YJWD 2300

Group Dynamics and Activity Planning For The Youth Justice Worker


YJWD 2240

Youth Justice: Practicum II


Select one course from the following 3 options:



CMNS 1110

Workplace Writing for Child, Family and Community Studies


CMNS 1115

Practical Writing


ENGL 1130

Academic Writing





Admissions Requirements

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • Meet the minimum age requirement of 19 years by November 1st of the first semester
  • Successful participation in a formal selection process to determine suitability and program readiness 
  • Successful completion of 60 hours paid or volunteer experience in an approved setting
  • Criminal Record Search (CRS) - Information to be provided by the Office of the Registrar after successful completion of above requirements


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Career Pathways

Graduates are prepared for work in a variety of social-service settings, such as community or government agencies, schools, treatment programs and justice system settings. Employment opportunities include:

  • Aboriginal Youth Residential Worker 
  • Child & Youth Care Worker 
  • Childcare Worker 
  • Community Living Outreach Worker 
  • Community Facilitator 
  • Community Justice Worker 
  • Community Support Services 
  • Crisis Intervention Worker 
  • Family & Youth Support Worker 
  • Judicial Administrative Assistant
  • Social Advocate

Program Guidelines

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


The Youth Justice department is looking for students who endeavour to improve the lives of people in their community. A special emphasis is placed on supporting youth who are currently, or at-risk of becoming, involved with the justice system.  Applicants should have an interest in youth justice, youth engagement, and the justice system. Applicants should be ready to commit to a full-time, professional program, with excellent career prospects.

Please see the Career Pathways tab.

The program is full-time. Courses may be scheduled Monday to Friday, between 8am and 5pm. Practicum schedule will align with agency operation. May include evenings or weekends.

The program begins in September and ends in June. 

All classes take place at our Coquitlam Campus, 1250 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam.


Please see the Curriculum tab for required courses.

Regarding course prerequisites, contact your Instructional Facilitator. After consultation with the instructor, you may be eligible for a prerequisite waiver.

-Lecture method/lab

-Collaborative learning style

Please see the Work Experience Requirement tab. 

Also called worksite learning, practicum is a chance to practise your skills in a youth justice professional work site. The YJ program includes two practicum placements- 1st semester and 4th semester. These are arranged by the Youth Justice Department, in consultation with students. An additional criminal record check may be required. 

Students may receive credit for previously completed supervised practicums. Please contact your Instructional Facilitator to inquire.  

Youth Justice Diploma graduates may continue their studies at Douglas College by completing a bachelor’s degree in Applied CriminologyChild and Youth Care or Social Work. The diploma can also be applied toward the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies at Royal Roads University, with a two-year block transfer into the third year of the program. Many of Youth Justice courses transfer to other post-secondary institutions, including University of the Fraser Valley, Simon Fraser University and University of Victoria.

For transfer details to other institutions, see the BC Transfer Guide.

Attendance is mandatory for all classes, as learning is formatted around interaction with instructors and classmates.

Summer Semester break, Winter break, 1-week reading break during the Winter Semester.

Employment is a necessity for many students. It is a student’s responsibility to align their academic and work schedules, particularly during practicums. A student must be available for their practicum placement, which may require advanced planning and budgeting. The first term is particularly challenging as classes are compressed into a busy 10-week period, followed by a 5-week, full-time practicum.

More Information

Please note that shift work may be required in some practicums. Basic word processing skills are an asset.

Applicants are responsible for any costs incurred in the admission process.

English language skills are required for successful completion of the Youth Justice Diploma Program. Douglas College is committed to student success - we want you to experience success in your course work and your career.

Tuition Deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required. 

Work Experience Requirement

Every student who applies to the Youth Justice Diploma program must complete a minimum of 60 hours of paid or volunteer work, in a youth justice related setting. The purpose of this work is to help you determine whether youth justice work is the right field for you. This work should align with the following conditions:

  • Supervised, by a non-relative.
  • Work with youth.
  • Work with clients currently, or at-risk of becoming, involved with the justice system, due to behavioural, social, or emotional difficulties.   
  • Front-line service. This includes positions where you work directly with clients, participate in advocacy, participate in community organization, or assist with program development.
  • Work with clients in a social service setting is acceptable.

Work Experience Examples

Open or secure custody centre
Halfway house
Addiction treatment centre
Group home or crisis shelter
Alternate schools 
Social adjustment classes
Community centres
Boys and Girls Clubs
KidStart programs
Community police programs
Restorative justice programs
Family court counselling
Victim services units
Diversion programs

If you are unsure whether your work qualifies, please contact your Instructional Facilitator.

We encourage applicants to begin work as soon as possible, as the application to volunteer may take time, with limited hours per week.