Do you want to make a positive difference 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.
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 11,400 job openings expected between 2017 and 2027. Workers in this industry can expect a median salary of $39,856 annually (as per 2016 data), 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.
The diploma also transfers to the third year of Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies program, which can be completed in one year on campus, or two years online (with short on-campus residencies).
special academic requirements
English Language Exit Requirement
In order to graduate with a Diploma in Youth Justice, students are required to meet CFCS exit writing standards. The CFCS exit writing standards are as follows:
Satisfactory completion of workplace writing tasks in all YJWD work
"C-" or higher in CMNS 1110 or CMNS 1115 (or equivalent - see Transfer Guide)
"C-" or higher in ENGL 1130 (or equivalent - see Transfer Guide)
A satisfactory portfolio of workplace writing samples (upon special request by experienced practitioners engaged in PLAR only)
career transfer pathways
Unique in British Columbia, the Douglas College Youth Justice program enjoys an excellent reputation with employers. Because they possess job-ready skills, Douglas graduates are in high demand, with many employers offering practicum placements that often lead to permanent positions. Students 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. Graduates receive support in the transition from classroom to career through networking opportunities, exposure to agencies in the youth justice community, professional development and the Career Centre.
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:
- Court-ordered youth support
- Restorative justice
- Alcohol and drug counselling
- Aboriginal youth services
- Crime prevention
- Gang and bullying prevention
- Community and family services
- Community-based youth programs
- Youth corrections
Additional employment opportunities may be available for students who continue on to a degree program. Refer to the university transfer options section for 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.
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.
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.
When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required.
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
Addiction treatment centre
Group home or crisis shelter
Social adjustment classes
Boys and Girls Clubs
Community police programs
Restorative justice programs
Family court counselling
Victim services units
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.