Humber College student sets sights on helping kids navigate mental health issues and trauma

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Growing up, Clara Moroch always saw herself going into a career where she could work closely with children and youth. After graduating from high school, she chose to work full-time, travel and upgrade a few courses before embarking on her post-secondary journey. 

One day, while researching education options in Toronto, she stumbled upon Humber College’s Child and Youth Care program.

Since she had taken a break after high school, she found the three-year diploma program to be much more approachable than the traditional four-year degree. Humber College offers a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care, as well as the Child and Youth Care diploma and accelerated diploma programs.

She’s currently completing her final semester, with plans to enroll in the degree program in the near future.

“Working within the field of social services is incredibly rewarding as you’re able to provide people with much-needed support,” says Moroch, who’s also the student representative for her cohort. “Everyone goes through trauma or complex trauma and going into this field, you learn about the barriers that prevent people from getting the support and resources they so desperately need. You learn how to navigate these barriers with children and their families while offering opportunities for early intervention. Being that person who provides that care is really rewarding.”

The Humber Faculty for Social and Community Services provides education in a range of other programs including Addictions and Mental Health, Behavioural Science, Developmental Services Worker and Social Service Worker.

People who are already working in the field or diploma graduates can expand their career options by earning a degree. While degree-holders can give their careers more focus by enrolling in a specialized program. Students looking to enter into the field can start with the Social Service Worker diploma program and use pathways to higher credentials. Humber has many options for learners with different backgrounds and levels of education. It also offers continuous professional learning certificates.

Within Humber’s Child and Youth Care diploma program, students will gain knowledge on family dynamics, evidence-based or evidence-informed intervention strategies, group dynamics, child and adolescent development, cultural humility, therapeutic activities and more. They’ll also be required to complete several courses that emphasize self-reflection, emotional maturity and self-awareness.

“Those who are considering a career within the field of social services should be open-minded, understanding, good with people, empathetic and willing to connect with others,” says Moroch. “It also helps to be patient, allowing things to unfold organically without interfering too much.”

The Faculty of Social & Community Services has long-standing relationships with organizations in the field, allowing students to participate in multiple work-integrated learning experiences. These opportunities equip students with the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for, in addition to a credential from an industry-recognized institution.

Within the Child and Youth Care diploma program, Moroch has to complete three practicums in the field. She’s worked at Our Lady of Peace Catholic School where she supported a fifth-grade student with autism, a community health centre and Kids with Incarcerated Parents (KIP) Canada.

“Every practicum I’ve completed has given me the opportunity to connect with professionals in the industry, learn more applicable skills, broaden my experiences and strengthen my resume,” says Moroch. After graduation, she hopes to find a position within a clinical environment that focuses on helping children navigate mental health issues and complex trauma. 

At Humber College, students’ access to program advisors and other support staff ensure they are successful in their program and the workforce. Faculty is available to assist with registration, provide additional explanation of course material and help students find a healthy work-life balance.

“I take full advantage of the support services here, especially the Writing Centre since I took some time off after high school,” says Moroch. “In the past, I’ve had professors review my work before submission and provide me with additional resources when I was stuck on an assignment. I’ve even had a professor give me a reference for a job that I applied for. Everyone in the faculty is very approachable, communicative and helpful.”

If you’re already working within the field, be sure to join the Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care (OACYC), a nonprofit that represents child and youth care practitioners.

Browse the Children, Youth and Families collection of programs at Humber College here.

Programs have intakes in the fall, winter and some in the spring, providing students with several options.

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