SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Occupational Certificate: Child and Youth Care Worker 
99510  Occupational Certificate: Child and Youth Care Worker 
Development Quality Partner - HWSETA 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
Undefined  190  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-ELOAC 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a Child and Youth Care Worker.

A Child and Youth Care Worker contributes to the provision of holistic therapeutic care, and supports the development of children and youth in order to ensure the appropriate development of the individuals through the application of professional life space interventions.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Provide holistic, basic and developmental care for orphaned, vulnerable and at risk children and youth.
  • Apply behaviour management and support techniques in routine child and youth care contexts.
  • Implement life space work and life space counselling.
  • Maintain planned environments in child and youth care work.
  • Participate in developmental assessment of children and youth.
  • Assist with the implementation of programmes and activities to deal with identified needs.
  • Advocate for the rights of children and youth.
  • Undertake basic Child and Youth care administration.

    The majority of people in Africa are young and Africa has a growing population. Children and young people are specifically vulnerable and the key success factor for our growth and survival is to ensure that our children and young people have the best possible chance for positive development. Thus the child and youth care workers is critical for our future.

    This Occupational Certificate will replace the current legacy qualification. This qualification will be an enhancement of the current qualification and will ensure articulation to professional levels. The Occupational Certificate will create a career path opportunity for current and new entrants into the profession and this profession has been identified as both critical and scarce in the latest sector skills plans.

    The occupation Child and Youth Care Worker is relevant within the National Development plan. This Occupation is specifically recognised by the Children's Act as a key profession to address and serve the needs of children.

    The implementation of this qualification will enhance the quality of services being provided to vulnerable children and youth. Regulations to the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 for the registration of Child and Youth Care workers (at the Auxiliary level) requires an Occupational qualification for the purpose of registration. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a statement of result or certifying a work experience record.

    RPL for access to the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • Level 3 with Communication. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill Modules:

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 263508000-KM-01, Fundamentals of Human Development, Level 5, 4 Credits.
  • 263508000-KM-02, Theories and Methodologies of Child and Youth care work, Level 5, 21 Credits.
  • 263508000-KM-03, Self-Reflective Practices, Level 4, 9 Credits.
  • 263508000-KM-04, Developmental Assessment Practices, Level 5, 7 Credits.
  • 263508000-KM-05, Legislative Framework relevant to Child and Youth Care, Level 5, 7 Credits.
  • 263508000-KM-06, Supervision and Administration, Level 5, 7 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 55.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 263508000-PM-01, Provide physical care, Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-02, Provide social and emotional care, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-03, Interpret and respond in a helpful manner to behaviour of children and youth in terms of their needs, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-04, Respond appropriately to actual and potentially physically violent assaultive behaviour to contain the situation and ensure safety of people and property, Level 6, 4 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-05, Intervene in the daily activities of children and youth to realise developmental and therapeutic goals, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-06, Apply the principles of the developmental approach, Level 5, 3 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-07, Apply restorative processes within the environment, Level 5, 2 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-08, Effectively observe, record and report behaviours and interactions within a specified framework, Level 4, 2 Credits.
  • 263508000-PM-09, Participate in the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes and activities within a variety of contexts, Level 5, 6 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 39.

    This qualification also requires the following Work Experience Modules:
  • 263508000-WM-01, Provide holistic developmental care, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-02, Manage behaviour within the child and youth care context, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-03, Implement life space work and conduct life space counselling, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-04, Maintain planned environments for child and youth care work, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-05, Conduct developmental assessments for children and youth, Level 6, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-06, Implement programmes and activities to deal with identified developmental needs of children and youth, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-07, Advocate for the rights of children and youth, Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • 263508000-WM-08, Manage the administration child and youth care work, Level 4, 12 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 96. 

    1. Identify, assess and meet the holistic (physical, emotional, social, cognitive, spiritual) needs of children and youth at different stages of their development.
    2. Understand and identify the behaviour of children and young people within a range of contexts.
    3. Intervene within the life space of children and youth in order to appropriately manage and support the behaviour of children and young people.
    4. Contextualise the application of the professionally accepted behaviour management models.
    5. Intervene in the daily activities of children and youth to realise therapeutic and developmental objectives.
    6. Establish and maintain appropriate relationships with children and youth that will facilitate the provision of holistic therapeutic care, and support the development for them.
    7. Manage the total environment to create a developmental and therapeutic milieu.
    8. Take action to improve self-awareness and improve personal performance as a child and youth care worker.
    9. Identify key developmental areas and participate constructively in a multi-disciplinary team to compile and implement the individual development plan within the life space of children and youth.
    10. Implement, uphold and realise child and youth rights in the life space.
    11. Complete the required documents and draft the regulated reports within a child and youth care context. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Needs are identified in all the dimensions of development.
  • How the identified needs relate to the appropriate assessment framework are explained.
  • The needs and the actions that relate to the appropriate stages of development of the person are described.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • The needs behind individual and group behaviours in terms of age, developmental stage and context are described.
  • Appropriate and distorted behaviour in terms of the professionally accepted assessment framework is identified.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Interventions aimed at responding to the behaviours are applied and such interventions correspond with the accepted pro-active and active management techniques.
  • The application of rules and routines in behaviour management using appropriate practical examples are clearly explained.
  • The natural and logical consequences in applying behaviour management relevant to given contexts are described and the discipline that is aligned to relevant child and youth care legislation is applied.
  • The difference between punishment and discipline in terms of the child and youth care ethos is explained and the practical, feasible and legal alternatives to punishment are applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Professionally accepted behaviour management models including all the stages and steps are described.
  • The appropriate models to the relevant behaviour are described and applied.
  • The philosophy that underpins the various models for behaviour management is aligned to the professional child and youth care approach.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Interventions are described appropriately to the given situation and interventions aligned with the characteristics of child and youth care approach are described.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • The need for boundaries is identified and how to create and maintain boundaries within the various contexts consistent with the relevant theories and the specific context are described.
  • Rapport and engagement are facilitated within different situations and meet the requirements of the theoretical framework.
  • Communication that reflects a deep understanding of the practical dynamics of relationship reluctant children is explained.
  • Examples of using self as a tool in relationship building are explained.
  • The need for life space counselling is clearly and accurately identified and the limitations for counselling and referrals are accurately aligned to the scope of work and the regulated requirements are examined.
  • The concept of unconditional acceptance of children and youth is reflected on giving practical examples of how to overcome personal bias.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • The processes for creating structured activities accurately are described in terms of the relevant theoretical basis.
  • Processes for setting up and managing routines are put in place accurately.
  • The role of routines in creating a therapeutic and developmental milieu is accurately explained according to the accepted professional practice.
  • The processes to design activities for programmes, individuals and groups are described and aligned to the specific needs.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • Debates on the role of a child and youth care worker are analysed by highlighting all the professional and legislated roles and the key competencies that an effective child and youth care worker should demonstrate.
  • Own developmental areas and strategies for improvement are designed in line with the accepted model.
  • The role of supervision in managing self is described and an understanding of the need for mentorship within the professional environment is illustrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 9:
  • The roles and responsibilities of the various members of the multi-disciplinary team are described and the interrelationship between the child and youth care worker and the various team members is reflected upon.
  • Identified developmental areas are accurately captured in an Integrated Development Plan (IDP), how the IDP is implemented is explained and how it contributes towards the achievement of developmental goals is indicated.
  • How the child or youth is supported during the assessment process is described according to the relevant professional and legal standards.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 10:
  • The rights of the child and young person are upheld according to the constitutional requirements and how they relate to best practices from global initiatives are explained.
  • The process for applying the rights of children and youth aligned to the professional practices is described.
  • The application of the code of ethics and a deep personal understanding of and belief in the values entrenched in the code are illustrated.
  • The various processes for dealing with violations of rights that are appropriate, feasible and legal are explained.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 11:
  • Daily logs are accurately completed and reports based on the logs are aligned to the principles of logging and reporting.
  • Reportable incidents are identified and the process for dealing with reportable incidents is accurately described in terms of professional and legal practice.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality Partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria. 

    The training of Child and Youth Care workers globally was investigated to determine the comparability of this Occupational Certificate with global practices.

    There are currently no relevant qualifications in Africa or the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. However through the SADC region there is currently collaboration to rectify this situation. In SADC and Africa at large, child and youth care is seen as critical for survival and growth. South Africa has provided training for trainers in Zambia, who are in the process of setting up Child and Youth Care Work structures in that country. Interest has also been expressed from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

    In the United Kingdom (UK), specifically Scotland and Wales there are a number of Degree and Postgraduate qualifications in child and youth care, however if a person starts as a youth support worker, the employer will provide basic induction training and the learners can then take a work-based youth support qualification, such as: Level 2 Certificate in Youth Work Practice and Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Youth Work Practice.

    These are accredited by several awarding bodies and can be taken through the employer or through a college. Thereafter skills are developed on the job. For professional registration learners must complete a Degree programme and must meet occupationally based requirements.

    This situation is similar to the South African context. The learning in the Certificate programme covers similar topics but it is at a lower level and focuses on the basics.

    In Australia a number of certificate programmes exist to serve specific needs:
  • CHC30402 Certificate III in Children's Services: This qualification covers workers who use organisational policies, procedures and individual children's profiles to plan activities and provide care to children, facilitating their leisure and play and enabling them to achieve their developmental outcomes.
  • CHC41802 Certificate IV in Community Services (Protective Care). This qualification covers workers who work in residential and non-residential facilities under direct supervision within clearly defined organisational guidelines and service plans. These workers carry out activities related to the maintenance of a child or young person at risk, personal care and/or other activities of living.
  • CHC30602 Certificate III in Youth Work: This qualification covers workers who provide support to young people through a range of community-based programs designed to address the social, behavioural, health, welfare, developmental and protection needs of young people. The qualification also covers youth workers who are employed in juvenile detention facilities. This work may be undertaken through employment in community, government and welfare agencies, will be directed by the policies and guidelines of the employing agency and will be conducted under supervision of senior staff who may or may not be youth workers.

    In New Zealand a Certificate in family and foster care exists at level 4 with optional strands in care giving for young people. The qualification is designed for people who are custodial caregivers for children and young people who are in need of care. Caregivers are able to establish care giving relationships with children and their family, manage human development and health issues of children in care, manage children and young people's behaviour, and respond to the effects of abuse, neglect and violence. They can support children and young people to leave family and foster care. An optional strand offers caregivers the opportunity to extend their competencies to provide care for young people. Caregivers with this qualification are able to establish a safe care giving environment, demonstrate caregiver safety, and work within boundaries set by legislation and the protocols and policies of an approved care giving agency.

    Overall the South African Occupational Certificate for Child and Youth Care Workers is unique to our situation and specific needs. However the content of the Certificate compares very favourably with the certificates in other countries. The Occupational Certificate contains an in depth theoretical basis that will facilitate articulation to professional registration and further studies. 

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Social Auxiliary Work, Level 5.
  • National Certificate in Human Resource Management, Level 5 (ID 66873).

    Vertical Articulation:
  • University Diploma in Christian Service: Social Work, Level 6 (ID 6209). 



    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of statements of results and work experience including Foundational Learning Competence.

    This qualification is at Level 5.

    Additional legal or physical entry requirements:

    Criteria for the accreditation of providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is: 263508000: Child and Youth Care Worker.

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • This is not a trade.

    Part Qualifications:


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.