Career Description

Children, teens and adults who have physical, intellectual or mental health challenges often need assistance in their home environments. Residential counsellors provide a range of support in small option homes, in a person’s own apartment or family home, in substance recovery centres or assisted living centres.

In most cases, you would be working with one to eight residents, who may have a disability or a drug addiction. Each person has very different needs. You would work individually and with a team of other staff, family members and professionals to ensure a resident’s physical, mental and emotional well-being, while helping each attain his/her goals.

Academic and Licensing Requirements

  • High school diploma plus a recognized Child and Youth Care Worker diploma, Human Services diploma or equivalent. Sociology, psychology, mental health or other human services education would be helpful, along with experience working or volunteering with individuals who are physically or mentally challenged.
  • NS Department of Community Services training standards certification is required. Other certifications (eg food handling, WHMIS) are also required, along with computer literacy and report-writing skills.

Educational Programs offered in NS

Any of the following diploma programs would be good preparation for residential care services:

  • Nova Scotia Community College: Human Services, eg. Child and Youth Care Worker, Disability Supports and Services, Social Services
  • Eastern College: Child and Youth Care Worker
  • Maritime Business College: Disability Support Worker / Social-Human Services Counselling Skills/Social Human Services

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