The At-Risk Child & Youth Care is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to promote the well being of all children and adolescents. Special attention is given to vulnerable/at-risk populations within the context of the family, the community, and the life span. This emphasis assists students who may work within a wide variety of settings including: early child care and education, community-based and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centers, day and residential treatment, early intervention, home-based care and treatment, psychiatric centers, rehabilitation programs, pediatric health care, and juvenile justice programs. Full details are available in the UWL course catalog. CYC-related courses available next semester can be found on the CYC Minor Checksheet.

ImageStudent&ChildStudents who complete the minor are expected to be able to:

  • Identify the role of individual and family factors associated with at-risk children
  • Differentiate typical from atypical human development
  • Apply theories, concepts and research findings to promote child well-being
  • Identify the purpose and structure of community and government systems in promoting and advocating for child well-being

Program Advisor  
Lisa Caya  (Psychology) 
335 Graff Main Hall, 608.785.6895 


 Information on establishing a CYC internship

  • Coulee Children's Center
  • YMCA
  • Elementary/Middle School/High School guidance offices
  • Summer Camps for at-risk youth
  • Gundersen Lutheran Child Life
  • The Parenting Place
Advocacy projects

Students in CYC495 design and implement advocacy projects focused on children's well-being.  Examples from past cohorts include: 

  • body image
  • uniqueness
  • healthy relationships
Helpful external links

The International Child and Youth Care Network  (CYC-NET)

The Association for Child & Youth Care Practice, Inc.  (ACYCP)

Information on post-BS/BA certification as a Child Life Specialist

the national child life website.