Community Family Studies

Community, Family & Child Studies (CFCS) Program Handbook

Delivering quality education for caring professionals

Policies and expectations unique to the Community, Family & Child Studies (CFCS) Program are outlined in the handbook below. Please ensure that you read the HHS Student Handbook for general school information.

Last updated: April 28


Community, Family & Child Studies Program is a part of the School of Health and Human Services, a place of warmth and caring. We're always looking to connect with future and current students so please don't hesitate to email if you have any questions.

Once enrolled in a program, you're required to familiarize yourself with the information found in your school and program information pages.

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1. Welcome

1.1 Chair's Message

On behalf of all of us in the Community, Family, and Child Studies Department, welcome!

We are pleased that you have chosen Camosun College and a program or course in our Department as part of your journey. It is our privilege to be part of it. We are all here to help ensure your experience is worthwhile. We, too, have been students, have walked onto a campus for the first time, and have needed help to navigate our way forward. Don't hesitate to connect with us along the way.

All the very best,

Jeanne Puritch
Chair - Community, Family and Child Studies Department

Contact the Community, Family & Child Studies department.


2. Teaching Philosophy

2.1 Purpose Statement

Community, Family and Child Studies (CFCS) is a dynamic professional, two year program that is based on contemporary research and grounded in principles of social justice, strengths-based practice, and self-determination. Instructors create a co-operative learning community where all members contribute and learn from one another.

The Diploma prepares students to promote, support and strengthen the well-being of individuals and families and to work as caring, ethical professionals who can adapt to meet current and emergent community needs. As students progress through integrated courses and practica they will become familiar with a variety of community services and gain experience supporting individuals and families. Students will develop leadership skills and participate in planning, advocacy and civic engagement activities to strengthen community.

There are many employment opportunities for graduates of the CFCS Program. Graduates may work independently and/or as a member of an interdisciplinary team, and will be accountable to individuals or community organizations. Community and team environments could include family support services, schools and after school programs, family resource centres, life skills and recreation programs, youth services, women's services, employment training programs, community outreach, foster care, and group homes.

CFCS Diploma graduates may be eligible to receive block transfer (60 credits) towards the UVIC BA in Child & Youth Care. Transfer credit for related programs at other BC Post Secondary Institutions may also be available. Contact the Advising Centre of the institution of choice for more details.

Certificate graduates from other Community, Family and Studies Department programs (Education Assistant and Community Support; Early Learning and Care; Mental Health and Addictions) can apply for transfer credit towards the CFCS diploma. See Program Leader for details.

2.2 Philosophy Statement

We believe we have a collective responsibility to create a just society.

We believe in a society where all persons are equally entitled to basic human rights and equitable access to the benefits of society.

We believe an understanding of history and an analysis of issues of power, position, discrimination and other systemic causes of inequity are critical foundations to the promotion of social justice and societal change.

We believe that socially just community services work is proactive, strengths-based and collaborative and is guided by the aspirations of the individual, family, or community being served.

We believe there is diversity amongst learners, learning is an active process that occurs in a variety of contexts, assessment is fundamental to learning, and all people are learners.


3. Program Learning Outcomes

3.1 Performance Indicators

Graduates of the CFCS Diploma will demonstrate the following values, knowledge and skills.

Use principles of social justice as a foundation for practice and to enhance the quality of life of children, youth, adults and families.

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical, social, political and cultural experiences of Canada's people, including that of Indigenous peoples and new Canadians.
  2. Demonstrate a commitment to social justice values and principles through positive social action.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the spectrum of diversity - individual, family, cultural, and social - that is present in Canadian society.
  4. Apply knowledge of human rights and obligations of citizenship to advocate for equity, participation and inclusion.
  5. Assess own strengths, needs and potential as an agent for social change and act within the boundaries and scope of the role of the CFCS practitioner.

Work effectively and proactively within groups, systems and organizations to enhance the quality of services and resources for children, youth and adults.

  1. Describe the array of organizations, public and private, that provide services, supports and resources to children, youth, adults and families
  2. Describe the roles of formal and organized systems and structures in the lives of children, youth, adults and families.
  3. Identify and describe current and emerging practices and policies that affect the delivery and development of services and resources.
  4. Identify, develop and adapt work style and affiliations to accommodate changes in work environments.
  5. Use leadership and mentoring theory and knowledge to develop own skills and to work positively with others.
  6. Apply effective and creative problem solving strategies to accomplish individual, team, and organizational goals.
  7. Use knowledge of family and community systems and structures to provide effective and respectful individual and family supports.

Contribute to the development, implementation and evaluation of integrated support plans for children, youth and adults.

  1. Use functional observation, assessment, teaching and learning strategies.
  2. Use person-centred, strengths and evidence based support strategies to inform the planning, teaching and learning process.
  3. Use effective teaching, planning and support strategies to develop individualized daily living, life skills, social, and learning goals and plans.
  4. Demonstrate respect and awareness of social, cultural, family and individual diversity in all support plans and strategies.
  5. Identify and use professional and community resources and expertise in the development, implementation and evaluation of support plans.

Demonstrate interpersonal competence and establish and maintain positive working relationships with and between individuals, families, community partners and the systems that support them.

  1. Demonstrate interpersonal skills that are respectful, ethical, and sensitive to individual diversity, issues of power and oppression.
  2. Apply knowledge of best professional practices and expectations in all written, expressive and electronic communications.
  3. Communicate respectfully and effectively with decision makers to enhance the quality of services to individuals, groups and community.
  4. Respect the rights of individuals, families and support networks to self-determination and decisions about service and supports.
  5. Work with peers and allies to maintain and develop meaningful community partnerships and affiliations.
  6. Develop and practice leadership and team skills that positively support individual, family and organizational goals and aspirations.
  7. Use critical thinking and conflict resolution skills consistently to support healthy and positive working relationships.

Use knowledge of human and social development across the lifespan to effectively support children, youth, adults and families.

  1. Use knowledge of family, group and organizational process, form, and function to inform practice.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of diverse social, environmental and cultural experiences and conditions that affect development, health and wellness.
  3. Apply knowledge of human development through the lifespan to inform practice with children, youth, and adults.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of exceptionality, including acquired and developmental disabilities, and implications for practice.

Collaborate with others to support children, youth and adults with diverse and changing emotional, physical and health care needs.

  1. Apply knowledge of the social determinants of health, and social, economic and cultural factors that affect individual and community health and wellness to practice.
  2. Use knowledge of indicators of physical and social health to support healthy living and lifestyles.
  3. Work with others to recognize and respond to the support needs of vulnerable and at risk children, adults and families.
  4. Contribute to the care and support of children, youth and adults who experience temporary, chronic or lifelong social, physical, health and wellness challenges.
  5. Integrate and apply knowledge of specialized, generic, and community services, supports, and systems to practice in diverse environments.

Practice ethically and responsibly and demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional accountability.

  1. Articulate and model a personal philosophy for child, family, and community practice.
  2. Use critical thinking and problem solving skills to make responsible and ethical decisions.
  3. Use knowledge of relevant and current policy, legislation, and ethical standards to inform practice.
  4. Assess and reflect upon own abilities, and values and develop new skills and knowledge required for the demands of professional practice.
  5. Take responsibility for own actions and act within the boundaries and sphere of influence of the role of the CFCS practitioner.
  6. Identify and implement goals and strategies that contribute to self-care and self-reflection.


4. Practicum Guidelines

Students will find information on their practicum expectations within their practical skills and practicum course materials. Consult with your instructor or Chair if you are unable to locate your supporting documents.

  1. Clinical and Community Placement Protocol
  2. Student Safety and orientations on practicums
  3. Practice Guidelines/Professional Standards of Practice
  4. Practice Appraisals