Semester 1 each year
The Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health provides students with training in assessment and therapeutic modalities and interventions for working with children, youth, and families. The course is designed with a holistic and systemic approach to mental health in mind, which incorporates prevention, early intervention, and treatment.
While there are various definitions of ‘child’, ‘adolescent’, and ‘youth’, the course follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition that places childhood between the ages of 0 – 19 years with adolescence between 10 – 19 years, and youth up to 24 years.
The course content encapsulates foundational elements of developmental theory, assessment processes, family structure and influence, and early intervention. Students will also learn about family systems and trauma-focused intervention and be trained in professional practice and ethics. Students in this course will also undertake a supervised placement unit. On completion of the course, students will have counselling knowledge and skills to apply to their current work practices and to enhance self-reflection and understanding. Psychologists, counsellors, and social workers (i.e., those with mental health accreditation) who undertake this course will be eligible to apply for Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) specialist accreditation.
Please note: Cairnmillar’s courses are subject to minimum and maximum group numbers. Courses may be cancelled or postponed if minimum numbers are not achieved by the start date of the course. Courses may close prior to the start date if the maximum numbers are reached. In that situation, eligible applicants will be offered a place in the next available intake.
2023 Course Information Session
The course is designed to provide students with advanced assessment and therapeutic techniques, observational, and practice skills. Students are provided with guided readings and lectures and an opportunity to practice communication, problem-solving and develop lifelong learning skills.
Applications for February 2024 are now closed!
The Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health consists on 100 credit points. This includes seven coursework units (87.5 credit points) and one practical placement unit (12.5 credit points).
Part-time (2 year) structure:
|Counselling Skills and Psychotherapeutic Approaches
|Foundations in Child and Adolescent Development and Assessment
|Prevention and Early Intervention
|Working with Families
|Supporting and Coaching Parents and Families
|Professional Practice and Ethics
|Advanced Child and Adolescent Development and
Applicants must have completed an Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) with a minimum of credit average (60%).
Documentation required in the application:
- Most recent academic transcript(s).
- A current Curriculum Vitae (resume).
- A 500-word personal statement, outlining what factors have contributed to the application and why you wish to study this course at Cairnmillar.
- Two references, preferably at least one academic, using the HODSPA reference system.
- Proof of residency/citizenship (e.g., passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate).
See our How to Apply page for detailed instructions on applying through our online Application Portal.
Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an admissions interview with members of Cairnmillar’s academic faculty. This provides applicants an opportunity to discuss any questions they may have about the course. Further information on interviews can be found on our FAQ page.
Inherent requirements are those skills, values and behaviours which must be demonstrated by students in order that they successfully complete the program of study. As a guide for prospective and current students, a series of inherent requirement statements have been developed that relate to student admission and progression through the course. These requirements are mandatory; however, there may be some flexibility in how they can be demonstrated. Click here to view the Inherent Requirements.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Students who satisfactorily complete this course will have achieved advanced knowledge and skills to
be able to:
- Demonstrate applied knowledge of core developmental and counselling theories, concepts, and practice
- Critically evaluate theories and therapeutic models to generate novel solutions to complex problems in child, youth, and family contexts
- Demonstrate self-awareness and reflective practice, and relate to others respecting all aspects of human diversity
- Communicate clearly, effectively, and professionally in written and oral communication across face-to-face and online environments
- Apply knowledge of theoretical concepts, therapeutic models, and counselling skills to facilitate change ethically and professionally
- Employ autonomy, responsibility, and accountability in self-directed learning that facilitates lifelong learning and ongoing professional development
Career Opportunities & Study Pathways
Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health will be able to apply knowledge and skills acquired to their workplaces.
Graduates will also be able to consider further study or employment in a range of fields such as community health and community services, rehabilitation, human resources, child protection, family support services, allied health clinics and services, and private practice.
On completion of the course, graduates who are mental health professionals (such as psychologists, counsellors, social workers) will be eligible to apply for specialist accreditation with PACFA.
Graduates will also be eligible to apply for the Master Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health.
The Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health is accredited by TEQSA and abides by the Higher Education Standards Framework (2019). The program sits within level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of previous study, skills or experience.
Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course at the appropriate Australian AQF postgraduate level.
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