National Residential Child & Youth Care Professional
Trainer Certification

Frequently Asked Questions
Instructions for RCYCP Exam
Verification of Continuing Education Form
Verification of Continuing Education Trainer Form

Why Certification?

The influence of child care staff on the children and youth in their care cannot be overestimated.

When the decision is made for children and youth to be placed in a residential center, it means their needs cannot be met by traditional family settings and relationships. The success of the placement depends largely on workers' skills and consistent nurturing and the helping relationships that are developed.

Many will be involved in relationship building with the children and youth, teachers, social workers, psychologists, and other therapists. But it is the child care worker who has the greatest amount of interaction and, therefore, potentially the greatest impact.

Based on NRC's widely acclaimed and long-established curriculum, Residential Child and Youth Care Professional Trainer Certification will improve the quality of residential group care for children and youth. It offers administrators a means of educating workers in a consistent philosophy of child care. And, it strengthens their workers skills and knowledge through a standardized training program.

Why should you be certified?

Certification provides recognizable professional status.

It clearly denotes the skills you have learned, and it is a commonly understood measure of your knowledge and achievement. The certification process can provide confidence in your ability for you and the people with whom you work. More important, it will benefit the children and youth in your care.

Why should your staff be certified?

A certified staff provides evidence of the value you place on the role of the direct care worker in service delivery.

It means your staff will maintain a common knowledge base and residential care philosophy with consistently high values and practices. And certification means recognizable proficiency to placement organizations, licensing and accrediting agencies, funding sources, and the community at large.

Certification is essential for the direct care worker's full inclusion in the multi-disciplinary teams that operate in today's residential facilities. It is necessary in their complex work with children, youth, and families.

Direct child care is an important job. It should be considered an important profession.

Who is eligible?

All direct care workers throughout the nation who are currently, or hope to be, employed in

  • Residential treatment centers
  • Youth shelters
  • Detention facilities
  • Group care homes
  • Therapeutic foster homes
  • Specialized community homes
  • Juvenile rehabilitation
  • Training facilities


A one-time application fee of $30 per worker is required at the time of application. This fee includes certification exam processing, record maintenance, and a Certificate of Achievement.

The certification process.

Step 1: Read the Residential Child & Youth Care Professional curriculum manual.

Step 2: Attend the Residential Child & Youth Care Professional course led by an NRCYS-approved trainer, with each topic encompassing the required hours of instruction.

  • 12 hours: Developing a Culture of Care
  • 12 hours: Understanding Child Development
  • 12 hours: Building Relationships
  • 6 hours: Teaching Discipline

Step 3: Register online and pay $30 application fee.

Step 4: Complete the certification exam and pass with 80% correct.

Step 5: Submit annual verification of required continuing education hours. As long as you submit verification annually of 12 clock-hours (1.2 CEUs) training per year related to the youth-care field, your certification will be current.

For more information:

For more details about the certification process, information on training, or other NRC programs
Call: (918) 660-3700
Fax: (918) 660-3737 E-mail:

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