Child psychologist qualifications can vary widely across the country, but it is important to know what you need to do in order to be a good one, says Dr. Wayne Fort Wayne, a child psychologist with the Child Psychology Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
“A child psychologist needs the ability to recognise and understand the child’s needs and to communicate effectively with a child’s family, and to provide an appropriate level of support and guidance to support the child in his or her professional development,” he said.
The Canadian Child Health Association recommends that all child psychologists be able to support a child and to work with parents and children in the child care setting.
“We believe that a child is best supported in the home by an adult, who understands and empathises with the child and has the skills to give support and support to that child in order for him or her to feel comfortable in the family home and in his/her career,” Dr. Fort Wayne said.
A child psychologist should have experience working with children, parents and families and is ideally suited to the roles that child psychologists have to fill in the future.
A qualified child psychologist is a specialist who specializes in child psychology and has worked with children and families.
He or she can help a child understand his or herself, how he or she relates to others, and what it is like to be in the care of a child.
“Child psychologists have a particular expertise in understanding the child, their emotions, what they are feeling and what they feel they can do about that, but also in working with other adults and in helping children to develop and develop a sense of their own identity,” Dr Fort Wayne explained.
Child psychologist requirements are detailed in the Child Psychologist Certification Standards and Training Manual (CPCST) and the Canadian Psychological Association’s Child Psychology Training Standards and Standards.
The Child Psychologists Act requires child psychologists to complete the Canadian Psychologist Qualification Examination and pass it to pass into the Canadian Therapist Certificate program.
If they pass the examination, they have a three-year waiting period before they can apply for a certificate.
They also have to have completed a professional development course.
Child psychologists must be registered in Ontario and licensed in Canada.
Child Psychology Clinical Specialist certification means that they are trained to provide professional therapy and are eligible to practise as a child psychotherapist.
Child Psychopathology Clinical Specialist is the highest level of certification, which requires the child psychologist to have clinical experience and to be able work with children.
The child psychologist must have been trained to work as a therapist or child psychologist and have supervised child care or parent-child contact for at least one year.
This certification is only valid for a child who is currently supervised by a licensed child psychologist.
Child psychopathology can only be completed by a child or young person aged 18 years or older.
Dr. Bruce M. Stannard, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the University of Toronto, said that there are a variety of child psychopathy standards in place in Canada, and the Child Welfare Act, which covers children aged 0-12, does not cover child psychopathologists.
“The Child Welfare Amendment Act, introduced in 2005, includes provisions to allow for the establishment of child welfare agencies, and we are seeing a trend in this country to have child psychologists and child welfare workers become the principal providers of services to children,” Dr Stannar said.
“What we see with child psychosocialists is they are becoming more of the ‘frontline providers’ of services, but there is no recognition of their professional qualifications, which are the most important component to their work.”
Dr. Stannaard said that child psychotherapy needs to be accessible to all, and that children and their families need to be educated about their needs.
“Many of us, particularly parents, are concerned that the lack of child-focused therapy is leading to inappropriate behaviour in children,” he added.
“Parents need to have some understanding of the needs of children and have a positive relationship with them, which includes understanding and respecting their boundaries.”
Dr Stannaards thoughts on child psychoses are similar to Dr Fortway’s: “The most important thing is to make sure that all children, their families, and their carers are able to access child psychoanalytical services as effectively as possible, because that is the best way to achieve long-term success.”
For more information on child mental health and mental health related topics, contact: The Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH), 647-908-5555, CAMH, [email protected], or the Ontario Coalition for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 519-569-3109, [email protected]
For more tips and information about child mental wellbeing, visit: Children’s Mental Health Service, 647 – 908-8500, Children’s