Our People

Jenny McGrath

Chair, Department of Child and Youth Care
Associate Professor, Bachelor of Child and Youth Care

MS (Nova Southeastern); CCYC

9-414D, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB


Jenny McGrath has worked in child and youth care for over 20 years in a wide range of programs, including early learning, group care, community services, custody, family support and education. She loved every moment of her front-line practice and misses working directly with children, youth and families. Since joining the faculty in 2006, she has enjoyed working with and mentoring students in their learning journey. She teaches many of the practical courses in the program and incorporates activities and examples that help students gain confidence and awareness of their personal strengths.

Child and youth care, practicum, family support, activity programming, group work, professionalism

Teaching and Research Interests

Jenny McGrath is a strong advocate for experiential learning and considers students partners in the education process. She wants to help students discover their voices and develop their unique practice identities so they are able to advocate for and be innovative and passionate about their work with children, youth, families and communities.

Her research interests include practicum education, creative pedagogy, family support and activity-based interventions.

Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers

Pope, C., & McGrath, J. (2016). Traditions and transitions. Relational Child and Youth Care Practice, 29(2), 98-100.

Jackson, A., & McGrath, J.(2016, November). Social disadvantage as trauma: Building relational capacity for youth and families. Workshop presented at Unity through Relationships, Dublin, Ireland.

Hedlin, C., & McGrath, J. (2016, August). Making space for creative expressions in post secondary education. Workshop presented at CYC second world conference: Together towards a better world for children, adolescents and families, Vienna, Austria. 

Lashewicz, B., McGrath, J., & Smyth, M. (2014). Mask-making in human services education: A case for student engagement. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 34(2), 182-198.

Bellefeuille, G., & McGrath, J. (2013). A relational-centred international education partnership: A phenomenological inquiry into the lived experience of child and youth care/social care students and faculty. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 6(3), 1-10.

Awards / Grants / Fellowships

  • Graduate Award, University of Victoria (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • National Child and Youth Care Worker Award, Canadian Council of Child and Youth Care Associations (2006)

Professional Associations / Memberships

  • Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta
  • Certified Child and Youth Care Worker

Boards / Committees

  • Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta, Education committee
  • Child and Youth Care Association of Alberta, Conference committee
  • Child and Youth Care Education Accreditation Board of Canada, Research committee