**This is an updated post**
In search of career satisfaction, many people turn to careers that involve helping others. Youth work involves helping young people and is one of the most rewarding career paths you can follow.
Youth Workers work closely with young people to help them develop. They safeguard children from harm and counsel them through difficult issues. Through your role as a Youth Worker, you can help make a difference in the lives of vulnerable kids and teens.
Read on to find out more about what a Youth Worker does and why it matters.
What does Youth Work involve?
Youth work itself is a broad umbrella term for a career that involves safeguarding young people and aiding in their development. You may be a general Youth Worker, or a more specialised Youth Housing Support Worker. Either way, your role will involve keeping children and teenagers safe and helping them develop.
You will gain young people’s trust and support them through some of the hardest situations in life. From grief through to alcoholism, homelessness, domestic violence and abuse, you will be there to support them. That’s why youth work courses include modules on mental health, crisis management and more.
This means you’ll need a strong mental attitude and a compassionate nature. The role also involves a level of organisational skill, as you’ll need to liaise with government authorities, charities and other industry bodies to help the children you care for.
What does a day in the life of a Youth Worker look like?
As no two days will be the same for you as a Youth Worker, it’s hard to describe what a “typical” day might involve.
However, no matter what specialised field you find yourself working in, your day-to-day job will involve meeting young people and building relationships with them. You will be responsible for identifying problems and raising issues with government authorities. You’ll become a trusted advocate, the person who a young person can approach to talk about sensitive topics.
You’ll work in a range of places where children may need help, whether that’s in schools, youth refuges, community centres or even in private organisations such as the Scouts or Guides.
As a Youth Worker, it’s important that you’re able to build strong and trusting relationships with your young clients, as they may come to rely on your for a number of things. And while it can be challenging at times dealing with young people who have experienced different levels of trauma, knowing that you’re making a difference in their lives will help to keep you motivated.
What qualities does a Youth Worker need?
Being a youth worker means engaging with young people, identifying problems and aiming to resolve them. This requires a range of both mental and emotional skills including:
- Compassion and patience – listening to and understanding problems is vital to success as a Youth Worker.
- Keen perception – Youth Workers must be able to spot situations, risks and issues because a youth may not disclose them.
- Perseverance – Youth Work can be stressful and challenging at times, so it’s important for a Youth Worker to remain committed and focused.
- Confident communication – Youth Workers must be comfortable communicating with others, although youth work courses will help you develop specialised strategies for speaking to youths.
- Initiative and organisation – Youth Workers often need to organise and plan their own work and must also know when to act on problems or respond to crises.
How do I become a Youth Worker?
Youth work is not the same as social work. To become a youth worker, you need to build specific skills and qualifications that allow you to work with children. You’ll need to learn how to identify problems, know how to resolve them and understand the legal and ethical framework in which you’ll operate.
Open Colleges offers the CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work, which will teach you the knowledge and skills needed to make a real difference in children’s lives.
Begin a career where you can create a lasting, positive impact in your community and start studying today.
Book your youth work online course Don’t keep dreaming of a more rewarding job – enrol into the Open Colleges CHC40413 Certificate IV in Youth Work course today and begin working towards a career that makes a real difference in young people’s lives.