Youth workers help young people to develop the skills they need to make lasting, positive changes in their lives. They typically provide specific services to youth with particular problems. These services may include education, employment, accommodation, training or counselling. They may also advocate for young people on issues like health, perform outreach work or run community education and recreation programs for local government. Their main aim is to assist young people with solving emotional, social and financial problems using an agency framework.
You can find youth workers in a variety of organisations like schools, corrective institutions, hospitals, community centres, refuges, drug and alcohol centres and youth organisations like the YWCA, YMCA, Scouts and Guides. They spend time in the office writing applications for funding and reports as well as counselling young people and organising activities when they are not out visiting young people at a variety of locations. Youth workers are often required to work shifts including evenings and weekends. If you relate well to young people and you are passionate about helping them to reach their full potential then this could be a great career for you.
Youth workers are responsible for assessing the needs of young people and planning and delivering programs in areas like drugs, smoking, health and fitness, gangs, violence, bullying and relationships. They are required to support, mentor and coach individuals, encouraging greater social inclusion. Youth workers typically run community projects, arts based activities, outdoor education and sporting activities. They may work in partnership with professionals from other organisations that also support young people including health, social care, education, police, local authorities and youth offending teams.