Working with youth and teenagers can be hard, intimidating, and messy. Many people may shy away from a career that involves working with troubled and vulnerable youth groups.
To successfully work with youth, you need a combination of passion and the right qualifications.
Proper training will give the confidence you need to help solve the unique challenges that face youth from different backgrounds. You’ll have to deal with emotional, economical, and social challenges. The right youth work course will equip you to improve the welfare of youth and teenagers.
What course should I take to become a youth worker?
Before you launch a career in the youth sector, you must obtain a certificate in youth work. Because the youth work sector is diverse, you need a comprehensive course. Several online education platforms offer a detailed course that will prepare you for a successful career. Through these platforms, you can pursue an online course in youth work.
You will receive training equivalent to the TAFE course on youth work. Upon completion, you will receive the nationally accredited Certificate IV in youth work.
Valuable skills of a youth worker
- Ability to take initiative
A youth worker must be proactive. You should be able to take action before the action is necessary. Remember you may work with youth and teens that have been through many difficulties. Such youth require someone who can always think ahead. They will need you to respond correctly to arising challenges.
- Leadership qualities
As a youth worker, you’ll have many young people looking up to you for instruction, guidance, and assurance. You must step-up to a leadership role, take responsibility, and show confidence. As a leader, you should be well informed on the challenges that face your team so that you can respond with valuable solutions. You must be ready to respond to critical situations such as drug addiction and homelessness.
- Good interpersonal and communication skills
Working with youth requires effective communication skills. You must show that you are willing to listen to them. Teens must know that you understand their issues. This will help them view you as someone they can approach to discuss their troubles and challenges. Great communication skills will help you build trust with young people and this will promote their growth.
- Ability to work independently
Working with youth may require you to be at different locations. You’ll also need to respond to challenges as they arise. The ability to work independently is critical because you may not be able to consult your supervisor about every decision in the course of your work.
- A non-judgmental attitude
Because you will work with young people from different backgrounds and with different experiences, you must adopt a non-judgmental attitude. Be prepared to listen to harrowing experiences that some of the young people have been through. You may also meet youth who have done regrettable things in their past. Remember that you are there to help them improve their behavior, social, and mental wellbeing.
- Ability to plan and organize
Youth work entails planning different activities for young people that are assigned to you. The youth and teens require counseling sessions, training, classes, and exposure to teamwork. All these activities require the leader to have excellent planning and organizing skills.
Potential career outcomes in youth work
Here’s a list of different roles in this sector:
- Youth Case Worker
- Community Development Youth Worker
- Recreational Youth Activities Worker
- Indigenous Youth Worker
- Youth Housing Support Worker
- Residential Support Worker
- Youth and Family Services Officer