Principles of Youth Work

Youth work is fast becoming an in-demand role in many organizations. More and more establishments are seeking to employ youth workers to expand their reach and communicate with more and more youths that interact with their operations. 

Youth workers provide guidance and support for young people to help them get through their social, educational and personal development for them to reach their full potential in their society that they are living. 

The settings in which youth workers meet and interact with young people between the ages of 11 and 25 are varied. Some of them are:

  • College dorms
  • Religious and faith-based groups and congregations
  • High schools
  • Youth development centers
  • Drug and other delinquent rehabilitation centers

Role of Youth Workers

The responsibilities of youth workers span across a wide variety of things depending on the various places they find themselves at the time of the engagement. Some of the duties of youth workers are:

  • Meeting and interacting with youths in their diverse areas of need to determine and assess their challenges and problems to be able to identify functional solutions to these problems affecting the juveniles
  • Monitoring and evaluating the growth and development of the youths and ensuring that they follow through with the routine of their rehabilitation process
  • Providing intimate support through heart-to-heart conversations and advice sessions between the youth worker and the youth
  • Providing spiritual guidance was necessary for young people (this is mostly in religious organizations and moral based social groups) to help them climb out of dire addictions and such other delinquencies
  • Provide mentorship and guidance for young people who need direction to achieve their goals or overcome their weaknesses in any form; also coach and direct these young people through their very tumultuous life experiences
  • Attend and provide to the conversations that go on in multi-agency meetings, serve to bring practitioners together from various sectors to function as crucial parts of the “Team Around the Family” approach to salvaging and mentoring youths
  • Take on administrative roles and tasks, manage and maintain adequate documentation systems and provide audience and response to queries were found necessary
  • Working with parents and within community groups to provide support to improve the provision of essential tools and materials for the guidance of the youth; act as an advocate for the interest of young people within communities and ensure that they aspire to achieve their dreams in various capacities
  • Determine and work towards the sourcing of funding for projects to improve and manage services and resources for young people,
  • Create workable business plans and prepare reports for formal presentations before funding organizations to generate funding and support where necessary

Some of the skills required to be a youth worker are:

  • Dedication and commitment to the cause of young people and a willingness to help them work out better results for their lives
  • Project management skills, people skills and ability to establish and maintain relationships with young people
  • The desire for adventure and willingness to test out new waters and try new stuff as it includes a lot of traveling around local areas or even overseas
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to come up with workable presentation slides and documents for funding appeals and pitches
  • There are different types of jobs that youth workers can be hired based on the requirement of the agencies or communities like it would be based on the student(local or internal), residential, counselors or volunteers and more likely for refugees. The average salary a youth worker can expect will be from $23k to $37k

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