Times have changed dramatically and the effects of these changes are most prevalent in every young generation that grows out of the crop. Sometimes, these effects can be heartrending and extremely painful for both the individual and the family. To provide assistance in handling these issues, many facilities hire the services of youth counselors.
Typically, youth counselors are young people themselves, which makes it easy for them to understand and address their clients’ issues properly. To work as a youth counselor, you have to possess a degree in behavioral sciences, human services, social services or psychology, depending on who is hiring. Common workplaces for youth counselors are schools, correctional facilities, religious groups and residential group homes, since these issues arise (or come to the surface) when children or young adults interact with each other on a constant basis.
Youth counselors handle a wide variety of duties, foremost of which are client interaction. They need to be exceptionally caring and patient as they have to handle many situations that are not of the positive nature. They also need to have a sense of calm about them as they are often provided with nerve-wracking details of stories that children or young adults have gone through.
If you are a toughie and love the idea of social work, a career as a youth counselor may just be what you will excel at. Here are a few duties associated with the position:
• Interview clients (parents or guardians) to determine their concerns for their children
• Ask questions to determine root causes of problems and provide feedback to clients
• Engage children in conversation to determine their feelings and apprehensions
• Develop and implement core counseling programs to meet each individual child’s specific and varying needs
• Interact with young adults and children individually in group settings to build trust with them
• Ascertain development and implementation of structured environments for at risk individuals
• Develop targets for rehabilitation and ensure that they are met in a timely manner
• Mediate conflicts between enrolled youngsters or with their parents by counseling both parties according to specific needs
• Develop and lead workshops on life skills and anger management issues
• Monitor and oversee all implemented programs to ensure conformity to procedures and to measure their efficacy
• Develop and implement specially designed activities for children or teens with special needs such as Autism and ADHD
• Maintain close supervision of program members to prevent self-injuries, accidents and altercations
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