Contrary to popular belief, child and youth workers do not only help children and young adults with problems such as drug abuse and behavioral issues. They are also responsible for assisting them in determining their options for education and self-development. Typically, it is the job of a child and youth worker to provide basic counseling and intervention for both simple and complex issues.
To be considered an eligible candidate to hire as a child and youth worker, one has to possess a high school diploma or a GED at the very least. But if you have a degree in social services, you may be considered a better choice to hire, even though a degree is not essential. While working at this position, you will come across many challenging circumstances which will need to be handled with great care – this means that you have to be insightful, patient and extremely meticulous in what you do. Good analytic skills and the ability to gauge trouble are also prerequisites of working at this position.
Child and youth workers are typically required to plan and facilitate programs to address particular issues that children and young adults face. This may include building self-esteem and confidence, managing family conflict and homelessness, and providing intervention in drug and alcohol abuse. Some of the main duties of a person working at this position include:
• Meet with children and young adults to assess their needs for intervention and discuss their problems with them
• Provide support and one on one advice regarding problems that they may be facing
• Coordinate efforts to arrange food and shelter for homeless young adults and children
• Assess risks associated with each child and young adult under wing, and provide crises counseling as appropriate
• Raise issues with government departments and social services by acting as advocate to assigned children and young adults
• Create, develop and implement plans focused on the specific needs of young people, including training and development, and education
• Assist young people in understanding the importance of personal hygiene and grooming and health care related tasks
• Foster positive relationships between children / young adults and their family members to ensure a well-placed family life
• Encourage self-help activities and ensure young people’s safety and wellbeing through provision of well-placed services
• Report any emergent situations such as suicidal risks or accidents, and provide immediate intervention in such situations
• Utilize volunteers and interns to support child and youth programs, and provide training to them regarding the different aspects of the work