Residential youth workers are primarily hired by facilities that cater to the needs of young clients. These duties are not usually restricted to the facility where they are employed, and may even stretch to assigned clients’ homes and government agencies. Working as a residential youth worker is quite a challenging tasks, involving much in terms of administrative, advocacy and counselling work.
Most residential youth workers are not trained counsellors, even though a huge part of their work involves counselling their clients. They are given rigorous training to handle complicated, simple and mixed cases, and are usually assigned clients based on their own individual ability to handle them. A high school diploma or a GED equivalent is usually sufficient to work at this position. If you have a degree in psychology or a related discipline, you might be considered a good choice to hire at this position.
Some of the main attributes that employers look for in a person whom they intend to hire as a residential youth worker, include the ability to handle adverse situations, knowledge of assessing risks that assigned clients may pose to themselves and to the society, and expertise in minimizing these risks. Here is a detailed list of duties that a residential youth worker is expected to perform:
• Confer with clients’ family members to determine behavioral problems and issues
• Engage clients in conversation to decipher their individual personalities and wants
• Create individualized rehabilitation and service programs for each client and ensure that they are implemented according to policy
• Provide clean support on a one on one basis and in groups sessions, depending on the requirements of the program
• Arrange for clothes, food and shelter for young people in need by contacting different non-governmental agencies and facilities
• Pose as the first point of contact for government agencies and provide advocacy for clients in front of them
• Assist clients and their families in acquiring services and facilities by providing them with relevant information regarding available agencies
• Organize and lead group activities in terms of sports and recreation, placing special focus on safety and wellbeing of all clients
• Assess each assigned clients for any problems or concerns and create and submit corresponding reports to the management
• Create and maintain effective liaison with teachers, parents, social workers and government agencies to ensure delivery of appropriately placed services
• Intervene in situations that demand intervention such as fights, brawls and accidents, and ensure that appropriate services such as first aid, CPR and hospitalization are arranged immediately