Social Work

Interested in Becoming a Child and Youth Care Worker

Child and youth workers typically work with preteens and teenagers, but their job may also need them to address the requirements of the at-risk children in all the available age groups. The profession primarily focuses on the developmental elements of children, youth and families within the time and space of their daily lives.

This provides a way of working closely with others, and practitioners can be found in various roles including private practice, direct care, writer, trainer, researcher, and supervisor. If you are planning to become an expert in this field, you will need to pursue one of the child and youth care worker programs available in various universities and colleges. Also, you should know that this field is a type of social work and it will need you to pursue high levels of academic degree, such as masters in social work, either online or at a brick and mortar university. Here’s what you should know before enrolling in a child and youth worker program:

1. Education and qualifications
For you to become a professional child and youth care worker, it is essential to have qualifications from a recognized institution in the state. For the past few years, it has been a requirement for individuals planning to qualify as a child and youth care worker to have at least a degree or masters in social work. Most child and youth care employees start their career path as child and youth care support workers that do not need any formal qualifications before going on to complete their work-based qualifications once they have gained the skills and experience.

2. Child and youth worker courses
Child and youth care worker programs at most universities and colleges prepare you to work with youth and children who have emotional, social or behavioral issues. You will need to pursue one of the courses which cover a wide range of situations and problems including depression, abuse, aggression, poverty, and addiction. Child and youth care courses will teach you treatment options, crisis management, counseling, child and adolescent development as well as the strategies to handle the youth. The program will ensure that you possess a high level of understanding of how psychological, familial and sociological factors affect today’s youth and children.

3. Job placements
Child and youth worker programs include mandatory job placements which are fundamental in training the youth and children workers. The placements are in most cases staggered throughout the entire program to allow you to apply the skills soon after you learn them.

4. Real world responsibilities
As a child and youth care worker, you will need to perform various tasks which include:

• Meeting with young individuals to identify and discuss their issues.

• Arranging clothing, shelter, and food for young people in need.

• Providing advice and support in a group or one-on-one setting.

• Providing crisis counseling and assessing risks to children and youth experiencing trauma.

• Acting as the advocate and raising problems with government departments and

• Writing submissions, reports, and applications for funding among other responsibilities.

5. Hours of work
In most cases, child and youth care workers perform their duties outside of regular working hours including weekends, nights or even shift work for them to be available at critical times. Also, group activities and sessions for young individuals may also take place during weekends or evenings.

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