What is a Youth Worker: How To Get Qualified: Youth workers play a critical role in the community, providing support to young people in their daily lives. This includes educational development, life and social skills, and aiding in healing from past trauma.
As a Youth Worker, you will be working with some of the most vulnerable people in the community, so you need a personality that is empathic, understanding and non-judgemental; and have a passion for helping others. You will play an influential role in a young person’s life, aiding them in creating a positive future.
Some of the tasks and duties you may perform
|Meeting with young people to understand and address their issues and offer help in group environments.||Arrange food, shelter and clothing for young people |
in need and offer crisis support to trauma victims.
|Referring young people to relevant professionals and connecting them to teachers, social workers, local authorities and family.|
What is Youth Work
Youth workers are advocates and role models for teenagers and children, providing them with support and guidance to enhance their current situation and improve their future outlook.
In order to build strong relationships with their clients, and to successfully support and positively influence them, youth workers need to develop a range of people management skills. Key amongst these is the ability to be a strong leader, to have a sensitivity to individual and cultural differences, and to be very flexible, patient, and understanding.
It is essential that you can work both independently and as part of a team.
Most employment opportunities for Youth Workers are with community organisations and government departments which may include Rehabilitation, Correction and Juvenile Centres, and Schools.
The hours of work vary depending on the employer and client needs. This may include being on-call for when clients need support, as well as ‘out-of-school’ hours, including evenings, weekends and school holidays.
Experience working with youth and a passion for the job are the most important qualifiers for being a youth worker. Youth workers should be able to write reports, effectively communicate, and maintain regular attendance. Proficiency in basic computer software such as the Microsoft Office suite is usually required as well.
According to the Black Dog Institute (2019), more than 75% of mental health issues develop before the age of 25. They are also the least likely group to seek help. As a Youth Worker, you have a critical window in which to intervene; with the ability to change their mental health trajectory and to change their entire life for the better.
The following table from Mission Australia (2018) p.41 shows the barriers that may prevent young people (aged 15-19) with psychological distress, from getting the help they need.
The following table from Mission Australia (2018) p.42 shows the barriers experienced by people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander compared to Non-Indigenous youth.
The Role of a Youth Worker
Youth Workers have a unique opportunity to encourage young people to become experts in their own lives. The Mission Australia policy (2018) recommendation is to allow young people involved in the co-design of wellbeing services and programs to develop a service that effectively engages a young person and promotes help-seeking.
By providing person-centred services, delivered in a comfortable and friendly environment while encouraging ongoing feedback and open communication, will allow a young person the ability to open up and reduce the sense of isolation that many may experience.
As well as being a mentor and support for a young person, the youth worker can change community perceptions through informal and formal education, further reducing the stigma for youth and helping to maximise opportunities to prevent long-term negative impacts.
|Youth Worker areas of specialisation may include:||Family support worker: Help support families experiencing stress or hardship, including financial and personal issues. They engage with families to improve ways of coping and promoting well-being.|
|Residential Care Worker: Help assist young people experiencing homelessness or unstable home conditions.||Drug and alcohol worker: Community work with young people who have issues with alcohol or drugs. This service evaluates the extent of substance abuse and creates strategies to discourage or minimise their use.|
The following table from the Youth Survey (2018) demonstrates how much control young people feel they have over their lives.
The following table from the Youth Survey (2018) demonstrates how much control young people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status feel they have over their lives.
Youth Worker Pay and Employment
There is considerable demand for youth workers, with most employment via community organisations and government departments which may include Rehabilitation, Correction and Juvenile Centres.
Hourly rates tend to increase with experience, ranging from entry-level workers (less than 1-year experience) who can expect to earn an average total compensation of $25.82, through to late-career workers (20 years plus) who earn an average total compensation of $30.
Current Jobs Listed Online
The Commonwealth Governments https://jobsearch.gov.au/
Australis College offers several education pathways to becoming a youth worker, including the Certificate IV and the Diploma of Youth Work. If you already have a Certificate or Diploma in a similar field of study and would like to upskill, you may want to consider using our unique subscription model.
Australis College offers various enrolment and payment options which may include:
|Option 1: Subscription/Per Subject||Option 2: Payment Plans|
|Option 3: Commonwealth Vet Student Loan||Option 4: Private Study Loans|
Australis has partnered with Griffith University for the CHC50413 Diploma of Youth Work. Completing this Diploma with Australis will provide you with 60 credit points in the Bachelor of Child and Family Studies and the Bachelor of Human Services, enabling you to complete your degree sooner.
Australis has also partnered with the University of Southern Queensland for the CHC50413 Diploma of Youth Work. Completing this Diploma with Australis will provide you with eight units of credit in the Bachelor of Human Services (Child and Family Studies), enabling you to complete your degree sooner.
How to do I Enrol?
Enrolment is easy, and you can start anytime.
- Phone 1300 887 991 to speak to a Course Consultant, OR
- Complete the online Application Form, OR
- Subscribe now to gain immediate access, OR
- For group enrolments, call our Corporate team on 0438 099 041 or enter your details here.