Youth workers assess individual clients’ personal needs and devise rehabilitative, counselling and support services. They assist young people with any behavioural, emotional or social disadvantages. They operate in a number of settings, such as outreach, engaging with young people in public spaces. Youth workers provide advice on issues such as drug rehabilitation, homelessness and employment services. They may also direct programming, coordinate activities and provide ongoing or short-term crisis counselling. Tasks include:
- Conduct Counselling sessions
- Devise programs and activities
- Raise awareness of existing youth programs
- Provide advice and support
- Liaise with community and welfare groups
A number of potential career paths are available within the scope of youth work.
- Residential Care Worker
- Drug and Alcohol Worker
- Family support Worker
- Disability Support Worker
- Crisis Intervention Specialist
- Juvenile Justice Officer
- Child Protection Officer
- Case Manager
- Policy and Planning Officer
- Community Development Officer
- Team Leader
Depending on what aspects of youth work appeal to you will help you choose a specialization or further education pathways.
Drug and Alcohol Worker: Drug and Alcohol Workers specialise in outreach work with youth who have a problem with alcohol or drugs, drug and alcohol workers assess the severity of substance abuse and devise measures to stop or reduce drug and alcohol intakes.
Family support Worker: Family support workers assist families who are experiencing stress or hardship. They may be needed if a family is having problems that are financial or personal. They work with families to devise methods of coping and maintaining wellbeing.
Residential Care Worker: Accommodation workers help young people experiencing difficulties with their living situations. They give support to young people experiencing homelessness or unsafe home environments.
Disability Support Worker: A Disability Support Worker will provide care and support to people with a disability, either by providing emotional, intellectual or physical care, or even all three. They aim to support a Person with Disability (PwD) to lead their best life.
Counsellor: Counsellors provide information on vocational, relationship, social and educational difficulties and issues, and work with people to help them to identify and define their emotional issues through therapies.
Crisis Intervention Specialist: A Crisis Intervention Specialist is a type of counselor and their primary role is to help a patient’s psychological response to a crisis situation. A crisis is an acute emotional reaction to a powerful stimulus or demand i.e a state of emotional turmoil. A Crisis Intervention Specialist aims to restore balance between thinking and emotions in efforts to enable usual coping mechanisms to return.
Child Protection Officer: Child Protection Officers are responsible for delivering statutory child protection services including assessment, intervention, casework and case management for complex cases, as well as delivering services in accordance with legislation, practice guidelines, and a strength-based framework for practice.
Juvenile Justice Officer: Youth Justice Officers contribute to community safety by making a positive difference to the lives of young people who offend and their families to create safer homes and communities. They encourage young people to help them adopt law-abiding lifestyles and to comply with court and supervised release orders. By undertaking risk/needs assessments, providing advice and reports to the Courts and releasing authorities, based on their assessment and analysis of the young person’s offending behaviour.
Community Development Officer: Community Development Officers work alongside communities to increase civic participation; health and wellbeing and to reach and agree on priorities to be included and progressed in local community plans. The role also provides cross Council support and guidance to build and improve community engagement capability and streamline engagement processes.
Policy and Planning Officer: Policy and Planning Officers research, plan and direct strategic policy and planning advice for organisations, industries and local government. They should have a superior understanding of the industry needs, relevant legislative materials and long-term plans for the sector.
Case Manager: A Case Manager provides holistic case management support for young people. In collaboration with the client, develop a case management plan to address specific client needs including assessment, planning and advocacy for options, developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating an action plan.
Team Leader: A Team Leader manages a team of professional and operational staff to ensure the delivery of high quality youth services. They ensure assessment, intervention, casework and case management are delivered by the Organisation and/or agency to a high standard and in accordance with legislation and practice guidelines.
Queensland Government Mandatory Requirements for Residential Care Workforce in QLD
From 1 July 2018, the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW) is working with PeakCare Queensland Incorporated to phase in new standards outlining the minimum qualification expectation for all Residential Care workers in Queensland.
Minimum Qualification Standards are:
hold or be working towards obtaining a recognised relevant qualification prior to commencing direct work with children and young people.
- hold or be working towards obtaining a recognised relevant qualification prior to commencing direct work with children and young people; and
- complete the online Hope and Healing Framework Foundations Training prior to commencing unsupervised, direct work with children and young people
- complete the online Hope and Healing Framework Foundations Training by 31 March 2019; and
- hold or be working towards obtaining a recognised relevant qualification by 31 December 2019
CHC40313 Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Residential and out of home care) is the preferred option for staff who do not hold a recognised qualification as it provides the most relevant skills and knowledge to the role of residential care service staff.
The list of other recognized qualifications is available at the following link: http://peakcare.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MQS-Info-Sheet-July-2018.pdf
Seed Skills Pty Ltd is able to support organisations operating throughout Queensland to ensure they are able to comply with these new standards.
Why consider any other recognised qualifications when we offer the preferred training option contextualised to support industry needs?
Minimum Qualification Requirements for Residential Care Workers
A number of Australian States are paving the way to ensure residential care workers have the necessary skills, qualifications and training to care for vulnerable children and young people in residential care. Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australian governing bodies are all working hard to phase in new standards outlining the minimum qualification expectation for all Residential Care workers.
Whilst each state has their own specific details pertaining to recognized qualifications listing and deadline for implementation; there is consistency in the outcome each state is working towards achieving. The minimum qualification requirement sets a benchmark to ensure all residential care workers have a common level of residential care specific skills and knowledge. That is, all workers (whether full time, part time or casual) who provide direct care to children and young people in residential care will be required to hold or undertaking, either:
- Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Residential and out of home care), including a mandatory trauma unit of competency; or
- a recognised relevant qualification, plus completion of additional core residential care training components (ie. a short top up skills course**).
**The short top up skills course for workers with a recognised relevant qualification covers core skills covered in the Residential and out of home care specialization: trauma, working in residential care, and managing behaviour. This ensures a baseline of core skills and knowledge for all residential care workers is achieved.
Seed Skills Pty Ltd is able to support organisations operating throughout all of these states to ensure they are able to comply with the new standards. Why consider any other recognised qualification when we offer the preferred training option contextualized to support the industry needs? Not to mention we have developed a top up skills program to support those staff requiring the additional Residential Care training components.
Specific information regarding each states requirements can be found at the following link: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/therapeutic-residential-care-update-current-issues-australia/export
South Australia: https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net916/f/standards-of-alternative-care-booklet.pdf