What does it mean to want to take a walk in someone else’s shoes; to experience their reality through their eyes, their ups and the downs? If we had a choice, most of us would choose to take a walk in a celebrity’s shoes; chasing the limelight and experience all types of flashy and exciting events we otherwise normally wouldn’t in our own lives.
Few would choose to take a walk in the shoes of the disadvantaged, the homeless, disabled or troubled. It’s those few who do, who see a virtue beyond their own and want to help create a new reality for those who are struggling. These few are moulding a brighter tomorrow for others.
For some young people, the world is an unforgiving place. They could be facing homelessness or find themselves struggling emotionally or financially, the list of potential complications seems almost endless. Among the support on offer is Youth Workers who are specially trained to work with young people. Youth Workers support and advocate on behalf of young people facing welfare, social, developmental, behavioural and protection issues. But how do you become a Youth Worker?
Often those who grew up in these difficult circumstances become Youth Workers, as they do not wish to see anyone else grow up with the hardships they experienced. Others want to help the next generation and leave a lasting impact. In fact, there are a million and one different reasons as to why someone would want to study to become a Youth Worker, but they all have seen it as a meaningful career option.
Let’s take a walk in the shoes of someone working in the industry. Finding out what it’s all about and how you can turn it into a career.
Become a Youth Worker: An Average Day
Assisting young people means no two days are the same. Youth Workers are continually meeting and working with new individuals and groups, looking to solve and provide support to new issues as they arise.
As this career is about empowering young people, workers are expected to create atmospheres where individuals feel most confident and in control. Here they will have the best chance of assessing and assisting with problems. To accommodate, Youth Workers can begin the day at an office and end at a community centre, youth refuge or even a shopping centre or park. Wherever an individual or group usually congregate.
The workload is varied and involves a mix of interpersonal, administrative and advocacy work. In this role, interpersonal skills are as essential as your ability to problem solve. Youth Workers tend to work autonomously during their day to day duties. However, they can readily reach out to their team and superiors for advice and assistance.
Just as no two days are the same, no two individuals, stories or situations will be the same! Therefore, two-way communication is key to success in this people-centric career. Workers will find themselves quickly becoming skilled at thinking on their feet as they navigate each unique case. In fact, you could say an average day isn’t average at all!
Become a Youth Worker: Bringing It All Together
Becoming a Youth Worker can seem daunting, but you can make a difference in the lives of others. Learning how to assist young people to develop their identities and find a sense of belonging in their community.
Part of working in this industry is taking on the responsibility to build relationship and trust with clients. Often young people seeking out these services have never encountered a high level of trust or know what it means to be in a healthy relationship.
Across your career, you’ll facilitate programs that address the welfare, behavioural and protection needs of your clients with additional duties including youth supervision, project planning and administration. At the core, you’ll be assisting others to look forward to the future with the confidence they have been missing rather than with feelings of dread.
According to the Australian Government Department of Employment, over the five years to May 2022, Health Care and Social Assistance are projected to make the largest contribution to employment growth increasing by 250,500 .
If there continue to be bumps in the road in the lives of young people, there will continually be demand for these services.
Become a Youth Worker: Studying a Diploma
HETC’s CHC50413 Diploma of Youth Work reflects the role of people with responsibility for the development and outcomes of programs and services for young people managed through a range of agencies and designed to meet the social, behavioural, health, welfare, developmental and protection needs of young people.
A Diploma skill level provides you with the best chance to enter the industry. Online study means you can start studying when, where and how you like – the choice is yours! HETC is not just about your study journey; we care about your outcomes. To ensure you’re career ready at the completion of your course, you must complete at least 200 hours of work placement. This provides you with real-world skills, so you can hit the ground running.
Real world experience fast tracks your career. Giving you with a reliable point of difference between you and others entering the industry.
Getting a Diploma of Youth Work from HETC can start you on your path to a meaningful career as a Youth Worker, Case Manager, Youth Services Worker, Residential Care Officer, and Community Service Worker.
 Australian Government Department of Employment. (2018). Employment Projections. http://lmip.gov.au/default.aspx?LMIP/GainInsights/EmploymentProjections