Empowering Young People Through Your Career as a Youth Worker
- Empowering Young People Through Your Career as a Youth Worker
At Care Warriors Inc. we’re committed to helping youth who are at-risk or have disabilities grow into independent, responsible, and happy adults. With the guidance we provide, youth gain the skills to lead their lives with confidence.
Building skills like leadership and self-advocacy isn’t always an easy task, however. It requires youth worker professionals who are driven, dedicated, and understand the unique needs of at-risk youth and youth with intellectual and developmental differences.
Do you want to advance your skills as a youth worker? Use these tips and resources to become a youth worker who inspires young people to lead.
Advancing Your Youth Work Career
Youth work is an ever-changing environment and it’s important to keep your skills sharp. Here’s how you can develop your professional career as a youth worker.
- Advance your career as a youth worker by earning a bachelor’s degree. Criminal Justice is the most common degree among youth workers followed by psychology and social work.
- A criminal justice major exposes you to the juvenile justice system and teaches skills you can use for a career in public administration, nonprofit management, or the juvenile justice system.
- Earning your child and youth care certification is another great way to develop your skills. Course modules cover topics like leadership, cultural diversity, and relationship development.
Developing Your Mentorship Toolkit
One of the most important hats you wear as a youth worker is that of a mentor.
- Leadership, communication, and coaching are the most important skills for a mentor to possess. Mentors should be empathetic and skilled at offering compassionate, constructive criticism.
- Youth life coach training is an evidence-based certification program that teaches these skills and more. Students learn coaching methods like motivational interviewing and techniques specific to at-risk and underserved youth.
- You should also familiarize yourself with the resources and supportive services available to youth so you can connect youth with the tools they need to thrive. This Department of Labor document lists services at the state and federal levels.
How to Be a Positive Role Model for Youth
It’s not enough to coach youth towards good decisions. Youth workers are also role models who show young people what’s possible and provide a positive example to follow.
- Effective role models make healthy lifestyle choices, treat others with respect and kindness, maintain a positive mindset, and pursue personal and professional goals.
- One of your biggest jobs as a role model is showing young people how to set and achieve goals. Youth role models should exemplify a growth mindset as opposed to a prevention mindset.
- Like other skills, the traits of a good role model can be learned. For example, you can develop a positive attitude by being mindful of your thoughts, language, and the people you surround yourself with.
Youth workers are uniquely positioned to guide young people who are at-risk or have disabilities towards a productive and fulfilling future. By engaging in ongoing education and training, you build key workplace skills and keep your passion for your youth work alive. Advance your career and become a more effective youth worker by implementing these professional development tips and ideas from Care Warriors Inc.