Youth workers work with young people aged 13-19, encouraging them, providing them with support and helping them to achieve their potential. The primary focus of youth work is on the personal, social, cultural and educational development of young people in the UK.
The majority of youth work projects are designed to help disaffected youths with social problems, who live in communities that are affected by crime, unemployment and anti-social behaviour. Youth workers may also, on occasion, provide help, support and guidance to people as young as 11, and as old as 25.
These guys are mainly employed in places such as council-run community centres, youth centres, religious youth groups, schools, colleges and other educational institutions. They also commonly work with young offenders in teams which are organised and monitored by the Youth Justice Board for England & Wales (YJB).
Youth workers may work directly with individuals on their personal issues, assessing their needs, listening to their problems, establishing goals, counselling them and supporting them through tough times.
They may also get involved with organising community-based projects, which provide young people with avenues to express themselves, raise concerns and discuss their aspirations.
It’s all about empowering youths and giving them opportunities that they would otherwise miss out on. These programmes of support enable participants to make choices about their present and future options, regarding education, health, careers, drugs, sex and social situations.
Youth work also has a more administrative side to it, and youth workers are regularly required to draft reports and maintain administrative records, which detail the progress of the young people in their caseload.