I enjoyed how the article broke down the seven characteristic of what youth worker is. The seven characteristics captures the work that we do for the young people that we work with. The article said that youth work is an educational practice which is very true. It is non formal and is in a diverse setting. Just like the traditional education between the teacher and student it is based on rapports and relationship to make the education work. One of the differences between the formal educations and the services that youth workers provide is that youth workers can help with academics taught in schools and also teach things that are outside of the academic lessons like relationship, and handling life problems. Youth workers purposely intervene in young people's lives to create change. YOuth workers provide social practices that may not be taught in the classroom. Below is a pic of me in the classroom with a student of mines. I did my Americorp at Jon Hope doing activities outside the classroom with the students there. I had a ball while there.
A second characteristic is social practice. A youth worker can also work with young people and teach them how to be engaged with others. The article explained how youth works can help shape a youth attitude and behavior through their interaction with other peers. This is also a good way of finding their values and their focus. I experience this when I’m at work and I have to solve issues between clients and also show appropriate ways of playing due to some kids not knowing how to interact with their peers because of their disability.
Youth work is also challenges inequalities and work towards social justice. The article discussed how youth workers try to work with the youth to make sure they are treated fairly regardless of their race, religion, other background. Youth workers also empower the youth that they work with by informing them what oppression and discrimination is and how to enable themselves to appropriately fight through it. I experience this at my job because sometimes we have kids who are wrongfully placed at my agency as "throwaway children” due to the system not wanting to help them or handle their case. These are children who are usually minorities who have been taken out their homes. As a person who strives for social justice i always strive to empower them minoritie and I try to give them options and advocate when I’m allowed to.
The article discussed that youth decide to be involved not because they have to but because they want to. It is not only one setting like during school or after school, It can happen in their home, in their communities, church or wherever the youth needs the youth worker In a society where the youth have to go to school and maybe placed in certain programs, tt is good for the youth to pick somewhere where they want to be and engage with youth workers because they want to. I think we have all seen people who work with youth but the youth are sketchy about being around the youth worker. I knew a lady who I use to work with as an Americorp member who did good planning kid s activities and filing the work but she openly admitted that she did not care for the interaction with the children for in the program. The youth do well with knowing who is interested in them and who’s not and that was the case with the lady I worked with. The youth did really engage her because they felt like she wouldn’t understand them. All the other Americorop members including myself was bombarded with questions and engaged as soon as we entered the building but this lady wasn’t.
Youth workers also empower the youth to voice their opinion and make them influential in their environment. They move the youth in in a positive way to be leaders through educating them from a position where they are powerless to them being able to make decisions. Youth workers create an opportunity for democratic behavior to show. Sometimes I advocate for the clients at my program but I talk to them a lot about creating opportunities for themselves. I encourage them to give their social workers and DCYF workers ideas about where they want to go next instead of their placement being decided for them.
Youth workers provide safe welfare practices for the youth. Youth workers work with young people who may not have access to resources and are deprived from education that most people take for granted, due to their situation. This stops the youth from reaching their full potential. They help with any social and personal problems that may be holding the young person back. Youth workers do not solve problems but enable youths to make good choices. I believe this true and feel like there should be a place just for children that provides welfare to make up for the students who dont get the proper guidance at hom. Now a days I am trying to balance the difference between fixing a young person’s problem and helping them come to the conclusion themselves. I am also always considering safety and what the youths need to progress in life
Youth workers duties can be outside of the normal agency guidelines of working with the youth. Youth workers can tackle social policies that affect their youths and do activities that go outside of what the agency or organization usually do. Youth workers don’t narrow their work down to one objective, but work to with the youth on the whole in all areas of their life. I believe this is true and find myself doing more than what my agency requires. I also look at the young people I work with as a whole looking at all their strength and areas that they need to work on.