Making Youth Work Work: A Toolkit - Section 6
SECTION 6 - Youth Workers are appropriately trained, qualified and competent
Many people think that youth work is easy: from the outside, its lack of formal structures and relaxed approach to working alongside young people looks pretty straightforward. But those who have done it for a longer time know that it involves a lot of really complex processes, a good understanding of how young people grow and develop, an ability to use conversation as a tool to help young people learn and a clear understanding of the boundaries between a professional relationship and friendship. Youth workers need to have a substantial toolkit of approaches and techniques to help them help young people get the most out of different situations. And, most importantly, they have to actually like young people and enjoy their company!
There is a tradition of professional training for youth work that goes back to the 19th century, and training now is based on regularly reviewed National Occupational Standards and approved Subject Benchmarks. There are different levels of qualifications available for youth workers, ranging from introductory training for those just starting out to degree and post-degree qualifications for those who want to make youth work their career.
The documents here help to explain youth work qualifications, and provide some examples of job descriptions for workers at different levels, to show how skills can be applied in different settings. More information on this can be found in the youth work training section of the Learning South West web-site.
Somerset Children and Young People's Workforce Matrix
Good Practice Guidelines in Delivering Youth Support Worker Qualifications
Youth Support Worker Job Description & Person Specification
Professional Youth Worker Job Description & Person Specification
National Youth Agency’s Getting Qualified guidance
To see Section 7 of the Toolkit, click here