Youth work is so much more than that, and like a complex puzzle has many vital pieces that help build its true picture. But it is the youth workers themselves from which youth work really comes to life.
The facts are that if people struggle to understand the ever building issues that young people continue to face within contemporary society, then of course youth work will be viewed as nothing more than a worker playing pool with young people.
But if people are instead able to step back and seriously consider the various struggles that young people face when trying to conform to the way in which society expects them to, then they can begin to see youth work in its truest form and begin to understand just how incredibly important a role it plays.
The truth is that many young people find it very difficult when riding the rapids of mainstream influence which can often lead to a sea of issues. Once contrived, these issues can run deep often causing financial instability, mental health problems, drug and alcohol issues and at worst homelessness. And all of which lead to social exclusion.
With social exclusion having such damaging effects, youth workers play a very important role in young people’s lives. Not only can they help to prevent social exclusion from becoming an issue in the first place, but also, they can possess the skills to help young people out of its clutches. A youth worker can play many roles through their work, all of which primarily start with the relationships that they are able to build with young people.
Furthermore, if the youth worker is skilled enough, then he or she will be able to stay flexible to the needs of young people whilst also portraying positive character traits that will help encourage positive behaviours.
Their skill set can include the ability to be able to just listen without taking their own issues into account and they can possess the ability to be a leader, a coach, a facilitator and a friend. And with an empathetic and understanding approach thrown in, the pool of successful outcomes can just get deeper.
With a skill set so sharp the youth worker has the ability to help young people explore their social interactions, their relationships with the world, and most importantly help young people understand exactly where and how they fit into the ever changing climate.
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2 Chandos Close, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 4TL