What Does a Youth Care Worker Do?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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A youth care worker generally is employed at a facility that provides shelter to homeless or runaway teenagers, or activities for delinquent children and adolescents, or programs for those with with psychological problems. A worker's duties may include documenting records or assisting students in activities and programs. Some workers also provide companionship or act as a mentor for troubled adolescents. The worker may volunteer his services or be paid a salary.

In many cases, a youth care worker will supervise students during behavior-control lessons, with an instructor or counselor present. The youth care worker may also act as a teacher's aid in the classroom. Away from the classroom, the worker may document behavioral issues in students and report findings to his supervisor.

Some youth care providers work part-time schedules. These can vary from early-morning shifts to evening shifts. Youth care workers who reside at a residential center will often be appointed an overnight shift and are typically full-time employees.

Requirements for the position will often vary, depending on the employer. In many cases, youth facilities have activities outside of the center. For these events, many workers will act as escorts during organized trips or functions away from the residence. The employee is responsible for making sure the child or children in his care arrive and return to the group home as planned.


It is very common for youth care providers to interact with the families of the children. The worker may visit parents or speak with them via the telephone on a regular basis. Interaction with social workers is another routine duty of many youth care workers.

Youth care workers must provide an excellent role model for the students. Therefore, employees must not practice any behaviors that will negatively influence the youth of the center. Workers generally will also need to be certified in first aid. Background checks for potential employees at a youth care facility will be mandatory as well.

To be a youth care worker, prospective employees may need a bachelor's degree or social work experience. A degree in psychology may also be helpful in some cases. These workers may also need to undergo a physical examination, which includes testing for tuberculosis.


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Post 3

@clintflint - That shows how our entire attitude should change though. I know when I was a kid I would never have dreamed of telling someone my problems, because I just didn't think that was the normal thing to do.

I kept waiting for someone to show an interest in me, and to solve my problems for me, because that's the way life was portrayed to me in fiction.

If I had been told from an early age that it was good to ask for help and good to take initiative and get what I needed to be well, then I think I would have sorted out my problems a lot sooner.

Youth development has to be about changing the attitudes of the adults around them, because the youth don't live in an isolated world.

Post 2

@Iluviaporos - Unfortunately, that costs a lot of money and the areas that need it the most are always going to be the areas that can't really afford it. I mean, there are definitely areas where child care workers are run off their feet and can barely make a dent in the cases they are supposed to be handling, let alone opening that up to teenagers as well.

I'm sure preemptive measures would be useful in some cases, but I also think the people who are most likely to need help are the least likely to seek it. In my experience, teenagers tend to only end up getting help when they are forced into it by the court or by their parents. They rarely seek it out of their own free will because they don't think anything is wrong.

Post 1

I think part of the reason we have so many troubled teens is that we only provide the ones who have gone off the rails with this kind of aid. Youth services should be freely available to every young person, before they start crying out for help. I've lived in towns where there were places set up as youth centers with counselors and games and books and so forth available for anyone who wanted them and they tend to have a much lower crime rate, because people get their needs met.

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