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Drug and Alcohol Worker

Youth workers work with and support young people, either individually or in groups, by developing and facilitating programmes that address social, behavioural, welfare, developmental and protection needs.

Duties & Tasks
Youth workers may perform the following tasks:
  • interview young people to identify problems and act as advocates (representatives) for them, raising these issues with relevant government authorities
  • advocate for young people who have a grievance with government departments or other organisations
  • assist with developing policies relating to young people
  • provide support and advice to young people experiencing difficulties, such as family problems, unemployment, illness, drug abuse and homelessness
  • arrange and provide counselling, food, shelter or clothing
  • assess risks and provide intensive short-term crisis counselling for victims of domestic violence or child abuse
  • arrange for the referral of clients to appropriate specialists or community agencies
  • provide information about community services and resources available for young people
  • plan, conduct and evaluate programmes for young people in areas such as employment and training, education, self-development, accommodation, welfare and counselling
  • plan and organise activities such as sports, handicrafts, dancing, drama, hiking, bushwalking and holiday camps
  • establish and supervise youth clubs and small neighbourhood support groups in the local community
  • write reports and submissions requesting funding for continuing programmes and new projects
  • evaluate data relating to the effectiveness of community support services
  • work closely with teachers, social and welfare workers, local authorities, health professionals, refuge workers, parents and, in some instances, the police.
  • Working conditions
    Youth workers work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, corrective institutions, youth refuges, community centres and organisations such as Scouts, Guides, YWCA and YMCA. They also work in places where young people congregate, including shopping centres, parks and reserves. Youth workers often work unsupervised and much of their work takes place outside normal hours.
    Personal requirements
  • able to take initiative
  • leadership qualities
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • able to work independently
  • a non-judgmental attitude
  • able to plan and organise.
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