What role can Youth Workers play?

YOUTH WORKERS PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING THEM TO PARTICIPATE IN THEIR COMMUNITY. THEY ALSO CONTINUOUSLY ADVOCATE FOR THE BEST INTERESTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

Be a positive role model. Be aware of your behaviour, what you say, how you say it and the way you act. Children and young people learn from the people they spend time with, so make your influence positive!

Encourage young people to be positive role models themselves and contribute to their community.

Promote youth events and support services, and support children/young people to actively participate in their community.

Reduce isolation for young people by offering outreach programs and transport.

Consider the impact on children / young people when making service delivery decisions.

Be approachable and youth friendly. Build positive working relationships with child protection workers – it creates a consistency of care and allows you to advocate for the child/young person.

Develop policies and procedures for your workplace. Child Protection Policies should promote wellbeing and early intervention practices and be consistent with state/territory mandatory reporting legislation. Ensure that you, all staff and volunteers engaged in child related work hold a valid Working With Children Check.

When implemented and supported consistently, these policies work to protect children, workers and the organisation. A code of conduct for working with children and young people is a practical tool for promoting clear and consistent roles and behaviour.

Provide a family friendly space that welcomes children, young people and parents. For example, safe play areas and baby change facilities show families they are valued.

Assist parents with accessing services that can increase their parenting skills and knowledge and/or provide them with additional support.

Think about safe and respectful ways to be an active bystander if you see an adult being inappropriate towards a child or young person.

Congratulate families and young people when you see or hear good things happening.

Value local culture and wisdom and where possible seek input from senior community or family members to improve relationships and inform best practice.

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JESSICA BROWN : LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES FOUNDATION

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

I am the founder of a mentoring program called the SISTER2sister program which is an initiative of Life Changing Experiences Foundation. This 12 month mentoring and risk management program matches teenage girls at risk with professional women from the community who support them to overcome their obstacles and focus on their bright futures.

The primary cause being addressed are teenage girls at risk of neglect &/or physical, sexual, emotional abuse, circumstances of poverty, cultural isolation, disability, exposure to substance abuse and/or terminal illness among other issues. Also addressed, is a lack of a positive role model, the inability to envisage a life outside their present circumstances, & the lack of motivation/inspiration enabling them to learn new skills, overcome obstacles and thus break the cycle.

To hear more from CEO Jessica Brown watch the video.

TOBY FINLAYSON : DESERT PEA MEDIA

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO “PLAY YOUR PART” TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

Desert Pea Media is an indigenous media organisation, operating in regional and remote communities around Australia since 2002.

I play my part to keep children safe and cared for by trying to create a community driven dialogue around local social issues, also advocating awareness and understanding of these issues within the local community. We create this dialogue by using contemporary and popular media forms such as theatre, film and hip hop in a unique ‘peer-to-peer’ mentoring process.

Before becoming co-director at Desert Pea Media, I completed my training in the Love Bites program and am very well aware of the problem of domestic and sexual violence prevention. I focus on facilitating the workshops and also creating high-end media outcomes to raise awareness of these issues.