Perspective of a Youth Worker

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Perspective of a Youth Worker by Mind Map: Perspective of a Youth Worker

1. Money

1.1. Young people can either work or apply for Centrelink for ways of seeking an independent income. Money is an important part of any young person’s life. It’s the main thing standing in between them and doing something they want. Whether it is for new clothes, or for a pack of cigarettes, young people learn fast about the necessity of money. Having an independent income can help the young person grow responsibly and learn about how to budget their money according to the way they live. As a Youth Worker, money is a good tool to promote responsibility and independence.

2. Relationships

2.1. Relationships come in many forms, it may be between an individual and a family member, a friend, or a partner, yet all aspects of relationship have a common denominator, they all need to be healthy. Young people can easily be unaware of the type of relationship they are in. It is important for a young person to be taught young about healthy relationships, which is not happening as often as it should. Growing up at home, will be the first kinds of relationships a young person will form, and weather they come from a positive or negative home life, can impact their position in future relationships. As a role model figure in young people’s lives, Youth Workers need to talk about the meaning of a healthy relationship and what is the right and wrong way to be treated and treat others.

3. Family

3.1. Your family can have a large impact on your life, they will always be a part of you, and for good or for bad, will always have some effect on your personality. Growing up your family are the first social interaction you have, it is where you learn about respect, and healthy relationships. This unfortunately is not the same for all people. Many young people are growing up in violent households, experiencing firsthand what it an abusive relationship is. Your surroundings can have an impact on your actions, not all the time, but it does occur. If a young person is exposed to drugs at a young age, there is a chance they will follow by example, if no one is teaching them right from wrong, how are they meant to know the consequences of their actions. As youth workers, we need to be able to explain the seriousness of violence and drug related behaviour, and the importance of healthy positive relationships. This explanation needs to be able to clearly differentiate the difference between the two.

4. Social Class/Community

4.1. Social class can have effects on young people, it can cause young people to be around negative influences and also categorises them before they get the chance to do anything. During my study, and observations throughout university and placement, someone’s socio economic status can impact their lives from day one. From the town the live in, to the house they live at, surrounding environments have a large effect on the young person’s growth, and can be a major influence on how they are going to act around certain subjects when they get older. Unfortunately I cannot change the way environments affect young people, it saddens me when people get categorised. It is very important to me to provide young people with a positive and encouraging environment whenever working and dealing with them.

5. Empowerment

5.1. I feel empowerment is an important aspect of a young person’s life. This relates both to self-empowerment and empowerment from listening to other people’s stories. Most young people a Youth Worker will deal with won’t always have the confidence and belief in themselves that they should. Empowerment can be as little as hearing someone got themselves a job. When good things happen to other people, we as humans, begin to hope the same happiness will come to us, this can cause a little to a lot of motivation, it shows us about the possibilities of doing things we want. Having support, as well as independence, can help young people begin to believe in themselves and begin to support themselves also.

6. Media

6.1. Media has a large impact on Young people. As a Youth Worker, an also as a member of a community, it is clear how the media portrays body image to young people, and the effects it can have on certain young people. Certain media influences, such a magazines and advertisements, can cause young people to become self-conscious, shy and easily cut off from their peers. The media can play a large part in any young person’s health, it is a major cause of eating disorders, self-loathing and bullying. This does not apply to all young people, but many young people feel they are not good enough unless they have perfect skin and a size 8 body. It is important to always remind and reassure young people, that many of these images are fake an unrealistic.

7. Personal Perspective

7.1. My perspective of youth work is about educating, supporting, and empowering young people, to become the people they want to be and following the correct pathways to get there. I believe that a Youth Worker should also remain positive, and be able to provide positive and encouraging feedback to the young people they work with. In a young person’s life it is important to have some independence, Youth Worker’s should be able to encourage this, whilst still supplying a support system for the young person available whenever they need it.

8. Education

8.1. Education in my perspective is an important part of a young person’s life. Education can bring more opportunities to young people, whether in a mainstream school system or a type of alternative education. Staying in an educational environment, not only supplies a young person with opportunities, it also improves the young person’s social and interactional skills, which are important life skills. Types of alternative education man be; TAFE, VCAL, home school, all which, as well as mainstream school, have pro’s and con’s which will differ between individuals. It is important to me, as a Youth Worker that young people are taught at a young age about alternative education so that they can work towards getting into the one most appropriate for them. TAFE and VCAL are both very rewarding forms of education for young people who are interested in getting into a trade such as building or hairdressing, and VCE is a requirement young people will need to complete to go into tertiary studies at university. Staying in the educational system, also provides a safe environment for young people, and keeps them occupied for a certain amount of time a day. The environment change, even if it is for a short amount of time a day, can have a large impact on a young person’s mood.

9. Gender

9.1. Young people need to learn about gender differences at a young age, and what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour. When dealing with young people, we need to ensure they know how people are meant to treat them and what is the right and wrong behaviours. Both genders need to be made aware about certain issues such as sexual harassment, in both physical and mental forms. Young people can be misled at a young age, and can also be afraid to say anything, even if they think something’s wrong. It is a large issue among both females and males, and affected young people can vary in age. As a Youth Worker, and an adult in young people’s lives, it’s important we discuss and clarify these issues. I also feel that young females should have an idea of what feminism is, why it has such a strong following and how far it’s brought females today, to give them an idea of the gap that lies between genders.

10. Culture

10.1. Being culturally aware is an important part of the society we now live in. In the past, it has seemed easy to ignore, to brush off, but now more than ever, we need to teach young people about different cultures and about the importance of being culturally aware, so that they know how to act around certain cultures without offending anyone. Different cultures have different beliefs, this can include sacred animals, and eye contact may be a form of disrespect. It is important for young people to be able to understand and adapt to different cultures when dealing with certain people to the best of their ability. As Youth Worker’s, we need to focus this discussion around the importance of respecting and understanding each other, even if we are different.

11. Religion

11.1. Religion interrelates with culture. As a Youth Worker, it is just as important to be able to provide information on different religions and also know how to act around them ourselves. Everyone needs to respect people’s religions, it is what makes up their beliefs and values, and we need to be able to respect people for having their own beliefs and opinion’s, much the same as being culturally aware. To declare our country as multi-cultural, we need to ensure we are always re-educating young and older people about different religions, cultures, and be more accepting towards each other’s differences.