Child and youth workers help to create and execute guided activities for young people, and they are employed primarily by parks departments, community centers, summer camps, and other organizations. Their work focuses on getting kids involved in fun, healthy, and safe activities to help build socialization, teamwork, and problem-solving skills among them.
In general, child and youth workers are responsible for carefully designing activities which incorporate a variety of skills, such as those involving artistic expression, some light classroom teaching and demonstrating, and active indoor or outdoor physical exercise. Those in this position generally tailor these activities to the children who participate and take into account any special needs of individuals to ensure that all involved can participate and feel included. They also supervise these activities to ensure that everyone in their care is participating safely at all times, and they must be comfortable with administering light disciplinary actions, such as timeouts and one-on-one counseling and discussions.
Hours and job requirements for this position can vary. Many employers prefer applicants who have a high school education and demonstrated affinity and aptitude for working with children and teens. Some employers may prefer those with an associate's degree or higher in a childhood education or development-related field. Child and youth workers may work at specific sites such as parks and community centers and may split time between office work and engaged activity in classrooms, gyms, and outdoor environments. For those employed by summer camps and similar programs, travel and camp-style accommodations and the ability to provide constant supervision may be required.
Child and Youth Worker Tasks
Keep facility hygienic and workspace neat and orderly.
Plan and implement group and individual activities.
Supervise children, ensuring safety, and adherence to regulations.
Create, revise, and update documents about children, their care, and the facility.