YOUTH SUPPORT WORKER

Overview of the role

Work in a supporting role with young people aged 11-25 to promote their personal, social and educational development.

Details of standard

This occupation is found in informal settings such as youth clubs, activity-based projects and social action projects; or more formal settings such as schools, Early Help or youth offending and in local authority, charity, private or voluntary organisations. Youth support workers may work in more specialist settings such as schools, alternative education provisions, hospitals, youth justice environments or within the social care system. In all cases, safeguarding young people, following health and safety and equal opportunities policies will be central. Youth support workers deliver youth support work in local and area projects. Youth Support workers may be responsible for management of volunteers and assistant youth support workers. They may also be responsible for young people working as volunteers and peer educators. This would be dependent on the scope of the employing organisation and what it offers.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to work in a supporting role with young people aged 11-25 (predominantly in the age range of 11-19) to promote their personal, social and educational development. Youth support work provides a holistically supportive, positive professional relationship with young people, ensuring the relationship is routed in young people’s own journey and led by them. It creates opportunities for young people to develop their voice and views and creates opportunities to learn about themselves and society using informal education methods within the context of the professional relationship. Youth support workers lead work with young people, under the supervision of a degree qualified youth worker (or suitably aligned professional where this is not possible). An example of this might be working on a youth voice project, increasing the active participation of young people in the development or delivery of a service.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide range of organisations working with young people such as schools, justice organisations and community organisations. They may work with a range of professionals including youth workers, teachers, social workers, police, youth offending officers, local government officials and health professionals. As a youth support worker they may be working inside in specific environments like youth centres, hospitals, community based projects or schools, youth support workers often work unsociable hours, including evenings and weekends and sometimes outside in all weathers undertaking detached or outreach work.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for planning and delivering youth support work in local and area projects. Youth support workers may work on national projects (such as youth parliament) alongside professional youth workers. Youth support workers will be responsible for the planning and delivery of programmes and projects of youth support work with young people, and leading sessions. They may be responsible for management of sessional staff, volunteers and assistant youth support workers. They may also be responsible for young people working as volunteers, trainees or peer educators. This would depend on the nature of the employing organisation and what it offers. They will be supported to develop in this role by a qualified youth worker (or aligned professional) through management and supervision.

Qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.