What do youth workers do?

Youth workers are specially trained to help with the everyday life issues young people face. Find out what they do, and get information on how they can help and where to find them.

What is a youth worker?

Youth workers are professionals trained in the issues young people face and in how to deal with them. This includes issues such as:

  • family conflict

  • homelessness and emergency accommodation

  • drugs

  • sex and relationships

  • pregnancy

  • sexual assault or abuse

  • education and finding a job

  • sexuality and gender identity.

Some youth workers are trained to help with a broad range of issues, while others specialise in one specific area, such as homelessness or sexual assault. Their job is to help you get your life on track, by providing you with the information and skills you need to succeed. They usually work with young people between the ages of 12 and 25.

What's it like to see a youth worker?

When you see a youth worker, they will provide you with support for your daily life. You might work with them on social, emotional and/or financial issues. The youth worker will assess you to see what you are struggling with, and then support you themselves as well as potentially referring you to agencies who can provide additional help.

Seeing a youth worker usually won’t cost you money, especially if you see them through a youth centre or refuge, but always check before making an appointment. This might be one of the reasons you see a youth worker over another mental health professional.

How do I find a youth worker?

Many areas have a local youth centre or a refuge that employs youth workers. These centres provide free services, including sporting and social activities, developing job skills, access to counselling and other helpful activities. Refuges provide these services, too, but they also provide accommodation. Look online for local community services. Try your council’s website, or contact them to find a youth service in your area. Start by reading about the ‘Youth Off the Streets’ program here.

What can I do now?

  • Find out about other types of other types of mental health professionals.

  • Contact your local council to find out more information about youth workers in your area.

  • If you want help now, get info on calling a helpline.