Youth workers promote the personal, educational and social development of young people aged between 13 and 19, although in some cases they may extend this to those aged 11 to 13 and 19 to 25. Programmes aim to engage young people, redress inequalities, value opinions and empower individuals to take action on issues affecting their lives, including health, education, unemployment and the environment, by developing positive skills and attitudes.
Youth workers respond to the needs and interests of young people and work in a range of environments: youth centres, schools, colleges, faith-based groups and Youth Offending Teams (see the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales ). Methods include supporting recreational activities, providing advice and counselling, sometimes in an outreach setting.
Youth workers' roles vary greatly, but typical activities involve:
Outreach workers engage with young people in pubs and cafés and on the street to make contact with alienated and 'at risk' groups who reject formal activities.
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