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Want to Become a Child and Youth Worker? How Group Therapy Can Help Children

become a child and youth worker

Child and youth workers have a tremendously important responsibility. Providing services to emotionally troubled and disturbed children represents a challenging yet very rewarding career. There are several techniques and strategies that child and youth workers will use to address different situations at different points in their career.

One exercise that is commonly used with children is group therapy. The positive results of group therapy with children demonstrate that it can be an effective strategy. Read on to find out more about how you can use group therapy in your career as a child and youth worker!

How to Use Group Therapy After Child and Youth Worker Training

Group therapy is a popular form of psychotherapy. In a typical group therapy session, multiple children are led by one or more facilitator(s). Group therapy relies on the interaction between group members to create peer dynamics. These dynamics can be used to work on a variety of skills such as:

  • Building self-esteem
  • Learning to be an empathetic and active listener
  • Self-regulating emotions
  • Developing the social skills required to function well in a group
Group therapy can help children develop their social confidence

Group therapy can help children develop their social confidence

One benefit of group therapy that is often overlooked is that the participants can learn as much from each other through observation as they learn from the person facilitating the session. In child and youth worker training you’ll learn how to organize group sessions. With group therapy, you may see that when children can understand what other children are doing well and what they are not doing well, they can instinctively correct their own behaviors.

What to Consider Before Organizing a Group Therapy Session

Group therapy has benefits, but to see those benefits realized you’ll need to plan beforehand. When planning a group therapy session, there are two factors to keep in mind:

1. Do you have time? This might seem like an obvious question, but any counseling, including group therapy, takes time. Things are not usually resolved in one session. It is important to make sure that you and the children you are working with are available for a prolonged period. Long-term benefits happen because of long-term engagement.

2. Does your group have compatible personalities and goals? If you decide to organize group therapy after child and youth worker college, you will have to be able to determine if the children in your group have similar personalities. If the group’s composition is too different, and children are working towards different goals, group therapy might cause more problems rather than fixing existing ones.

What Children Learn in Group Therapy Can Help Them Long Afterwards

Group therapy can be a defining experience for children. The skills that they pick up might greatly benefit them later in life. One thing that is often worked on in group therapy is interpersonal skills, or the ability to interact with others properly. For some children, this is extremely difficult. Group therapy gives them an opportunity to work on this skill in a controlled environment. It also gives them a chance to reflect on their behavior and make adjustments.

Group therapy can be a new beginning for children facing struggles

Group therapy can be a new beginning for children facing struggles

As mentioned, long-term benefits are the result of long-term engagement. Because the objective of group therapy is to develop skills that can be used throughout a person’s lifetime, the learning is extremely valuable. What children learn today in group session can be used tomorrow.

Do you want to become a child and youth worker?

Call KLC College and find out more about our program!

Interested in Child and Youth Worker Training? How to Lead a Youth Workshop

child youth worker college program

Speaking to a room full of young children and/or teenagers and engaging them through a workshop can be both fun and challenging at the same time. If you’re considering youth worker training, and are hoping to lead youth workshops in your career, you will need to learn how best to entertain your young audience and keep them fully engaged — whether through speaking with them, engaging them in activities, or any other method you choose.

If you love working with children and think this career path might be right for you, read on to learn some of the ways you can lead youth workshops and ensure a gratifying experience for you and all others involved.

Know How Best to Discuss Your Topic with Young People

Leading a youth workshop will require you to have clear goals in mind. You might teach young listeners about important life skills, such as teamwork or problem-solving, or you could lead a workshop that’s tied to school subjects, like arts and crafts, computer skills, or drama. Regardless, you’ll need to effectively organize your ideas beforehand, and writing an agenda of talking points could be a good way of doing this.

Additionally, since you will be speaking to children and adolescents, you will need to avoid complex, overly technical explanations of your subject matter and explain topics in terms young people will understand. Either way, you’ll want to be sure about how best to present your workshop, and what you want the outcome to be.

Keep kids engaged during a workshop by having them participate in group activities

Keep kids engaged during a workshop by having them participate in group activities

Get Kids Involved and Engaged

Youth workshops are most successful when there’s involvement and active participation from everyone, so be sure to prepare activities, group exercises, and other ways your young participants can engage with the workshop to keep things fresh and exciting.

You can split your young participants into individual groups and have them work on activities as a team. You may want to walk around the room and see how things are going, before asking for each group to tell you what resulted from their exercise once it ends. You can openly invite questions from the children and encourage open discussion among everyone during the workshop’s conclusion to gauge how they enjoyed it, and what they learned. Make sure they’re able to participate and freely exchange ideas, so that it can be a fun and fulfilling experience for all.

Be enthusiastic and communicate well with children in your workshop

Be enthusiastic and communicate well with children in your workshop

Apply the Skills You Learn in Child and Youth Worker Training

If you’re studying to become a child and youth worker, you will learn how to cultivate practical skills such as interpersonal communication and patience, and how best to use them with young people. For example, KLC College’s Child and Youth Worker program includes a practicum/work placement, where students take what they’ve learned and apply it to a practical environment. This can be through a paid position or as a volunteer, and can be done either during their studies, or as their program is ending. It can also lead to employment opportunities like working in education, social service agencies, or children’s mental health facilities.

A youth workshop is an environment where your communication skills can truly come in handy, and can be a great way to showcase what you’ve learned from your child and youth worker training in a fun, relaxed setting. Be outgoing, energetic, open and empathetic to the children’s ideas and opinions, and receptive to questions. You’re hoping these children can take something positive and informative out of the workshop, so enthusiasm is the key to success!

Do you want to enroll in a child youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College for more info!

Considering Child and Youth Worker Training? 4 Qualities That Could Mean You’re Suited to the Job

child and youth worker course

Working with children and youth in need can be a greatly rewarding profession. The demands of the job, however, mean that it takes a person who has the right skills and personality to succeed.

During your career as a child and youth worker, you will meet and work with children and youth who may be facing social, emotional, or behavioural challenges. Your training can prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to provide support and guidance, and your personality can also benefit you just as much as the things you will learn in the classroom.

If you’re interested in becoming a child and youth worker, read on to find out if you have the right qualities that can help you succeed in this profession.

1. Patience is Important When You Become a Child and Youth Worker

Children and youth are in a crucial stage of development, and are still learning how to interact and process the world around them, as well as their own personhood.

It can be frustrating to repeat yourself, explain things multiple times, or handle classroom distractions, but patience can help you provide a more supportive environment that helps the children you work with grow in a healthy way. Children also learn by example from the adults around them and being patient can teach them the right way to approach a potentially frustrating situation.

2. Child and Youth Workers Know that Good Communication Helps Build Trust

A common mistake that many adults make is simplifying their vocabulary or grammar to match what they believe children can understand.

Students at KLC College can use their training to boost their communication skills

Students at KLC College can use their training to boost their communication skills

Children and adolescents are actually far more capable of communicating with themselves and others than some may think. The children you work with when you become a child and youth worker may have a difficult time learning to trust others, but having a natural talent for communication and treating them as an equal during a conversation can help you build a mutual relationship of trust and respect.

3. Flexibility is Key When Working with Children and Youth in Need

Every child or adolescent that you work with has different needs, perspectives, and history. This means that your approach can change depending on the individual you’re helping, which makes flexibility and adaptability an important characteristic for aspiring child and youth workers.

Being willing to change to meet each individual’s personal needs is a crucial part of succeeding in your career, and a child and youth worker course can teach you the different learning theories and strategies that you can use to find the best solution for the specific child you’re working with.

4. Looking on the Bright Side Can Help You Succeed as a Child and Youth Worker

A career as a child and youth worker means you may often work with children and adolescents who are dealing with serious situations in their lives, and having a naturally positive, optimistic attitude can help them feel less overwhelmed by the problems they’re facing.

Optimism can help child and youth workers encourage children to think more positively

Optimism can help child and youth workers encourage children to think more positively

Optimism doesn’t have to come in the form of grand gestures to help the children you work with. Recognizing the importance of small accomplishments and breakthroughs can draw their attention to the real change they’re making, and give them the positive affirmation and motivation they can rely on to continue forward.

Do you think a career as a child youth worker might be right for you?

Contact KLC College for more information about child youth worker training.

Aggressive Childhood Behaviour: 3 Causes to Know Before you Become a Child and Youth Worker

become a child and youth worker
It’s not unusual for children to occasionally engage in aggressive behaviour. As they go through different stages of development and face new and unfamiliar challenges, they sometimes lack the skills to articulate their feelings to others, and so they resort to lashing out physically. Taken alone, this isn’t necessarily a source for concern. It’s often just part of growing up, as children learn how to control their impulses and regulate their emotions in a healthy way.

In some children, however, the problem may not be one or two isolated incidents of aggression, but a continuing pattern of behaviour. In these cases, more sustained attention and care will be required. Aggression in children is usually a sign of underlying issues which need to be addressed, so it’s not enough to focus on the external behaviour. The cause of the aggression needs to be addressed as well.

For child and youth workers, it may not always be easy to figure out the underlying causes of aggression. Children often lack the vocabulary or the means of expressing themselves clearly enough to give a strong indication of any one cause. Their outbursts are often as mysterious to themselves as they are to those around them.

The first step for anyone planning to become a child and youth worker is to be familiar with the possible causes. Here are three common ones that you should know.

1. Mood Disorders in Children Can Potentially Lead to Aggression

One potential cause of aggression to consider is the presence of a mood disorder. Children who suffer from bipolar disorder, for example, can experience dramatic shifts in their mood, and unlike bipolar adults who may experience the manic stages of the disorder as elation or euphoria, bipolar children are much more likely to have manic episodes marked by anger and rage. If it’s suspected that a child suffers from bipolar disorder, they should immediately be referred to a child psychiatrist or a childrens mental health expert.

2. Frustration or Impulsivity Can Sometimes Be Mistaken for Aggression

In other cases, children might be suffering from conditions which cause them frustration, provoking aggressive outbursts as they struggle to verbalize or work through the difficulties they’re experiencing. This can sometimes happen with children with learning disabilities, who struggle with their schoolwork and other tasks. It can also happen with children affected by autism, who struggle to communicate. Students in child and youth care worker training at KLC College will learn more about this subject in the autism spectrum disorder workshop.

Impulsivity in children can also sometimes be misinterpreted as aggression. Children may not be intentionally inflicting harm, but simply acting without considering the consequences, as might be the case when a child suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Disorders like autism may cause frustration for children, which can manifest as aggression

Disorders like autism may cause frustration for children, which can manifest as aggression

3. Be Mindful of Children’s Home Situations When You Become a Child and Youth Worker

Underlying mental or psychological conditions aren’t the only potential causes of aggression in children, though. It can also sometimes be a result of stress, which can come from any number of external factors, including parental unemployment or health issues, the breakup of a marriage, poverty and deprivation, or fractured and combative home situations. In these cases, it’s essential for families and the people who support them to manage these external stressors in order to stem the root cause of a child’s aggression, and give them the support and safety they need to develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Aggression in children can be a sign of stressors at home

Aggression in children can be a sign of stressors at home

Are you interested in attending a career college to become a child and youth worker?

Contact KLC College today for more information about our programs.

Effective Communication with Children: Tips for Students in Child and Youth Care Worker Training

become a child and youth worker
When it comes to working with children, communication can be difficult, especially because they are still developing proper speech and thought patterns, as well as their language capabilities. Early childhood and adolescence are vital periods in an individual’s life which can determine habits and behaviour later on. In Canada, communication skills are a high vulnerability area when it comes to 44.2% of children, and this can have a significant effect on how they interact with the world as they grow into adults.

In order to ensure that children are expressing their thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner, it’s important to practice good communication skills. Here are a few tips on how child and youth workers can communicate effectively with children and young adults.

Give Them Your Full Attention

Communication, more or less, is how we interact with not only other people, but ourselves as well. Children, despite the fact that they may not be fluent in language or conversation, are still people with thoughts, emotions, and perspectives. If you want to become a child and youth worker, it’s important to understand that when a child is attempting to communicate an idea or thought, they might not be at the right developmental or maturity level to express themselves, and interacting with an authority figure – usually an adult – teaches them how to behave and respond in social situations.

Engaging with children shows them that they can share their thoughts

Engaging with children shows them that they can share their thoughts

In order to properly address their needs and provide a beneficial lesson in communication, try to set aside any activity you might be engaged in, like using your phone or reading notes, whenever a child addresses you. This shows them that you are fully involved in what they are saying.

Making the effort to demonstrate that you’re paying attention teaches the child that they should also do the same thing when speaking to others. Paying attention to someone when they’re speaking provides them the opportunity to be cognitively engaged in the subject, and encourages future participation.

Be an Active Listener

When a child tells a story, it is often a way that they can review and determine how they should react to that experience based on how you, as the adult, react. Children, at any age before adulthood, are still learning vital lessons in behaviour and expression, and whether or not they admit to it, look to adults for structure and guidance. It can be difficult to show genuine interest or listen actively, but it’s important to demonstrate or reaffirm that you are listening and not simply ignoring or dismissing the conversation.

Actively listening involves patience as well as compassion. Interrupting or dismissing a child when they try to share a story or experience discourages them from sharing in the future. To show that you are engaging with what the child is saying, try to make eye contact and rephrase and repeat what the child has said to confirm or clarify their idea. Be objective, and prompt the child to explain how they feel about what they are trying to say.

Understanding is Key if You Want to Become a Child and Youth Worker

Communication, at its most basic level, is about understanding and being understood. Miscommunication is one of the greatest obstacles in any conversation, and making sure that you and the child are communicating clearly is a significant component of child and youth care worker training.

It’s important to keep an open mind, and think of their perspective. Children don’t have the life experience of a fully grown adult, and they are still learning how they fit into the world. You may have to get on their level, literally and figuratively. Try to be objective, and don’t condescend or talk down to a child. In other words, treat them as you would like to be treated. Additionally, because children seek positive attention, use words of encouragement or praise so that they feel they are being appreciated.

It’s important to have an open mind and consider a child’s perspective

It’s important to have an open mind and consider a child’s perspective

Are you interested in enrolling in a child youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College for more information!

Working in Residential Treatment After Child and Youth Worker Training

become a child and youth worker

Home is a comfort to us all, whether it’s because of our family, pets or treasured items. Recreating that sense of home, while trying to address serious behavioural problems, is what residential treatment is all about. When other avenues have been deemed unsuccessful, this option can be a valuable way to help troubled young people develop.

Residential treatment can be separated into two separate categories – group homes and institutions. Child and youth workers are highly valued in these settings as they define and implement structures which these clients have been so often lacking in their daily lives. Here is some useful information on what to expect in this type of work, and what sort of skills are most sought after by employers.

Group Homes and Institutions: The Key Differences

Residential treatment offers full-time services to young people, and is a longer-term option compared to in-patient psychiatric care in a hospital. Group home services are generally offered at normal houses in the community, where a number of young people live together under the supervision of child and youth worker college graduates. Clients usually require long-term mental health support or need to temporarily escape homes which are deemed unsafe. They are encouraged to carry out normal household chores and may also be expected to be in education or employment during their stay.

Group homes are often located in normal housing estates

Group homes are often located in normal housing estates

Institutions, or semi-institutions, are treatment services which involve even higher levels of supervision. Clients in these facilities usually have more serious mental health problems, and the buildings are often situated in more isolated locations. Some rural programs involve young people partaking in farming activities while also going to school.

Common Residential Treatment Duties After You Become a Child and Youth Worker

Every young person deserves the right to have a good childhood, and residential treatment options give them a great chance to experience it. Child and youth workers help to devise household and study routines which develop the right blend of technical and life skills. This could involve assisting them with cooking and cleaning or helping with homework in the evenings. It can be wonderfully rewarding as you see these vulnerable young people develop the confidence to cook meals for others or excel in their studies.

Young people in residential treatment may need help with studies too

Young people in residential treatment may need help with studies too

Residential treatment can also include individual, family or group therapy, as child and youth workers seek to address the issues causing a client’s behavioural problems. Positive progress could eventually lead to them returning to their homes, where child and youth workers may still offer ongoing assistance during this transitional phase.

Work With Other Skilled Professionals to Make a Difference in People’s Lives

Young people in residential treatment require a complex range of services. Students in child and youth worker training are comfortable liaising with other trained healthcare professionals to offer ongoing assistance to clients. This could include social workers, teachers, or child psychiatrists, so you won’t feel alone as you’re facing down the challenges associated with this line of work.

Clients can, at times, be resistant to the structures in group homes, and professionals in these environments must be resilient. Effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential as you try to convince young people of the short or long-term merits of each household chore or rule. Nonetheless, many child and youth workers are inspired by the rewarding nature of this work, as they help young people flourish during difficult moments in their lives.

Do you want to become a child and youth worker?

The two-year program at KLC College will get you prepared for this fulfilling career.