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How to Use Body Language to Help People After Your Child and Youth Worker Training

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Body language can sometimes be taken for granted as a skill. While it does occur naturally, learning to effectively communicate in professional settings with body language takes practice. Just like word choice and tone, body language affects the way others perceive and understand you. As a child and youth worker, you can provide support and strategies for families and children dealing with challenges. In many cases, these challenges are emotional, which means that it is important for you to effectively communicate in a way that is helpful. Read to learn some ways you can use body language to do this!

SOLER for Child and Youth Worker Training

The SOLER method was developed by Gerard Egan. He was a psychology professor who believed this strategy was an effective way for counsellors to communicate and practise active listening. The letters stand for sitting Squarely, Open posture, Lean in slightly, Eye contact and Relax. These elements create inviting, engaged body language. When you are relaxed, the person you are speaking with is also encouraged to relax. An open posture avoids crossing limbs, which can sometimes appear guarded or defensive. Sitting squarely facing the person you are with, leaning in slightly and maintaining eye contact all show you are paying attention.

In your career after child and youth worker training, these tips can come in handy when practising active listening. Since you will be helping people with sensitive situations, you will want them to feel reassured that you are there for them, present, and hearing what they say.

Body Language to Avoid After a Child and Youth Worker College Program

Body language has the ability to send not only positive signals, but negative ones as well. Often, these negative signals are unintentional. As you become more conscious and aware of your body language, you will be able to employ this knowledge to avoid making people feel uncomfortable.

Since you will help families who are dealing with stress, you should keep your body language neutral

Since you will help families who are dealing with stress, you should keep your body language neutral

One thing to watch out for is allowing your eyes to wander. When a person is speaking to you and sees that you are letting your gaze move around the room, it feels like you aren’t listening and don’t feel invested in what they are saying. Avoiding eye contact can also communicate a lack of confidence. In your profession, you will want to portray competence and trustworthiness by holding confident, moderate eye contact.

How You Can Use Facial Expressions to Communicate with Children and Families

Facial expressions are a big part of body language as well. Some people frown when they concentrate, so it’s possible that when you are very engaged, you adopt what could be seen as a negative facial expression. A furrowed brow or squinting can seem a little intimidating. Especially when working with children, monitoring this will help you keep them communicating and comfortable with you. Each child and youth worker course prepares you with skills that allow you to help families. Your body language skills enable cooperation with others to help you work more smoothly.

A neutral or friendly facial expression is best when dealing with families and their children. Many times they will be feeling tension or stress, and as a support person in their lives, you can offer a less stressful energy by maintaining command of your body language and facial expressions.

An inviting facial expression can make the difference between a nervous child and a comfortable one

An inviting facial expression can make the difference between a nervous child and a comfortable one

Are you looking for a child and youth worker college program?

Contact KLC College to learn more.

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

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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

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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!

Identifying Anxiety in Children After Child and Youth Worker Training

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The world can sometimes be a confusing and daunting place for children, and in some cases, this can lead them to develop issues with anxiety. If you’re considering pursuing child and youth worker training, you will learn how to provide frontline treatment to children and youth who may suffer emotional challenges like anxiety disorder. As such, knowing how to identify the signs of anxiety in children is the first step towards assisting in their treatment.

Read on to learn just a few of the signs that can indicate a child may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Children with Anxiety Frequently Avoid Situations that are Triggering

Some children try to cope with their anxiety by avoiding triggering situations entirely. A child suffering from social anxiety disorder, for instance, will often find ways to avoid interacting with other children. For example, the child may claim they are sick to avoid going to a birthday party that they were invited to.

Avoiding these types of situations doesn’t treat the root cause of the anxiety and can sometimes make it worse. Avoidance can also make it harder for adults to recognize when a child has anxiety, which can lead to delays in diagnosing and treating the issue. Once you begin your career helping children, it’s important to be on the lookout for a child who is avoiding certain situations repeatedly, as this may be occurring due to anxiety.

Children with anxiety may avoid situations that can be triggering for them

Children with anxiety may avoid situations that can be triggering for them

Child and Youth Worker Training Teaches You to Recognize Disruptive Behaviour in Anxious Children

Children with anxiety can often exhibit disruptive behaviour, such as explosive outbursts, for example. While it is common for children to occasionally have outbursts, such as tantrums, those with anxiety may have a pattern of outbursts which can last more than 6 months. For instance, a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—which is classified as an anxiety disorder by the World Health Organization—may have outbursts whenever their classmates do not put their toys away in a precise manner or do not enter or exit the classroom in a specific way. Such disruptive behaviour can be difficult for adults to understand and many times they may presume that simply punishing the child will solve the problem.

However, at child and youth worker college, you will learn that punishment is rarely an effective way of helping children through their anxiety-linked disruptive behaviour, since it does not address the root cause of the behaviour. In some cases, outbursts in class may simply be how a child reacts to a stressful situation at home, such as a divorce or the death of a pet.

Child and youth worker training can prepare you to identify and assist in treating disruptive behaviour

Child and youth worker training can prepare you to identify and assist in treating disruptive behaviour

Obsessing Over Unrealistic Scenarios Can Be a Sign of Separation Anxiety

Another sign that a child may possibly be struggling with an anxiety disorder is when they obsess over situations that are unrealistic or far into the future. For example, some children with anxiety may worry about their parents passing away, or about a natural disaster occurring. This type of worrying is often associated with separation anxiety disorder (SAD), where a child may refuse to be separated from their parents and could even suffer panic attacks if separate for just a short period of time. SAD is the most common anxiety disorder seen in children under the age of 12.

SAD is often a reaction to an event that is difficult for children to understand and process, such as moving to a new school or hearing a distressing story in the news like a kidnapping or a fatal car accident. Showing empathy towards children suffering from SAD—rather than getting upset with them—and using the techniques you will learn in child and youth worker training can help them cope better.

Are you interested in pursuing a career where you’ll have the opportunity to help children?

Contact KLC College to learn about our child and youth worker course!

Working in Residential Treatment After Child and Youth Worker Training

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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.