Working in Youth Justice

I think what I’m most proud of in my role as a Youth Justice worker is that I’ve still got faith in the kids that they want to make a change. Having positive results in the young people makes me feel great, makes me feel like I’m actually making a difference and impacting on their lives. You play sport with them, engaging with them a lot more, going to school with them and actually doing school work with them. When you have a tight knit team, that you work with day in day out it makes you want to come to work. The fact that you know that you’ve got this supportive team that are going to back you up and you’re going to back them up, and you’re all going to work together can be really, really satisfying. Every day is different so you can go in one day and it is calm and everyone is getting along the next day it can be quite volatile. Be prepared that you might not change the world and out of, you know, 20 kids that you’re dealing with you may only get through to one. You know it’s challenging but there’s a lot of opportunity to see someone change. To do well in this job I think you need life experience I think that you need to have lived a bit. I think any type of personality can work in Youth Justice, it’s really just about how much of yourself you’re willing to give. Not every young person is going to be able to engage with every single type of worker. You need everyone from a serious person to a more realistic person. Everyone brings something different to the table. We’ve got 12 hours with them so you’ve got to be creative and be able to be flexible what you do throughout the day. You’re not just a Youth Justice worker, you’re everything, you’re everything from a teacher to a mentor to a coach to a ref. You know, you learn so many different skills in this job it’s crazy. It’s rewarding, it’s challenging, and you learn a lot, you learn from young people themselves. This place here has probably been the best school in life I have ever come across. You’ve got different staff, and you’ve got so many young people there as well, all with their own backgrounds, their own personalities. You learn so much not only about them, but you also learn about yourself. If someone was watching this and thinking about becoming a youth justice worker, I’d say absolutely go for it. There’s so many different opportunities. You can play it in so many different ways. It’s such a rewarding job. You really feel good at the end of the day, and when you make even the tiniest bit of difference it makes you feel absolutely great.

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