Benefits of Young People working with Young People
Young youth workers are often a product of good Youth Work! Whai wāhitanga in practice!
Young youth workers are bridge builders between generations. They legitimise older youth workers to young people.
Young youth workers are less intimidating for young people to approach or ask for help. There is less stigma for a young person to approach a young youth worker.
Young youth workers have more energy! They participate in all the same activities as young people, competitively!
Young youth workers are social media savvy and engage naturally with young people in this space.
Young youth workers look at things differently and find new ways to creatively challenge out of date structures or approaches.
Young youth workers are naturally great at being with young people, laughing with them and making them feel comfortable.
Pluses & Minuses
Youth issues are our issues.
Young youth workers are easy to talk to and naturally understand where young people are coming from. This can sometimes mean that too much information is shared.
Young youth workers are more likely to be active on social media. This can be good for engagement and not so great because of accessibility.
Young youth workers are more relatable and connect well. This may mean boundaries can be crossed between friend and youth worker.
Young people and young youth workers often hang out in the same spaces, both physically and online. This can blur boundaries between professional and personal time, and make self-care more difficult.
Stepping into a leadership role means adapting to having professional boundaries with peers.
Trust your gut. If you are concerned about something relatable check in with your support team.
Young people may develop feelings for the young youth worker. Ensure both are safe and boundaries are put in place.
Young youth workers may feel unsafe in uncertain situations, and are at their best when they are well supported.
Young youth workers drive with passion, so don’t expect too much and make sure they fill their cup.
Making the Code of Ethics accessible for young youth workers is essential.NextYouth Work Online