Involuntary clients in youth work

Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast – 004 Working with involuntary clients

Involuntary clients in youth work
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Involuntary clients

Working with involuntary clients is one of the most difficult tasks youth workers will have to do in their career. Youth work by its very nature is a voluntary relationship. So how can youth workers provide service to this client group? In this podcast we begin to share some thoughts on working with involuntary clients as youth workers. This is the first podcast in a series we will do on working with involuntary clients. From youth justice to working in the local church youth workers in every setting need to understand the basics of working with young people who have not voluntarily come to our service.

In todays cast Aaron Garth lays a foundation for us from his experience working with a number of clients who did not voluntarily come to his attention. From young people referred to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre as part of their parole conditions to young people who have a parent in prison Aaron has worked with many young people who were coerced into seeing him. It is through these many instances Aaron gained his experience. As a lecturer Aaron brings this experience to his classes and links them to current research on working with this client group.

We hope you begin to grapple with the work of youth workers in involuntary settings. More and more our funding is linked to our young people complying with services they don’t necessarily want. Services such as education, employment and training which is linked to their welfare payments. Drug and alcohol services linked to their parole conditions. All the while our funding requiring us to engage and support these young people who do not want to be there, with the threat of our service being defunded if we do not comply with the framework of the day.

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Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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