Podcast 030: Self Care in Youth Work

Self Care in Youth Work

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Self Care in Youth Work’ Aaron chats with Ex-Student Panel about self care in youth work. How do youth work practitioners leave work at work? Do relationships, boundaries and practices change when we engage in self care? What supports do youth workers need to be effective at self care? What happens when things go pear shaped?


Self Care in Youth Work

Youth work is all about relationships. We pride ourselves on being able to create and maintain positive relationships with young people where they can grow into the people they want to be. We focus so much of our attention on supporting young people by carrying their baggage while they scale their own developmental mountains. We are like Sherpas. This means we have to make sure we look out for ourselves so we can provide the best possible support (we need to be able to carry that load) to our young people.

If we don’t look after ourselves ultimately we can do more damage to our young people. Walking into the room burned out, frustrated, and with low tolerance to the difficulties life throws at us is not what our young people need from us. In order to give our best, we need to be at our best. This takes training and persistence. Self-care is not sexy. It is a long and difficult process that has its rewards in the journey and at the top of the mountain.

SO what have four youth workers learnt about self care in the day-in day-out struggles of the job after a few years in the field? How do they leave work at work and look out for their own self care?


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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Before you go…

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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Online Youth Work

Podcast 028: Online Youth Work

Online Youth Work

Online Youth Work

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Online Youth Work’ Aaron chats with Wolfgang Vachon from the C2YPodcast about youth work in the virtual realm. How do youth work practitioners work in the virtual realm? Do relationships, boundaries and practices change when interacting with young people online? What supports are available for youth workers online? What does an intervention look like when you have only met the young person virtually?


 

Its testing times for youth work globally. Austerity measures have cut us down and a global pandemic has crippled us. Yet, youth workers are a resilient bunch. We make do with what we have. Recently that has meant moving to the online space to continue building relationships with our young people.

This has been a trying time for many of us. The technical issues, having the right equipment and getting the ok to use different programs from management have all but scared us from the process. For others we dove in with abandon and used everything we could get our hands on…damn the IT Policies. So what does this mean for good youth work practice?

Well, thats the million dollar question. We probably wont know how effective we have been for a long time yet. However, we should find that doing online youth work has been based on our theoretical approach to youth work as usual. Young people are still our primary consideration, We still have a duty of care to exercise, we still have to think about privacy and confidentiality, there are still boundaries and it is reliant on cooperation and collaboration to name but a few of our ethical considerations.


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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Before you go…

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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I want to quit

Podcast 027: I want to quit

I want to quit

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘I want to quit’ Aaron speaks to us about how to resign from a youth work position well. Regularly at Ultimate Youth Worker we speak with people who are ready to move on from the position they are in. It may be that they are moving on to greener pastures and with the blessing of their manager or it may be that they hate where they work and already have a foot out the door. All of these people get a conversation about how to resign well and now we will give you that information too.


In testing times people have one of two ideas about their job. They either dig in and stick it out or they throw in the towel and say ‘I want to quit’. We are currently in testing times with the corona virus spread throughout the world and we know that there are youth workers who are ready to quit. When there is an economic downturn we see people hold on to their jobs tightly. When there is an upturn we see people move on. So how do we resign well? There are three stages…

  • Prepare to resign
  • Resign
  • Act professionally in the interim

Prepare to resign

  • The process will take 6 weeks!
  • Have 6 weeks cash in the bank
  • Make sure you have the other job first
  • Assume you will be shown the door straight away
  • Prepare a transition file
  • Make a bunch of lunch appointments
  • TELL NO ONE!!!

Resign (don’t quit)

  • Don’t resign in writing
  • Do it privately and with your boss
  • Never resign in anger
  • Say nothing negative…EVER
  • Say it the right way (don’t say ‘I want to quit’
  • You don’t have to answer any questions
  • Be ready to leave immediately
  • Take your transition file with you
  • TELL NO ONE!!!

Act professionally in the interim

  • Expect a counter offer
  • Expect to become disenfranchised and ostracised
  • Expect to work hard during this period
  • You should go home on time too
  • Do not say anything during your exit interview
  • Solidify your network

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

  • Share this cast with a friend or colleague.
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To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help the podcast and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.

Before you go…

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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Debriefing after an incident

Podcast 029: Debriefing after an incident

Critical incident debrief

Critical Incident Debrief

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Online Youth Work’ Aaron chats with us about how to conduct a critical incident debrief. We look at two models and unpack how individuals and teams can best use the debriefing process to look after themselves and reflect on the best ways forward.


As youth workers we find ourselves working with young people when they are at the best and when they are in their darkest places. When they are at their best we feel a sense of pride and live on the mountaintop. When they are in their darkest place we can see them in the depths of pain and the heights of anger. In their darkest place young people can be prone to making rash decisions. Sometimes, this can lead to young people lashing out, running away or in extreme cases they may harm themselves.

When a young person lashes out or injures themselves as youth workers we find ourselves in the midst of critical incidents. We deal with the circumstances as best we can. We keep as many people safe as we can. We provide first aid to those who need it. We call on emergency services such as the police or ambulance officers as the need arises. After all is said and done we find ourselves in front of the computer. Writing up an incident report.

What could have been hours of our lives, probably on our own, whittled down to a few pages in the hands of bureaucrats. For most of us that is about where it finishes. If you are lucky you may get to chat it over with your Team Leader or Manager who may even recommend that you use an Employee Assistance Program. Unfortunately, many EAP’s do not understand the work that youth workers are involved in and the sessions end up being less than useless. What we really need in this situation is a proper critical incident debrief.

At Ultimate Youth Worker we work with many organisations to implement a strong Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) framework. We use and train others to use two different yet important models within a wider (CISM), the After Action Review and the Critical Incident Stress Debrief.

After Action Review

An After Action Review (AAR) is a process used by teams to recognise and understand the lessons learned from successes and failures, with the goal of improving future performance. It is an opportunity for a team to reflect on an incident, activity, event or task so that they can do even better the next time. AARs should be carried out with an open spirit and without blame. The Army use the phrase “leave your rank at the door” to remove blocks to involvement whilst optimising learning through the process. One member of the group facilitates, capturing results on a flip chart or in a document.

After Action Review is a form of group reflection where participants review four things:

  • what was intended
  • what actually happened
  • why it happened and
  • what was learned.

Critical Incident Stress Debrief

Critical Incident Stress Debrief is narrowly defined in scope and intent as part of a more comprehensive CISM. CISD is strategically focused on the detailed disclosure of facts, thoughts, and emotional reactions and sensory material linked to a particular traumatic event (or “incident”). It is often seen in the literature as psychological first aid and is generally carried out within 48 hours after an incident. This is not counselling or psychotherapy (however that may be part of a fully developed CISM).

The steps to a Critical Incident Stress Debrief include:

  1. Assess (audit) the impact of the critical incident on support personnel and survivors
  2. Identify immediate issues surrounding problems involving “safety” and “security”
  3. Use defusing to allow for the ventilation of thoughts, emotions, and experiences associated with the event and provide “validation” of possible reactions
  4. Predict events and reactions to come in the aftermath of the event
  5. Conduct a “Systematic Review of the Critical Incident” and its impact emotionally, cognitively, and physically on survivors. Look for maladaptive behaviours or responses to the crisis or trauma
  6. Bring “closure” to the incident “anchor” or “ground” support personnel and survivors to community resources to initiate or start the rebuilding process (help identify possible positive experiences from the event)
  7. Debriefing assists in the “re-entry” process back into the community or workplace. Debriefing can be done in large or small groups or one-to-one depending on the situation. Debriefing is not a critique but a systematic review of the events leading to, during, and after the crisis.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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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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Podcast 026: Getting your first youth work job

first youth work job

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Getting your first youth work job’ Aaron speaks with the Ex-student panel about how we can get that first youth work job. Every week we get questions at Ultimate Youth Worker about how people can transition from student to youth work employee. So we figured we would ask a bunch of former students who now have a few years in the field to give us their view. What ensues is a mad free-for-all on the ways we all entered the sector. BTW we all did it differently!


Getting your first youth work job

The days where you could get a youth work job because you had a heartbeat and loved to throw a frisbee are all but over. So now the move is to get a qualification. In Australia the Diploma in youth work is now seen across the sector as the minimum qualification, with more and more organisations wanting a degree. So you spend one to three years of your life getting qualified and now you want to move into the wonderful world of paid employment as a youth worker… but if you are like most students your course has ill prepared you for this transition.

So you ask your parents or friends or great uncle Bob and you get every bit of knowledge they have about getting a job… which is great if you want to work at your local Starbucks, Macdonalds or as an electrician. But when it comes to landing a youth work gig you are finding that they want five years experience and a string of accomplishments to even get an interview… (interview is a new word for great uncle Bob).

So how do you make the transition to paid youth worker? Well in todays podcast you will hear that you need to make the most of placements and volunteer work, Network like your life depends on it and to get a foot in the door (your dream youth work gig will come). You will also hear five different stories of how to get into the field.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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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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Stress is good

Podcast 025: Stress is good

Stress is good

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Stress is good’ Aaron speaks with us about how we as youth workers can reframe the idea of stress in our lives to gain some level of mastery over the experiences that often lead youth workers to burnout. Every year hundreds of youth workers leave the sector citing burnout and stress as some of the most likely reasons fr their departure. If we can’t master stress then it will destroy us.

Stress is good

In todays episode Aaron speak about the growing research into stress and how we have been taught to think about it all wrong. We have been told for many decades that stress is bad for us. That we need to run away from stressful situations because stress causes significant physical health concerns.

Well in a nutshell the latest research would argue that if we think stress is bad for us then it probably will be. However, if we believe that our stress reactions are there to point us in the direction of getting support then stress is actually a good thing for us.

Stress helps us to begin a process of emotion regulation. It helps us by bringing to the forefront of our minds the situation we are in and it asks us to reappraise the resources we have to deal with it. We have internal and external resources at our disposal and we need to use our rational brain to think about how we can use them to deal with the negative issues in our stressful situation.

Arousal reappraisal teaches individuals to think of stress arousal as a tool that helps increase performance. By reframing the meaning of the physiological signals that accompany stress, arousal reappraisal breaks the link between our negative experiences and feelings and poorer physical responses.


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Improving Acute Stress Responses:

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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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Positive T-Shirts

Podcast 024: Positive T-Shirts

Founder Positive T-Shirts

Neil Milton is the founder of Positive T-Shirts which is a social enterprise-giving all profits towards preventing youth suicide. Neil is a public speaker, motivator and novice social media junky. Neil also is the General Manager for another not-for-profit working to prevent harm and abuse of children. He has worked in some of the roughest schools in Adelaide as a youth worker and has also had a stint working for life line.

His motto in life is “one day at a time”

Neil enjoys hanging out with his wife and children, also exercising, when he gets out of bed!

Positive T-Shirts

The Positive T-Shirt brand birthed in 2016 out of a passion to create t-shirts and other apparel that literally change lives as you wear it and as others see it. That’s why profits of products sold go towards preventing youth suicide.

All profits raised are donated to in2life which helps fund the training of volunteers who support young people, through their facebook group ‘coming together to prevent youth suicide‘. Donations also support school programs enabling young people with the skills needed to help their friends, who may be struggling.

In todays episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast Aaron speaks with Neil about his journey to founding Positive T-Shirts. We discuss why Neil decided to support the cause of suicide prevention and how you can get a great bit of merchandise to aid the cause.


Today’s resources

Here are links that have bearing on todays podcast.

Contact Neil and the Positive T-Shirt team

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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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Podcast 023: Supporting Someone who is Suicidal

Suicide Awareness

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Supporting Someone who is Suicidal’ Aaron speaks with us about how we as youth workers can support young people who are suicidal. In Australia, Suicide is the leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. 7.5% 0f 12-17 year olds have had serious suicidal thoughts. As youth workers we are prime candidates to provide a first response to these issues. 

Supporting Someone who is Suicidal

In todays episode Aaron speak about the current rates of suicide of young people in Australia and then walks us through the suicide action plan.

  • Asking direct questions
  • Assessing the urgency
  • Keeping young people safe, creating safety plans and
  • Getting professional help.
Suicidal Thought can be prevented

Suicide is one of the many topics that we do not usually speak about as a society. There are many myths and legends which have been perpetuated about suicide. We hope you never have to use the knowledge in todays cast, but we also want you to have the best plan of action if you ever find yourself in the situation of supporting someone who is suicidal.  

If you or anyone you are working with is having suicidal thoughts please seek professional help. Call Lifeline attend, a GP appointment or get in touch with a psychologist. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Stomp on these thoughts early.


Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help the podcast and I read each one.
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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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ChildSafe

Podcast 022: Is your workplace ChildSafe?

Is your workplace ChildSafe?
  To support the podcast, you can donate here.

Is your workplace ChildSafe?

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Is your workplace ChildSafe?’ Aaron speaks with Neil Milton about how we as youth workers can support young people by being ChildSafe. Neil Milton is the General Manager of ChildSafe. Neil has worked as a youth worker in schools, churches and Not for Profits across Australia. He has also worked for World Vision and has his own street clothing business helping prevent youth suicide. Neil is passionate about making sure children are protected from abuse and harm and that organisations know their responsibilities in regards to child safety. Neil is a public speaker, motivator and he enjoys exercising and hanging out with his wife and kids.

In todays episode Aaron and Neil speak about the work of ChildSafe Australia and their mission to serve organisations and individuals working with children and vulnerable people, with the goal of improving their well-being and safety. We take our commitment to child safety very seriously at Ultimate Youth Worker and have used many of the resources from ChildSafe to help us in making our commitment tangible.

ChildSafe is “a harm prevention charity for the promotion of the prevention and control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to children and young people when in the care of an organisation”. Children and young people deserve the best endeavours of an organisation towards their safety. This involves more than good intentions, or the assumption that harmful incidents will not happen. Organisations working with children are under increased community scrutiny in relation to screening workers, risk management and the quality of care they offer.

You can find more information about Neil on LinkedIn.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles and training that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To support the podcast, you can donate here.

To share your thoughts:

  • Share this cast with a friend or colleague.
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To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help the podcast and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.
  • Do the online ChildSafe Training

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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Non-Suicidal Self Injury (Part 2)

Podcast 021: Non-Suicidal Self Injury (Part Two)

Non-Suicidal Self Injury (Part 2)

To Support the Podcast, you can donate here.

Non-Suicidal Self Injury (Part 2)

Podcast 021 Dr. Claire Kelly
Dr Claire Kelly

In this episode of the Ultimate Youth Worker Podcast ‘Non-Suicidal Self Injury Part Two’ Aaron continues to speaks with Dr. Claire Kelly about how we as youth workers can support young people experiencing Non-Suicidal Self Injury.

Dr Claire Kelly is the Director of Curriculum at MHFA Australia and an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University. Claire has been involved with MHFA since 2003, when she first became an instructor while completing her Doctorate at the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University in Canberra, where the program was first developed.

Prior to her current position, Claire was the Youth MHFA Programs Manager for 10 years and also worked on the MHFA Guidelines used to develop Edition 2 of MHFA and YMHFA. Claire’s PhD thesis was written on the mental health literacy of Australian adolescents. Her main passion is the mental health of young people and minimising the impacts that mental health problems can have on development, educational outcomes and long-term functioning. Claire has suffered episodes of depression and anxiety since adolescence, which has been a driver for this work.

In todays episode (Part Two of Two) Aaron and Claire speak about the MHFA guidelines for non-Suicidal Self Injury developed by Mental health First Aid Australia after their ‘Delphi study’ into this area.

Professional youth workers understand that there are many young people who are hurting so bad that they self injure to deal with the turmoil. Unfortunately, not all professional youth workers know how to provide the support these young people need. Todays podcast begins to give us the tools to help the hurt and keep our young people safe.

You can find more information about Claire on LinkedIn.

Today’s resources

Here are links to some articles that have bearing on todays podcast.

Thanks for Listening!

To support the podcast, you can donate here.

To share your thoughts:

  • Share this cast with a friend or colleague.
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To help out the show:

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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