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Welcome to Space4Careers, the blog of the Centre for Career & Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University. This blog does what it says on the tin, it provides an opportunity for anyone who is interested in all aspects of careers work to find a little bit of space in their busy lives to think about current issues and trends. If you like or dislike, agree or disagree with what you see, please respond and let us have your views. We'd love to hear from you.

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Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Youth Support Workers

Youth support workers in a range of job roles are experiencing first-hand the effects of government cut backs to the services they offer young people. It goes without saying that their work is demanding and challenging at the best of times, when services are well resourced and fully staffed. So when cuts in funding (but not in clients) begin to bite, youth support workers may find themselves under increasing pressure to work longer hours, see more young people or take on additional responsibilities. It is at times like these that the need for quality support and supervision in the workplace is essential.

Workers need a place to share the load that they are bearing with a fellow professional who can understand, empathise, guide and support. Not only are many youth support workers continuing to manage their client work, but they are also processing issues such as colleagues' redundancy (survivor guilt as it was recently described to me) and a severe cut in resources (this can include work premises closing down).

Historically the youth support sector has taken a somewhat patchy approach to supervision. Good in parts (the youth service) non-existent in others (career advisers, for example). It is imperative that those who remain in employment and work hard to offer a quality service to young people feel that, in turn, they are supported by their organisations and receive an equally quality service as employees. In the words of Dr Hazel Reid, ‘taking care of self, in order to take care of others.’

Jane Westergaard

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