Schools Training

Three Types Youth Worker Apprenticeships

14 SEP 2012
Career Path : Apprenticeships

There is no doubt that raising children is hard work. Dealing with both the expected and unexpected situations with children can be as demanding as any full-time career, and the hours far exceed any 9-5. Although parents get some respite from teachers, there are sometimes circumstances where other specialists are called upon to assist the parents.


Three of these situations are the following:


1) Children facing mental health issues

2) Children in need of welfare services

3) Children with juvenile delinquent issues


For those interested in working with children facing any one of these issues, there are many ways to go about beginning a career. Here are examples of some of the specific issues surrounding the above three areas of special youth work:


Youth and Mental Health


  • Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD is a behavioral disorder whereby the child has trouble either paying attention to people, being involved or interested in their surroundings, being patient, remaining calm, or controlling energetic outbursts
  • Conduct Disorder – This is characterized as when children have trouble or an unwillingness to get along with others, they are aggressive and dishonest, and it can lead to offenses such as destruction or theft


Welfare Youth Services


  • Adoption – Helping children deal with the loss or separation of their biological parents, adjusting to new families, schools and communities
  • Foster Care – Similar to adoption, but including helping children live within governmental institutions, or adapting to multiple transfers of institutions and homes
  • Abuse – Many issues surrounding the subject of child abuse, ranging from neglect and malnourishment, to psychological, physical and sexual abuse


Juvenile Delinquency


  • Crime – The many complications surrounding youth who engage in criminal activities, how they are treated differently from adults, and considering punishment, delinquent centres, rehabilitation and reintegration
  • Status offence – These are offences specific to the fact that they are committed by minors but otherwise are not illegal, such as alcohol and tobacco-related abuse, automotive crime, firearms possession, or runaway instances


It is to the future youth worker’s advantage to enroll in a program that includes theoretical classroom learning combined with real-world practical experience, most often through apprentice training. This will not only guarantee the most comprehensive form of education and training, but provide any necessary certification to practice in a given domain.


Apprenticeship programs may offer the chance to specialize in any one of these specific areas of youth worker training, or might offer a general apprenticeship programs which allows the student to specialize later in their career. Whatever the choice, working with children is more than just a job, but a lifelong career that makes a difference in the youth of today and the adult population of tomorrow.


Visit Mohawk College for more information on apprenticeships in Ontario.