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9 Required Skills for Career Success as a Child and Youth Care Worker

By February 24, 2023No Comments
Child and Youth Care Worker

To become a family support worker is to take on the role of mentor and cheerleader for those you encourage and empower through the work you do. This career is incredibly rewarding but also demanding as you are constantly called to be compassionate and care for self as well as others. To know what skills are required can prepare you for the job, and set the stage for goal setting as you learn to understand and cultivate what’s required to succeed.

9 Required Skills for Success as you Launch Your Career as a Child and Youth Care Worker


1. Patience

To truly support and encourage those who are shifting and growing through difficult times, you need to maintain calm in the midst of challenge. Your steadfast restraint in emotionally charged situations can inspire others to follow suit and learn self control. In this commitment to peace, you put others at ease and allow for better communication and connection.

2. Communication

As an advocate for children and youth, you have an ability to communicate in written and verbal form, powerfully. You are an active listener, letting your clients know that they are seen, heard and respected. You can deal with sensitive topics directly and delicately and adapt your communications style to meet the needs of others.

3. Flexibility/Adaptability

As a professional, you recognize that every child, youth, and family member you work with has a diverse range of needs and perspectives. You adapt the way you approach topics and situations to encourage receptivity in others. You are inspiring because those you serve recognize that you care, demonstrated by how you adapt and flow with what needs to be done in accordance with what can help them cope, heal and grow.

4. Empathy/Compassion

You fundamentally feel connected to those you serve; you recognize the situations they face, and you sensitively help them navigate their current situation while also encouraging and motivating them to recognize a healthier, safer more fulfilling way to live and giving them the strategies to take action.

5. Collaboration

You understand that it, indeed, takes a village to advocate, support and encourage those in need. You are resourceful and build relationships with professionals and organizations in the community who can help your clients be their best. And your clients and families themselves feel as though they are a part of a dedicated team working toward higher goals.

6. Conflict Resolution

You not only have an uncanny ability to head off conflict by communicating openly, clearly, and respectfully, but when issues do arise you are able to empower your clients to deal with situations head on. You analyze problems with ease and come up with practical solution. You are adept at deescalating situations, use positive language and set a powerful example for those whom you serve.


You understand the job you have to do and the emotion it takes to do it. As such, you put systems in place to keep yourself mentally and physically strong so that you can deal with high-pressure situations. Your healthy habits and commitment to good sleep, exercise and eating well, not only keep your wellbeing in check, but inspires your clients to follow suit.

8. Integrity

You easily build trust with your coworkers, clients, and their families because you can be counted on to do what you say you will do and consistently operate from a place of integrity. You are morally sound, accountable for your actions, and you embody precisely what you encourage in others.

9. Psychology

While you are not required to have specific expertise in psychology, understanding human behaviour and mental health, can help you to navigate the struggles your clients face. You have an ability to assess and recognize behaviour. You use language and strategies that allow your clients to trust, open up, knowing they’ll receive the support, advice and direction they truly need. Within your addictions support worker program/youth service worker course, it is beneficial to also select a college that includes a mental health support worker program component within.

Taking an assistant youth worker program and pursuing a career as a ‘child & youth care with addictions support worker’ is more than a position, it’s a calling. Your ability to recognize and hone your skills to suit the demands and opportunities within the job, will go a long way to bolstering your success in the field and with your clients and will enrich your life both professionally and personally.

If you’re still considering how to align your interests with a program of study, why not take our “Anderson College Child & Youth Care with Addictions Support Worker Discovery Quiz”?

But if you’re ready to start your Child & Youth Care with Addictions Support Worker career, please book a virtual appointment with our Admissions team. We’d love to discuss the possibilities and see if you’re eligible to join the next class!

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