I am applying for the post of Youth Worker as I feel I have the relevant experience, skills, knowledge and expertise to successfully meet the needs and demands attached to the post. Most importantly, I am interested in being continuously engaged in working with vulnerable people. I passionately believe that with support and encouragement people have the potential to develop a positive attitude towards life, thus becoming valuable members and significant contributors to the community.
Part time and voluntary work has given me the ability and skills, to work on my own initiative and as part of a team. Therefore, I am aware team work plays a crucial when working with young people. As a ‘volunteer mentor’ my duty was to help socially excluded children and integrate them back into society. In order to successfully do this I worked as part of a team both internally and externally. I also participated in regular team meetings and I feel this is important because it enhanced my relationship with my team and kept me fully updated.
I have been fortunate enough to work as a ‘community worker with children’ in Nairobi, Kenya. Through this experience working within the orphanage and school setting I have been able to work with a diverse group of young people who are from different backgrounds, gender, age, etc. In order to meet the diverse needs of these young people I had to deliver high quality learning and development services and programmes. One way I did this was by creating a safe and caring environment where the young people were given the opportunity to solve problems through activities and play. By doing this my primary goal was to meet their physical, cognitive, language, emotional and social development because. This allowed children’s intellect to develop as well as enabling me to gain experience and knowledge in planning, delivering and evaluating services for young people in line with the Every Child Matters framework and Early Years Foundation Stage guidance.
I am always available to work to work evenings and weekends as required. This is was often required of me as a ‘volunteer mentor’ and as a ‘community worker with children’.
Qualifications & Experience
Although I do not have NVQ Level 2/3 I feel that I am not at a disadvantage as I have substantial experience of working with young people during my roles as a ‘volunteer mentor’ and ‘community worker with children’ and this will be further highlighted in this personal statement. Furthermore, I have experience in providing group youth work sessions for example during my role as a ‘volunteer mentor’ I conducted weekly organised sessions whereby young people can come and take part in discussions regarding drugs and alcohol.
Also my postgraduate studies in MA Social Work I was able to undertake and successfully complete certain modules that taught me about working with young people in accordance with polices such as the ECM and EYFS. Furthermore, through my role as a ‘volunteer family support worker’ for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets I gained immense experience in delivering services to a diverse community as I often had to assess and link people within the borough to services which supported their needs.
Furthermore, I have graduated in 2007 from the University of Kent with a 2.1 honours degree. I have also been able to successfully complete a Child development and Child protection Module and was awarded a Merit this was on behalf of the London Borough of Newham while working as a ‘volunteer mentor’. As an undergraduate and my studies as a postgraduate Social Worker has expanded my knowledge and improved my analytical, communication, presentation, observation, reflective and management skills. By combining and implementing the theoretical and practical learning I have further enhanced the quality of my work. If offered the position I am willing to undertake any further training or qualification needed in order to enhance my role.
Leadership and Management Framework
As a ‘volunteer mentor’ in a youth organisation I worked as part of a team in planning, managing and evaluating opportunities and services to facilitate young people’s personal, social and political education and help them to learn how to live a safe, healthy lifestyle and to make a positive contribution to their community. Most of our time was spent in direct work with young people. However, we also organised activities for young people to take part in including I.T, pool, table tennis, music and dance. Furthermore, I also worked with other volunteer mentors and staff to open workshops at the centre that took place twice a week and delivered an informal educative programme which helped young people learn skills in order for them to get employment such as improving their English, improving interview techniques, etc. This was very successful as we were able to meet our identified targets which was to get at least 10-15 young people to come every week to these workshops.
I have excellent written skills with the ability to produce clear and concise reports. This has been demonstrated through several of my work experience. As a ‘contact supervisor’ it required me to produce extensive reports in high quality English language for social workers, which was to be used in court proceedings. Furthermore, as a ‘volunteer mentor’ I was always required to complete timely reports on any engagement with young people whether it was from an out of hours phone call, one-to-one meeting or group activity. These were from brief summaries to lengthy reports detailing my experiences and assessments.
Engaging with others
I am aware to in order to best support a young person is to liaise and establish a positive relationship with multitude of professionals and agencies in the area. As a ‘volunteer mentor’ the professionals I worked with included youth workers, schools, community groups, social workers, police and probation officers. Positive multi-agency work is extremely important to me as part of the skill in being a successful youth worker is making confident and efficient liaison with other relevant agencies to ensure that not only are young people being provided with the most effective service but also that all involved are fully informed and engaged in delivering that service. Also by working closely with these professionals and agencies I was able to promote the youth organisation and as a result young people in the area were able to hear and access the services.
Additionally, as a mentor I had to fully engage with the partnership of parents/carers in order to keep them up to date with their child’s progress and development needs. I did this because I was aware that young people learn most effectively with the support of a knowledgeable and trusted adult. This also enabled parents/carers to identify their child’s strength and offer support where weaknesses were identified. For example while I was working with a child diagnosed with ADHD I found that he was extremely good at Art and Graphics. I relayed this previously unknown strength to his parents who than gave me the permission to enrol him in a course in order for him to meet his maximum potential.
I consider myself to be very versatile and have been commended for being able to work with people well at all levels. During my time at LBTH I worked openly with families from different backgrounds when assessing needs and providing services. I am committed to and appreciate working with diversity and have developed an understanding of the different forms of oppression and discrimination. Being born in this community and as a Bangladeshi myself I have experienced poverty and discrimination. This experience allows me to be acutely aware of the difficulties and challenges young people from ethnic minority groups are faced with such as crime, isolation, depression, families or communities being ghettoised and the feeling of hopelessness. I am also aware, that there are various mechanisms with which discrimination can be challenged, in order to facilitate change. I use my experience in a positive and constructive manner to commit and work towards practising equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice. Thus, I am firmly opposed to any form of discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, religion, age, sexuality or disability.
In order to successfully meet the division of all my duties, I am constantly seeking to enhance my own skills and knowledge base by taking on more responsibilities and actively pursuing further training and development opportunities. Thus offering a more effective and professional service to my employers and service users. I am always open to attending relevant training which will enhance my knowledge and skills. During my time as a ‘volunteer mentor’ I was able to successfully complete a Child development and Child protection Module and was awarded a Merit this was on behalf of the London Borough of Newham. I was able to use and share this knowledge while working as a ‘volunteer mentor’ and as a ‘volunteer family support worker’.
Circumstances Particular to the job
I am more than willing to undertake an enhanced CRB check which I feel would be satisfactory in this role. I also have a good attendance record whereby I have had no unauthorised day’s absence. I am confident that if given the opportunity I can adapt to any situation in order to achieve the most commendable results.