Tell us a bit about yourself
My name’s Brianna and I’m a Youth Support Worker in Mt Gambier, South Australia. I’ve worked in the community service sector since 2017.
After having a child of my own, I’ve recently returned to work and joined the team at Edmen to support young people at the Department for Child Protection. I’m also currently studying Cert IV in Youth Work.
What made you want to become a Youth Support Worker?
It really started when I was young - I had a lot of first-hand experience growing up with disadvantaged kids. They would often come to my family’s house for support when they were having a hard time at home.
My mum was always very supportive towards these children I would hang out with and our home became a safe place. Mum would treat them like the mum they wanted, and I loved that we could offer them a safe environment.
Supporting these kids growing up is what really made me want to become a Youth Worker.
What does a typical day look like?
At the Department for Child Protection, I work with young people aged between 8-16 years old in residential care. We do regular activities with the kids. For example, today I took them to get ice cream and we sat down near the lake to watch the boats. They really enjoyed that. Then we took them for a bike ride – I ran behind!
A lot of the job is focused around building rapport with young people. Following routines and showing empathy are also important in the work I do.
What do you like most about your work?
For me, it’s the rewarding feeling of getting through to a child and being the support they need and the role model they deserve.
Not long ago, I saw a young person I used to support who had moved out of residential care to live independently. She saw me at the shopping centre and came up to me to personally thanked me for what I did for her. She said that she was sorry for all the hard times she put me through and that I had made a positive impact on her life.
What is the hardest part about being a Youth Support Worker?
The trauma some of these children have experienced does lead to behavioural issues which means they can act out. There are hard days. Dealing with challenging behaviours while trying to get through to them is, for me, is the most challenging part of the job.
How did you find the Edmen application / onboarding process?
Before joining Edmen, I was a stay at home mum looking to get back into the work. I came across Edmen’s job ab for Youth Support Workers with the Department for Child Protection (DCP) on Indeed and applied for the role.
I got a call back from a recruiter, Daniel, who chatted to me about the position, which I thought sounded great. That lead to a phone interview, and then I did a training assignment which I passed. I renewed my Child Safe Environments Certificate and First Aid Certificate and then I was able to start work with Edmen at the Department for Child Protection. But overall, it was great, and I felt really supported by everyone in the onboarding process.
What’s your favourite feature in the Edge mobile app?
Edge is so helpful for keeping up with shifts. I love that I can update my work availability at any time on the app.
Do you have any tips for anyone thinking about becoming a Youth Worker?
It’s more rewarding than it is challenging. The world needs more love and support, and to be able to help the children is a blessing – that’s how I view it.