Youth Worker Interview
Role: Youth Worker & Trainer for youth at risk
How long have you worked in your role:
Two and a half years
Why did you join the job?
I joined this job because I want to work side by side with youth at risk and advise them about a wide range of opportunities that are available for them to increase their personal and professional development. This requires me to support them in achieving these goals, but the end result of seeing them succeed makes the job even more enjoyable and rewarding! I love my job J
What do you believe to be the causes of offending for females?
There are various reasons. Some are, and in no particular hierarchy, no role model, lack of parental/guardian support, lack of opportunities of engagement in education, work or social activities – which leads to boredom or anti-social behaviors, mental health issues, misuse of illegal substances, curiosity, peer pressure, etc.
Should girl offenders be treated the same way as boys?
On a whole, we are all supposed to be equal, and this question depends on what context? This answer may change on the circumstances and punishment in question.
Why should juveniles be treated differently from adult offenders?
This again depends on the crime committed, the severity, and lack of education, vulnerability or understanding. However, everybody should be given the opportunity to rectify the situation. Some adults have been given more opportunities [for] education about the seriousness of committing crimes and still make wrong choices, and for some juveniles, it may be a first uneducated offence which could be a valid reason why they are treated differently.
Your thoughts on female juveniles who live on the streets?
They deserve a chance to change and make their own positive future life choices with the appropriate support and advice.
Your thoughts on female juveniles addicted to drugs?
This is the same for anyone. Everyone deserves a chance to be informed of the effects of using illegal substances, and some don’t know how to access this information or utilize it. Juveniles need to be advised of the available supports and services that can assist them in overcoming their drug habits.
At what age do you think kids should be charged and why?
This again depends on the severity of the offence and the circumstances.
Your view of parents of juvenile offenders?
Some parents require support for their teenagers which should be made available to them. Also, a plan could be put in place with parents of juvenile offenders which could enable them to encourage their children to learn from their mistakes and encourage them to make positive life choices in the future.
What can the community do to help or support juvenile offenders?
Give them opportunities to move forward in their lives and to learn from their mistakes! Support and educate them about positive behaviors and services available to assist them. Promote positive life goals and engage them back into education, the workforce or social activities. Where appropriate, give them case management or refer them for counselling. Be open-minded and work alongside them. There are many things the community can do, and that is a small list.