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Caring for Youth - The Experience of a Youth Care Worker

            In January of 2013 I had started my internship at the Aurora House, which provides a community residence for severely emotionally disturbed youths. Upon my arrival I was given the opportunity to shadow and gain insight on how the program worked in providing care to the youths in need. As the semester progressed I began to see how positive interactions with the youths lead to a development of trust. There were several observations I made in which I began to recognize characteristics in which I felt were essential in providing the youths with quality care. At the heart of all of these positive behaviors was unconditional compassion, and a drive to make a difference in the lives of youths. I myself made an effort to develop rapport with the residents and embody the qualities I felt were essential in providing them the care they need. By the end of the semester I felt very comfortable with the mission of the agency and had enough experience working with the youth to know that I wanted a place on the team. To my surprise there was a job opening for a youth care worker position at the Aurora House program. I took a proactive leap and decided to apply for the job - A few days later I was called in for an interview, and was granted the job. Directly after commencement at the University at Buffalo for the spring 2013 semester I began working at the Aurora House.

            As a youth care worker for the agency I have been given the responsibility to be a front-line mediator in the therapeutic facilitation of the youth. A youth care worker makes things happen, and provides the youth with a sense of belonging and a feeling of trust - something that perhaps is not familiar with many of the residents. A youth care worker must be firm but patient, and have the ability to overlook behaviors to see the core of the individual. In a way, an ideal youth care worker can see themselves as a role model to the youth, and give them a pathway to attain goals they never thought they would be able to achieve. With Community Missions being a Christian based agency, I can see the coalescence of a Christian framework into the notion of exemplifying an archetypal youth care worker. Both are coupled with the idea that all individuals should be provided with unconditional compassionate care. This ardor for seeing the change in the youth's lives is an essential ingredient in being an outstanding worker and paragon.

            Within the past few months of work here at the Aurora House, I have engaged myself with the youth and participated in recreational activities, both within the program and community. When the youths are able to relate to the worker and can build a trusting therapeutic alliance, the child then experiences healing and growth. When a youth exits the program there should be a sense of accomplishment from the worker and the agency. The worker shall implement all the mechanisms necessary for the child to live within the community autonomously. By providing caring support to the youth, the child will feel confident upon their discharge and emerge revitalized.

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By The Numbers...

In 2023, Community Missions provided:

12,108 nights of shelter

178,696 meals

2,780 individuals with clothing

3,562 care days in Youth Services

43,388 care days in Recovery Services

72,302 care days in Housing Services

467 reflections & resources for Faith Development


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