Youth Counselor Career

Job Description: Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

*A job as a Youth Counselor falls under the broader career category of Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Youth Counselor Career

What Youth Counselors do:

  • Attend training sessions to increase knowledge and skills.
  • Participate in case conferences or staff meetings.
  • Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
  • Complete and maintain accurate records or reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, or other required information.
  • Coordinate counseling efforts with mental health professionals or other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or social workers.
  • Review and evaluate clients' progress in relation to measurable goals described in treatment and care plans.
  • Interview clients, review records, and confer with other professionals to evaluate individuals' mental and physical condition and to determine their suitability for participation in a specific program.
  • Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in client status.
  • Provide clients or family members with information about addiction issues and about available services or programs, making appropriate referrals when necessary.
  • Develop client treatment plans based on research, clinical experience, and client histories.
  • Intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
  • Plan or implement follow-up or aftercare programs for clients to be discharged from treatment programs.
  • Confer with family members or others close to clients to keep them informed of treatment planning and progress.
  • Coordinate activities with courts, probation officers, community services, or other post-treatment agencies.
  • Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting clients or patients.
  • Act as liaisons between clients and medical staff.
  • Conduct chemical dependency program orientation sessions.
  • Instruct others in program methods, procedures, or functions.
  • Train or supervise student interns or new staff members.
  • Follow progress of discharged patients to determine effectiveness of treatments.
  • Develop, implement, or evaluate public education, prevention, or health promotion programs, working in collaboration with organizations, institutions, or communities.
  • Assess individuals' degree of drug dependency by collecting and analyzing urine samples.
  • Supervise or direct other workers providing services to clients or patients.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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