About the role
Job Purpose Statement
The Good Life Farm works with vulnerable young people through a unique form of animal-based learning on a small farm in the Yarra Valley. The qualified youth worker will support young people enrolled in the programs to form strong positive personal and social relationships, integrate into the community, re-engage in school or other learning or job opportunities. The position will work collaboratively with other agencies in order to support the delivery of the programs through a partnership approach. Our grass roots animal assisted learning, education and environment programs play a major role in helping young people with a diverse range of challenges, spectrum diagnosis, social isolation, emotional and / or behavioural issues to build rapport and trusting relationships with animals and people while learning new social skills. The youth worker will lead these programs, in collaboration with other members of the Good Life Farm team, delivering positive changes to the lives of the participating youth.
- Lead the delivery of the existing programs on time and on budget.
- Manage group dynamics and selection processes and criteria
- To implement animal- based group learning programs to meet the needs of individual participants.
- To engage clients in a co-operative and goal directed working relationship where positive outcomes can be achieved.
- To undertake risk assessment and risk management with clients with varied levels of social and emotional development, and those presenting with behavior dysfunction.
- Liaise with internal and external professionals and groups in relation to client needs.
- Maintain occupational health and safety needs and requirements.
- Adhere to organizational protocols and procedures acting in accordance with relevant legislation and ethical codes of conduct.
- To review and evaluate program performance using pre and post-intervention measures on a regular basis.
- To undertake further professional development needed to perform the role.
- To make a commitment to, and actively participate in regular supervision with the program staff, CEO, and the board director, as required by The Good Life Farm supervision policy.
- To transport young participants in small GLF Bus as required throughout program hours – you must hold a Victorian manual drivers’ license
- To undertake additional tasks as required and requested – including but not limited to farm maintenance and animal care
Measures – Short Term
Young people participating in the program will develop new positive relationships and skills. Participants will develop a greater self-awareness and strategies to deal with difficult emotions. They will also develop self-esteem, communication skills and develop trust and rapport with others, thus building their social networks. Support participating young people to integrate successfully into the community, creating a supportive network for them and building their capacity and resilience to deal with issues. Leading by example and providing social/ emotional support and mentoring to young people.
Measures – Long Term
Prevention of early school drop-out rates and reduction in long term unemployment, as well as the social impacts. A healthier and more resilient community with more young people engaging positively in local activities (i.e. employment, volunteering and other social and community activities). Drug and alcohol abuse prevention, which also reduces the associated social and economic impacts on a community.
Selection Criteria Education, skills and experience required for this role
Tertiary qualification in youth work or related discipline, together with a minimum three years’ experience in the youth services field. Experience in working with high risk, vulnerable young people with complex needs, their families and community to support well being outcomes. A qualification in animal husbandry or equivalent experience working with animals, eg. horses, cattle, pigs, is essential. Ability to lead a team, design and implement programs, reliable, fit, strong and healthy Demonstrated understanding of the Good Life Farm’s three core values which govern the participant-staff interaction. Ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team. Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to deal constructively with complex and sometimes conflicting situations. The ability to have a flexible and receptive approach to new ideas and the capacity to adapt to changing demands and circumstances. The applicant should also possess or be eligible for a positive Working with Children Check and a Police Check. A Victorian manual drivers’ license and ability to drive a 13-seat bus
Skills and/or experience in Horticulture / Environment and/or Animal Therapies Knowledge, experience and practice in models of contemporary approaches in educational and developmental psychology and/or animal-based learning.
This position description and associated information should not be considered as comprehensive in its description of responsibilities, criteria or outcomes. It is indicative of the position. The Youth Worker can and will be asked to undertake duties within their competencies, skills, abilities and training that may not be mentioned in this document.
Our Core Values
The Good Life Farm focuses on developing quality relationships using a client-centred approach consisting of three core values which govern the young person-staff interaction:
Genuineness: Staff are congruent between their actual self and their helping self and are genuinely interested in the client.
Unconditional positive regard: Accept the young people attending the farm unconditionally and without passing judgement.
Emphatic understanding: Show the young people empathy, acceptance and an understanding of their behavior.
Good Life Farm staff aim to develop healthy relationships based on this client-centered approach to enable young people to learn how to behave appropriately in interpersonal interactions and reduce disruptive behaviors and to guide and encourage self-discovery and exploration
Employees are to conduct themselves in accordance with The Good Life Farm values at all times.
About the organisation
The Good Life Farm provide a Life and Social Skills programs centred on animal based healing, learning, personal development, permaculture principals and the environment for young people aged 7-17 years who face various challenges in their lives. Some of the complex issues that these young people face are mental illness, substance abuse, intellectual disability, (eg autism spectrum), social isolation, limited education, life and social skills, anti-social behaviour and difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships. The farm creates a safe and consistent environment with positive role models and access to support services and networks, building young people’s sense of self and learning and new ways of trusting & relating to others. At the farm the young people are exposed to a family type environment with supportive workers who relate to them and to each other in a constructive, supportive, helpful, respectful & trusting way. The Good Life Farm operates on holistic, permaculture farming principles, which the students learn through hands-on active participation. The program reunites young people with their community and gives them a sense of belonging both to the farm and the wider community. They learn empathy and compassion for social differences. The Life and Social Skills program is intensive. The young people attend for one day a week for 10 weeks. The Good Life Farm also offers longer ongoing support where necessary. Additional information - https://goodlifefarm.org/
How to apply
Please forward a cover letter introducing yourself and addressing how you meet selection criteria with a copy of your current resume to email@example.com - Attention Business Manager Any questions with regards to this role may also be forwarded.
Please quote in application: Youth Worker via Pro Bono Australia.