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Photo of young people from the Koori Youth Council

How do I Become a Youth Worker?

What is youth work?

Youth work is a career involving working for and with young people in a variety of fun and rewarding ways. The key thing that differentiates youth workers from other community service workers is that young people are their primary concern. Youth work is holistic, which means it takes into account the whole person and acknowledges the social and cultural environments within which young people live.

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image of books

Studying Youth Work

Studying in the youth sector

The level and type of qualifications held by people in the youth sector vary greatly. The following information relates to youth-specific courses that are offered in Victoria.

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image of young people

Working in the youth sector

Paid work in the youth sector

The best place to look for work in the youth sector will vary depending on the type of work you are looking for. The following websites are a good place to start.  

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Photo of the Code of Ethical Practice

The Code of Ethical Practice for the Victorian Youth Sector (the Code)

If you work with young people (12-25 year olds), you will often face ethical dilemmas: situations where you have to decide the right thing to do. The Code is a framework to help you think through those dilemmas. It won’t tell you exactly what to do, because each situation is different. But it will help you work out why you think something is right or wrong, and what you ought to do.

The Code is based on human rights: things that all Victorians—including young people—can expect to enjoy, such as your right to freedom of expression or right to take part in public life. The Code was first developed by YACVic in 2007, after consultation with the Victorian youth sector.


The Code includes a set of youth work principles and ethical practice responsibilities. It supports, but does not replace your legal responsibilities. Any person, group or organisation that works with young people can choose to use the Code.

Download the Code of Ethical Practice for the Victorian Youth Sector (PDF)

pdf  The Code of Ethical Practice (994.28 kB)
document  The Code of Ethical Practice - A first step for the Victorian youth sector (Word) (48.92 kB)

 A guide to the Code

YACVic code poster FINAL August 2016-01

pdf  Code poster updated 2016 (1.7 MB)

If you are a YACVic member, you can order up to 5 copies to be posted to you free by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.If you’d like up to 10 copies, or you are not a member, you can either collect them from the YACVic office or send us a large (minimum size 25cm x 35cm), self-addressed, pre-paid envelope.

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Youth Workers Association Logo

Youth Workers’ Association

The Youth Workers’ Association is a professional association which is open to all qualified youth workers, those studying youth work and in certain circumstances those without formal qualifications but with extensive youth work experience.

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YACVic has a number of partner agencies. For more information click on the logos below.

  • ViCSRC-logo-small-for-web
  • KYC-logo small-for-web
  • Youth Workers' Association logo
  • YRIPP logo
  • HEYGrants logo 1