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The youth worker card – Working with Children Check

Organizing a group meeting
Organizing a group meeting, Know How in group conflicts & conflict management

In the beginning, I would like to make a note and assure you, that probably in every developed country certain rules and regulations are in place to ensure the safety of children and young people but also the safety of the person working with children and youth. In most cases this will include a card or some sort of a pass or certificate that shows that the person concerned underwent a police check and received at least basic training, which enables him to work with children and youth. In my case, I can only speak for Australia. Should you need more information, please contact the appropriate department in your country.

“Can one really let him loose on children and young people?” – I am sure, many of you asked this question regarding some youth workers. However, what makes for a good youth leader? Is it empathy and the ability to sense worries and troubles even without spoken words? Alternatively, is it the role model for adolescents. – The answer is, probably a bit of everything.

In Germany, there is the so-called youth leader card. In Australia, it is called the Working with Children Check -and that divides into professional work or volunteer work. Each category has its own Working with Children Check, the training, however, seems to be very similar. Here are some of the most relevant facts on which this Working with Children Card rests:


The primary purpose of the Working with Children Card is to establish standard quality for everyone working with young people. The prescribed training must be completed and verified. If required, the youth worker has to provide evidence of this training.

Requirements for obtaining Working with Children Check

Basically, everyone aged 18, and above can apply for a Working with Children Card. That is if he can prove his participation in the relevant training. This card is necessary for every employee or volunteer engaging in any kind of work which might involve children. Therefore, it can be issued to anyone working in this field.

There might be slight differences between the states and territories of Australia but in general, they are Working with Children Check is issued by the Department of Justice. Before the card can be issued, the applicant has to undergo practical and theoretical training and must be able to proof this. The candidate also needs to undergo a relevant First Aid Course as well as a Fire Safety Training. This training is set to qualify you to assist young people from small injuries to CPR, as well as, how, for example, safely evacuate a house on fire or what to do facing the danger of a looming bushfire. For further information, please visit the following website:

Quality standards of training

To ensure a high qualitative ethics, there are specified quality standards for obtaining the Working with Children Check. Content and practical training is standardized and has to be completed by each applicant.

Training contents

To provide a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge to the prospective youth worker, the training provided for the Working with Children Check is relatively broad. It is to note that the contents might differ slightly from the states and territories, but basically they are all very similar. Let's take a look at the core contents of the training for youth workers which apply in all states and territories of Australia. When in doubt, please always check the relevant website.

Module "First Aid."

Obviously, in this module you are learning about what do if someone gets injured or for example, you are out camping and someone gets burned. Usually, this module is delivered by a third party, here in Australia it is often carried out by St John’s Ambulance. You will learn what to do and how to behave in the case of a particular accident, disease or minor ailment. What immediate life-saving measures should be taken? The First Aid certificate is also very handy for everyone wanting to get a driver’s license. On the other hand, if you have done First Aid already for your driver’s license you might be exempt, but remember, First Aid certificates do expire. Therefore, repeating a First Aid class is always a good idea.

Module "Objectives, policies and tasks regarding youth work."

Why does a youth leader do what he does? Moreover, how does he reach desired objectives when working with children and young people? These and other questions are explained in the module about "objectives, policies, and tasks in youth work."


  • What is the role of a youth leader?
  • What philosophy does the youth leader have?
  • Characteristics of the youth leader:
    • Personal development of youth leader
    • Which leader skills does he have?
    • Which team skills does he have?
    • What kind of behaviour does the youth leader model?
  • Tasks, functions and expectations of the youth leader

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Module "Supervisory responsibilities."

When or in what situations do children, and young people have to be supervised? What are the activities within the scope of supervisory duty, and what are the consequences if the youth leader violates his duty of supervision? These and many other aspects are covered in the lesson about supervisory duties that are taught as part of the training for Working with Children Check.


  • Duty of supervision, "transferred obligations."
  • Smoking & alcohol
  • Boys & Girls at retreats
  • Actions, situational awareness
  • Experience and age situation of minors

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Game education
Game education

Module "Group Education."

What processes are happening within a group? What are the dynamics within the group, and how does the youth worker realize that things are going the wrong way and intervene accordingly? Group education is a particularly important area of youth education. Needless to say that this is an integral part of your training for the Working with Children Check. Participants learn everything about the group dynamic process and the proper handling of groups of different sizes and members.


  • Groups, various group formations
  • Recognizing and discovering of group processes and how to direct them?
  • Reflection of group situations
  • Interviewing and communication processes, de-escalation
  • Motivation of group members
  • Group conflicts & Conflict Management
  • Rhetoric
  • Game education

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Module "Educational and Psychological Fundamentals."

When taking about group education, we talk about group dynamic processes, which are necessary for every individual. The young person as well as the youth worker. This group dynamic is important when it comes to finding one’s place within the group and group bonding. In this context it is paramount do know about the psychological as well as physical development of children and young people. Having some background knowledge about the importance of family and as well as the child’s family situation. That helps a great deal to assess educational consequences. Only those who can understand the child or young person can act pedagogically correct.

The applicant for the Working with Children Check will learn those necessary skills within the training.


  • Mental, cognitive and social development
  • Physical Development
  • Individual aspects of personality development
  • Life situation of children and young people (family, socio-cultural differences, gender socialization)
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Gender-conscious girls and boys work

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organizing a Camp
Organizing a Camp

Module "organizing"

Organizational work is also one of the skills that a youth worker must mastered. This includes, for example, the organization of events, public relations, excursions and youth camps, as well as the choosing the right games and competitions. As part of the training, the participant learns valuable suggestions for the practical youth work in the form of games and similar things.


  • Planning and execution of group lessons
  • Planning, financing and implementation of holiday camps & events
  • Learning about funding and handling of grants, as well as outsourcing further funding opportunities
  • Parents work
  • Public Relations

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Module "Legal Issues."

Besides the aforementioned supervisory duty, the youth worker has to deal with other "Legal Issues" as well throughout his training. In this module issues of liability and duty of care are covered, youth protection, insurance issues as well as what practical powers the youth worker possessed while dealing with children and young people – and, respectively, powers he does not have. Furthermore, legally relevant, what children and youth are allowed to do and what not. Can boys and girls sleep in one room? These and many other questions will be discussed in the training for the Working with Children Check.


  • Individuals & teams
  • Duty of supervision and liability
  • Youth Protection Act & Sexual criminal law
  • Events & Insurance
  • Copyright & Media Law
  • Child endangerment & Prevention
  • Actions and measures of the youth leader

Module "Orientation of youth the youth organization."

A youth leader who is active within the association must deal with the substantive and ideological orientation of the organization. Only then he can optimally implement the association's internal requirements. In the module, "Orientation of the youth organization" the group leader learns about the mission and objectives of the organization and what influence this has on practical youth work as well as how to implement this.

Validity of the Working with Children Check

The Working with Children Check in Victoria is valid for 5 years. After this period, an extension or re-issuance (depending on the state or territory) is possible. For the exact requirements and fees, please check with your state or territory requirements.

Advantages and benefits of the Working with Children Check

Being in possession of a Working with Children Check will, in addition, give you some advantage when looking for a job since social competence is something highly sought for these days. If you additional can show several years of experience in the working within the youth field, your chances to get a job will raise immensely.

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