Youth Director Job Description

A Youth Director plans and oversees programs and activities for children and adolescents at a church, community outreach organization or social service program. Their work can help a community flourish by providing supplemental education programs to kids in need and creating alternative after-school activities, such as sports, arts or recreation programs, that provide safe and productive environments.

Youth Directors  often work under the supervision of an executive director or senior administrator. Demand in the social and community service manager category, which includes Youth Directors, is projected to grow 10 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, adding an estimated 13,200 positions during this period.

 

Youth Director Duties and Responsibilities 

The type of organization a Youth Director works for greatly determines the duties and responsibilities he or she can expect to undertake. There are, however, several core tasks common to the job. We looked at several job listings to identify the following core responsibilities.

Create Programs

Youth Directors spend a large part of their time creating, arranging and implementing various activities and events for the children and adolescents they serve. From educational programs to sporting events, Youth Directors find ways to bring the community children together in safe and fun environments.

Train and Supervise Staff

The training and supervision of staff and volunteers is one of Youth Directors’ most important duties. They may be called upon to recruit volunteers, interview prospective staff, create work schedules and evaluate performance in order to build a successful and supportive team. They will often train new personnel and lead or organize ongoing educational courses for their staff.

Make Budgets

Creating, managing and operating within a budget is a vital function of the Youth Director. Upper management may set budgets, or the Youth Director may be required to build funds through grant applications and donations. Maintaining financial accounts and creating reports are also common responsibilities of the Youth Director.

 

Youth Director Skills

Youth Directors should have a passion for working with and assisting children, as well as strong leadership skills. A positive attitude and enthusiasm for the job are important when working with kids. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Youth Directors with these core skills. If you want to work as a Youth Director, focus on the following.

  • Managing and training teams
  • Working with children in an educational or recreation capacity
  • Knowing rules and regulations associated with working with children
  • Proficiency in computer programs, especially Microsoft Office programs

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Youth Director toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Certification in areas such as, CPR, First Aid and AED
  • Working with at-risk youth
  • Being bilingual

 

Youth Director Resources

There are some helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming a Youth Director. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web

Youth.gov – A collaboration between 18 federal agencies specializing in youth programs and services, this site has lots of information on youth culture, youth programming and potential funding for programs.

Youth Worker – A wonderful resource for those intending to work in a church setting. This site provides games and activities, lessons and bible study plans, training opportunities and blogs where you can connect with other youth directors.

Twitter

@Gonzalez4Irvine – Elizabeth Gonzalez is Youth Program Director for the James Irvine Foundation in California. She specializes in assisting low income youth to graduate high school and obtain postsecondary degrees. Follow her tweets to see how she accomplishes this feat.

@NYCYouth – NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development highlight their programs and events. Get ideas and inspired by this twitter feed.

Industry Groups

The Network for Social Work Management – An international organization offering services such as mentorship programs, annual conferences, and professional development workshops.

Youth Director Books

Community Youth Development: Programs, Policies, and Practices edited by Francisco A. Villarruel, Daniel Francis Perkins, Lynne M. Borden and Joanne G. Keith – A text that aims to encourage new and positive methods for youth development.

Community Programs to Promote Youth Development by Committee on Community-Level Programs for Youth. A look at youth programs and how they influence adolescents in the real world.

Recreation and Youth Development by Peter A. Witt and Laura L. Caldwell. An informative look at youth culture and how to create effective youth programs.

 

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