Lee Anne is a Youth Group Home Manager
Life throws obstacles in your way. Sometimes, these obstacles affect youth who are unable to tackle them on their own. Youth Care Support Workers provide support and guidance to youth living in a group home setting, temporary as it may be.
Lee Anne is the Manager of Edwards House, a youth facility for boys. Lee Anne indicates that the youth courses at the Mount taught her a lot about how to relate to youth and how to approach various topics with them. “The combination of knowledge and practical experience prepared me to work with youth and helped me to break into the youth care field.”
In addition to a BA in Child and Youth Study, Lee Anne has obtained other essential certifications as part of her degree, including Non-violent Crisis Intervention, Suicide Prevention and advanced CPR/First Aid. She completed her final practicum placement with the Regional Independent Students Association and three months later she was offered a position on staff as a Youth Support Worker. Within four years of graduating, she became the manager of Edwards House.
Residents of Edward’s House are between the ages of 16 and 21 and attend a school-based program. “We understand that not every youth can do regular high school, so we try to get them into a program that accommodates their needs because we want them to be successful,” says Lee Anne.
Some residents have suffered from a form of abuse, family crisis or involvement with the law and for one reason or another they are unable to live at home. Therefore, youth workers strive to create a home-like environment. Working on behalf of the youth residents, Lee Anne is often in contact with probation officers, therapists, psychologists, school/program staff, social workers, income assistance workers, and Community Services staff.
Residents usually go to school during the day and have study time and free time in the evening. They have major chore days twice a week to keep their home in order. Weekends are not structured, but there is a curfew, just like a typical home environment. Lee Anne and her staff provide residents with important life skills training as well as helping them with school so the youth are prepared to make the transition to living on their own when they graduate and leave the house.
Lee Anne says there are definitely challenges in her job and she stresses the importance of being calm and understanding and letting youth know you are there for them. “When I first went into Child and Youth Study, I thought I was going to be a teacher or an early childhood educator,” she says. “But, I soon realized that there are many more opportunities out there. So, be open-minded. It’s important to listen to everything you’re being taught and look at every aspect because it’s a wide-open field.”