Module 5: young people, society and AOD: learner's workbook

2.3 Values and working with young people

Page last updated: 2004

Our values can impact in positive and negative ways when we interact with young people with AOD issues. For example, we may attempt to influence the choices and decisions of young people on the basis of our own experiences, rather than looking at the individual situation of each young person.

Consider your beliefs and values

The aim of this exercise is to consider some of your beliefs and values about young people, which may impact on the way you interact with them.

Task - writing exercise

Read the following statements. Each of the statements will ask you to think about how you perceive the behaviour of young people. Consider whether you strongly agree, agree, are neutral, disagree or strongly disagree with each statement.
  1. Life was easier for young people when you were an adolescent

  2. Young people only want to spend time with their mates

  3. Young people have too many options today

  4. Young people can't make good decisions for themselves

  5. There is no safe level of drug use for young people

  6. It is preferable for a young person to use some substances over others

  7. Young people who are voluntary clients are easier to work with than those who are involuntary

  8. The family is a safe environment for young people

  9. Young people only think about themselves
Question - Can you identify any emerging themes? For example, do you have strong views on any particular topics or issues? Can you draw any conclusions about your attitudes?

Question - Discuss (with a colleague or learning group) how your values and attitudes might impact on your work with young people. Write down any areas or issues which are problematic.

Question - Write down some strategies you could develop to avoid these issues impacting on the young people you work with.