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Helping Youth Online -> Paid? - December 31st 2013, 01:24 AM

I have been thinking that I really do a good job on Teen Help to help youth in the chat. I would like to know if there is a way I can get paid to help out Youth online. This is a passion of mine and I really want to see youth get the help they need. I just feel that as I do this more and more, I need to get paid for my time, and not sure how to do that online. Any advice would be good to move me forward.

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Re: Helping Youth Online -> Paid? - December 31st 2013, 08:39 AM

All jobs on TH are voluntarily - everyone with a coloured name on TH is not paid.

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Re: Helping Youth Online -> Paid? - December 31st 2013, 08:58 AM

I don't know about paid positions where you can help teens online (similar to what you already do as a member of TeenHelp), but if you're willing to consider a paid position as a crisis hotline operator, that might be something worth looking in to. I know those positions exist and can pay, especially if you're bilingual. You might not be able to do it from home, though. With these sorts of jobs, I think you have to be willing to commute to wherever the headquarters/centers are located. If you want to help teens from home, you'll probably have to settle for an unpaid position.

Another (indirect) route might be to start working for an organization that helps teens, and to gradually create opportunities for yourself. For example, if you work for an organization that has a website, you might be able to build upon that website and create a system that would allow you to communicate with teens online. This could take years to develop, though, so if you decide to interview with organizations that don't already have an online system in place, I would suggest bringing your ideas up during the interview (whenever it's appropriate to do so). Many employers love to hire people who are willing to think outside of the box and create something new that will enhance their organization; however, you need to know if they're willing to support you in your endeavors. Otherwise, you might end up wasting time by working for an organization that's not ready (or willing) to head in the direction you'd like to go.

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Re: Helping Youth Online -> Paid? - January 3rd 2014, 04:07 AM

Well, being paid for a position would complicate things. If you are a minor yourself, many places will not hire you till you're 18 and have some sort of professional training behind your name.

To pay you to help teenagers is very different than volunteering to help teenagers. A paid position would mean you are in some way a professional and you could have even more liability than as a volunteer who is not portraying themselves as a professional.

If I am at a car scene with nothing that says paramedic or RN on, then it is different then if I show up at the scene and identify myself as a paramedic and RN verbally or if I even have something on my car identifying myself as that. I have a different set of laws governing my actions. You working for as a counselor to help youth could make you liable for the outcomes more so than an untrained volunteer as you are putting yourself out there as a professional.

If you were to take a paid job helping teenagers, I would look into personal liability insurance and ensure that the company as liability insurance. I personally have liability insurance that covers my actions. That way if I am named in a lawsuit, I can have both my employer's attorney and my personal attorney cover my ass.

I would think long and hard about it. Being paid for it is drastically different than this site. You might also want to look up local laws to ensure that you are not acting under a licensed or certified position's scope of practice if you were to take a paid position. Even a volunteer position could fall under that.

Pretty much think long and hard if that is something you want to do. If someone's child were to kill themselves and found out that you were the last one to talk to them, the parent could decide to sue. This is unlikely to happen, but it could happen with some sue-happy people. This site has a bunch of information saying that they do not professionally train people and that everyone here is a volunteer but if you were on a site that would pay you for a similar role that TH has volunteers for, you could have a deeper liability and the parent could blame you for the child's death.

If you are in the USA:
Some people that have real big impacts on teenagers that I saw during my rotation in the child's psychiatric unit was social workers, nurses, and mental health techs that worked with teenagers in group therapy. A mental health tech can be an associate degree or a bachelors degree depending on the hospital's preference. Social worker is a master degree. Nurse can be any level of degree depending on what is offered locally.
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Re: Helping Youth Online -> Paid? - January 3rd 2014, 09:04 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

I understand everything that is being talked about here. There are ways to help Youth without getting into trouble and be paid. I just don't know how to do them online, but if I was out on the ground, then I could do this more. I have a sense of how to do that.

As for creating my own ways to get paid to do this within some organization or company I work for that is a good idea. I have to look into that and see if that is possible.

Again Thank you for the advice so far and hope that I can continue to move forward.

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Re: Helping Youth Online -> Paid? - January 13th 2014, 12:49 PM

Some really good advice here. My take on it - if you really want to work with teens and helping them as your career, there are multiple pathways, but almost all of them involve tertiary study. If you're getting paid for this work, you will need to be qualified.

Feel free to email/PM/VM/whatever me if you want. I'll answer as soon as I can.

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Trying to keep it updated more or less daily as I write.
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