As a youth care specialist, one interacts with the kids in care on a daily basis. You are their parent. You take care of their meals, laundry, daily schedule, homework, etc. This also includes discipline- never hitting! You'll get fired if you do that. This job is not for a militant because you need to be tender with these kids as well as learn a new skill set to handle children who have been traumatized. We use TBRI which is Trust Based Relational Intervention (from the institute of Child Development at TCU)
Unless you have another source of income or have a lot saved up, I do not recommend this job for the money. It is slightly above minimum wage and everyone, no matter your education or experience, is payed the same rate.
The best part of the job is the kids. There are definite lows but when they get to play and just be kids and enjoy life, it is heartwarming to watch them be silly when they have come from tragic or traumatizing pasts.
The co-workers are all relaxed and joke around a lot. A very good group. ACH does need to work on work life balance though because they don't have many ways for the workers to relax or have breaks.
Overall, your heart needs to be in this job otherwise you will burn out fast.