We’re going to focus here on the specifics of the line-manager role.
In my first full time youth work job I had no line-manager. As a result I ended up working regular 70hr weeks, didn’t receive about half of my leave (and when I did I was granted it too late to book or save), wasn’t able to formally develop my training, and didn’t receive any clear feedback on my work performance. I left the job – and I nearly left youth work completely.
My next job came with an able line-manager, a quality mentor, a committed trustee board and a further accountability board to check up on the trustees. I’m still there – and I’m still growing.
There are five specific areas that a line-manager should be regularly checking up on: Time sheets, Annual Leave, Training, Project Management and Admin. Anything else probably falls under the purview of the Pastor or Mentor.
Checking how much time the youth worker is working, where they’re spending it and what – if any – gaps are show up, while keeping an eye open for over-working and unsociable hours. Keeping a google calendar of similar tends to be one of the easiest ways to do this.
Making sure the youth worker is taking it – including days off – and booking in advance. Also working alongside the youth worker to cover projects and seek outside help when needed. Annual Leave should never be made conditional on cover.