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Professional practice is at the heart of youth work training but integrating the theory learned in class with the reality of placements can sometimes require extra support. This comprehensive textbook is designed to help students working with young people become competent and ethical practitioners, able to reflect on their learning and interventions in young people’s lives. Divided into three parts, this core text: provides an understanding of and commitment to the principles of youth work explores how contexts shape youth work demonstrates the core practice skills that are required to make a meaningful impact on the lives of young people. Engaging and practice-driven, this is an essential text for all students learning about working with young people, whether on youth work or allied courses. It includes case-studies, tasks, further reading and reflective questions to help readers make connections between their own knowledge and practice.
This indispensable text analyzes the key skills in youth work, ranging from the initial steps through to supervision, which can be applied across a variety of settings and roles. Throughout the book, practical examples grounded in participatory and anti-oppressive practice address the core values and the purpose of youth work. Suggestions for further reading, definitions, and theories are also provided.
The purpose of this book is to compile and publicize the best current thinking about training and professional development for youth workers. School age youth spend far more of their time outside of school than inside of school. The United States boasts a rich and vibrant ecosystem of Out?of?School Time programs and funders, ranging from grassroots neighborhood centers to national Boys and Girls Clubs. The research community, too, has produced some scientific consensus about defining features of high quality youth development settings and the importance of after?school and informal programs for youth. But we know far less about the people who provide support, guidance, and mentoring to youth in these settings. What do youth workers do? What kinds of training, certification, and job security do they have? Unlike K?12 classroom teaching, a profession with longstanding – if contested – legitimacy and recognition, “youth work” does not call forth familiar imagery or cultural narratives. Ask someone what a youth worker does and they are just as likely to think you are talking about a young person working at her first job as they are to think you mean a young adult who works with youth. This absence of shared archetypes or mental models is matched by a shortage of policies or professional associations that clearly define youth work and assume responsibility for training and preparation. This is a problem because the functions performed by youth workers outside of school are critical for positive youth development, especially in our current context governed by widening income inequality. The US has seen a decline in social mobility and an increase in income inequality and racial segregation. This places a greater premium on the role of OST programs in supporting access and equity to learning opportunities for children, particularly for those growing up in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. Fortunately, in the past decade there has been an emergence of research and policy arguments about the importance of naming, defining, and attending to the profession of youth work. A report released in 2013 by the DC Children and Youth Investment Corporation suggests employment opportunities for youth workers are growing faster than the national average; and as the workforce increases, so will efforts to professionalize it through specialized training and credentials. Our purpose in this volume is to build on that momentum by bringing together the best scholarship and policy ideas – coming from in and outside of higher education – about conceptions of youth work and optimal types of preparation and professional development.
The fundamental aim of youth work is to build trusting and mutually respectful relationships with young people, creating transformative experiences for young people in formal and informal spaces outside of homes and schools. These complex and multidimensional situations mean that the day-to-day work of youth workers is full of dilemmas, pitting moral, developmental, motivational, organizational, and other concerns against each other. By showing how different youth workers respond to a variety of such dilemmas, this authentic text makes visible youth workers’ unique knowledge and skills, and explores how to work with challenging situations – from the everyday to the extraordinary. Beginning by setting out a framework for dilemma resolution, it includes a number of narrative-based chapters, in which youth workers describe and reflect on dilemmas they have faced, the knowledge and experiences they brought to bear on them and alternative paths they could have taken. Each chapter closes with a discussion from the literature about themes raised in the chapter, an analysis of dilemma and a set of overarching discussion questions designed to have readers compare and contrast the cases, consider what they would do in the situation, and reflect on their own practice. Teaching us a great deal about the norms, conventions, continuities, and discontinuities of youth work, this practical book reveals essential dimensions of the profession and contributes to a practice-based theoretical foundation of youth work.
Youth work is a means of promoting learning, equality and inclusion with young people. It is an incredibly rewarding profession; however, diffuse state regulation means that youth work students and practitioners must continuously wrestle with the challenges of contemporary practice in environments that are complex and changing. This book brings together a collection of voices to speak to these concerns. Drawing on the history of the profession, each chapter focuses on a different aspect of policy and practice. Chapters explore the impact of New Labour; the changes that came with the coalition government; youth work in the voluntary sector, and youth work in a digital world. Graham Bright concludes with a powerful reflection on what the future holds for the profession. Each chapter features 'Over to You' activity boxes which invite readers to engage collaboratively in developing and applying ideas, with case studies which link discussion to real life examples. This is an important book for students, practitioners and lecturers in the field of youth and community work and related practice with children and young people.
How can sociology inform our understanding of young people's experiences? Introducing core theories by drawing on a range of cultural resources - from pioneering research to genre-defining films - this book demonstrates how a sociological imagination can enhance informal educational and social welfare approaches to work with young people.
MOVING THE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MESSAGE: TURNING A VAGUE IDEA INTO A MORAL IMPERATIVE Peter L. Benson and Karen Pittman THE CONTAGION OF AN IDEA In the past fifteen years, countless programs, agencies, funding initiatives, profes sionals, and volunteers have embraced the term "youth development. " Linked more by shared passion than by formal membership or credentials, these people and places have contributed to a wave of energy and activity not unlike that of a social movement, with a multitude of people "on the ground" connecting to a set of ideas that give sustenance, support, and value to increasingly innovative efforts to build competent, successful, and healthy youth. There are several particularly interesting dimensions to this movement. First, the youth development idea has the potential to draw people and organizations to gether across many sectors. Conferences and initiatives using youth development language attract increasingly eclectic audiences, bringing together national youth organizations, schools, city, county, and state agencies, police and juvenile jus tice workers, clergy, and committed citizens. Perhaps embedded in the youth de velopment idea is a philosophy or a "way" that has created an intellectual and/or spiritual home for actors across many settings. However this happens, it is clear that one of the powerful social consequences of the youth development idea is a connecting of the dots-the weaving within and across city, county, state, and of a tapestry of new relationships.

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