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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.
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.
This path-breaking book brings together an international list of contributors to collectively articulate a vision for the field of youth work, sharing what they have learned from decades of experience in the training and education of youth workers. Carefully designed evaluation and research studies have legitimized the learning potential of youth programs and non-school organizations over the last twenty years, and recent attention has shifted towards the education, training, and on-going professional development of youth workers. Contributors define youth work across domains of practice and address the disciplines of knowledge upon which sound practice is based, reviewing examples of youth practitioner development both in and outside of academia. Raising critical questions and concerns about current trends, Advancing Youth Work aims to bring clarity to the field and future of youth work. Advancing Youth Work will help youth work practitioners develop a common language, articulate their field in one voice, and create a shared understanding of similarities and differences. This book is also an invaluable resource for higher educators, researchers, and students involved with youth work.
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.
Evaluation is an essential element of professional practice. However, there is little in the literature that is designed to help students involve and support young people in evaluating the impact of youth work activities. This comprehensive book explores current thinking about evaluation in the context of youth work and community work and offers both theoretical understanding and practical guidance for students, practitioners, organisational leaders and commissioners. Part 1 provides underpinning knowledge of the origins, purpose and functions of evaluation. It charts the developments in evaluation thinking over the past 50 years, and includes an exploration of ‘theory of change’. Concepts such as impact, impact measurement and shared measurement are critically examined to illustrate the political nature of evaluation. Findings from empirical research are used to illuminate the challenges of applying a quasi-experimental paradigm of evaluation of youth and community work. Part 2 introduces the reader to participatory evaluation and presents an overview of the histories, rationale and underpinning principles. Empowerment evaluation, collaborative evaluation and democratic evaluation are examined in detail, including practice examples. Transformative Evaluation, an approach specifically designed for youth and community work, is presented. Part 3 focuses on the ‘doing’ of participatory evaluation and offers guidance to those new to participatory evaluation in youth and community work and a helpful check for those already engaging. It provides valuable information on planning, methods, data and data analysis and processes for sharing knowledge. This essential text will enable the reader to reconstruct evaluation as a tool for learning as well as a tool for judging value. It provides a comprehensive reference, drawing on a wide range of literature and practice examples to support those involved in youth and community work to develop and implement participatory approaches to evaluating and communicating the meaning and value of youth and community work to a wider audience.
All Social Work students are required to undertake specific learning and assessment in partnership working and information sharing across professional disciplines and agencies. Increasingly, social workers are also finding that they need to deal with a wide range of other professions as part of their daily work. It is essential therefore that social workers can work effectively and collaboratively with these professions while retaining their own values and identity. This updated second edition will prepare social work students to work with a wide variety of professions including youth workers, the police, teachers and educators, the legal profession and health professionals.
Through stories of youth using their many voices in and out of school to explore and express their ideas about the world, this book brings to the forefront the reality of lived literacy experiences of adolescents in today’s culture in which literacy practices reflect important cultural messages about the interplay of local and global civic engagement. The focus is on three areas of youth civic engagement and cultural critique: homelessness, violence, and performing adolescence. The authors explore how youth appropriate the arts, media, and literacy as resources and how this enables them to express their identities and engage in social and cultural engagement and critique. The book describes how the youth in the various projects represented entered the public sphere; the claims they made; the ways readers might think about pedagogical engagements, practice, and goals as forms of civic engagement; and implications for critical and arts and media-based literacy pedagogies in schools that forward democratic citizenship in a time when we are losing sight of issues of equity and social justice in our communities and nations.
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