A lot of people call themselves ‘youth workers’. They can be found in many settings — in churches and religious organisations, local voluntary groups and in large international movements such as the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and scouting and guiding. Schools and colleges, prisons, large not-for-profit organisations and state-provided children’s and young people services also host what they describe as ‘youth work’. New forms and locations are appearing all the time, and organisational boundaries have shifted at some speed in many countries over the last few years. Yet much of this movement, although significant, can serve as a distraction by encouraging us to focus attention on the way youth work is organised and managed instead of looking to its core features and what it does. For that reason we focus on practice — the judgements, values, ideas and activities that have consistently served to give it a discrete identity (Carter et al. 1995: 3–5). We attend to the ways in which youth workers think, feel and act, and what informs such processes.
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- Introducing youth work
Mark K. Smith
- Macmillan Education UK
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