In many ways, the day-to-day youth work undertaken within a local authority context is the same as practice within a voluntary organization, with both working across a wide range of styles and approaches (centre-based, project-based, detached, targeted, universal and so on). The conversations and interactions follow a similar rhythm. Many of the aspirations, dilemmas and difficulties will be familiar across both streams. However, organizational contexts have a significant impact on practice. For the statutory sector, this relates particularly to the immediacy of government policy to practice in local authority contexts where significant aspects illustrate Smith’s notion of professionalized practice (Smith, 1988). This chapter considers the current features of local authority youth work in England by drawing on professional experience and empirical case studies to map what is happening within different local authorities.
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