This chapter seeks to unpack something of the early history of youth and community work, from its beginnings as a grass-roots social movement that sought to address the basic physical and educational needs of poor and working class young people, to a reframing of practice in the latter part of the nineteenth century which increasingly focused on meeting the social and leisure time needs of adolescents. The chapter argues the influence of particular historical and contextual themes in youth work’s emergence, and encourages readers to make connections between these themes and contemporary experience.
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