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Local Authority Involvement in Young People’s Partnerships (YPPs)

Wales Youth Agency 2002

Standards for the Maintained Youth Service in Wales (draft)

Author: Wales Youth Agency 2005

This draft document was produced by the Principal Youth Officers of Wales (PYOG) with the support of the Wales Youth Agency (WYA) to encourage Local Authority Youth Services to introduce these standards in the context of their total resource allocation.

The document identifies an agreed set of standards for Youth Service provision, which are designed to promote young people’s social development and personal achievement within the economic and social policy agenda of the Welsh Assembly Government. It should complement other standards to secure effective policy for young people across various services. In particular they underpin those of ESTYN in respect of the quality and outcomes of the work of the Youth Service.  Locally agreed standards may improve on these minimum national standards.

[The document remains draft as it was not formally adopted at it's publication due to the financial implications for local authorities in meeting these standards.] 



Youth Work in Schools: An investigation of youth work, as a process of informal learning, in formal settings.

Author: Dr. Tony Morgan, Pat Morgan, Brian O’Kelly, University of Ulster, for Department of Education (Northern Ireland) 2015

This research project from Northern Ireland investigates the thinking behind youth work in schools from a youth work perspective and a school perspective. It discusses theoretical concepts so that youth work can be understood in a formal context. Youth workers, teachers in relevant schools and young people exposed to this intervention were interviewed. The findings were analysed and discussed and the project concludes with a set of recommendations. 

PYOG: The role of Youth Work in youth crime prevention and support in Wales

Author: Principal Youth Officers' Group (PYOG) 2016

The role of Youth Work in youth crime prevention and support in Wales

Author: Grwp Prif Swyddogion Ieuenctid 2016

UNISON / Cardiff Metropolitan University Conference 2016 Report

Author: UNISON / Cardiff Metropolitan University 2016

Report of a conference in November 2016 organised by UNISON and Cardiff Metropolitan University on the future of youth work in Wales. Themes covered:

  • Challenges for Young People in Wales Today in the Context of Public Services Cuts 
  • The Future of Youth Work as a Practice 
  • The Future of Youth Work as a Profession 
  • Breakout sessions: Messages for Welsh Government and Trade Unions 

EE Revisited Paper 9: Findings and Recommendations

Author: John Rose 2017
Series of nine papers taken from a research Ph.D. They are focused on data about the maintained Youth Service in Wales, collected and analysed from 2002 to 2007 when the Youth Service was first being directed by the Welsh Government policy ‘Extending Entitlement’.  These are being published in 2017 as there are issues which need to be considered due to the reinvigorated political interest in Extending Entitlement. These papers are intended to be a reminder that the translation of Extending Entitlement policy into practice was not a positive experience for the Youth Service in Wales and that there are inherent dangers that a refreshed Extending Entitlement will have just as many negative connotations unless we learn from, and respond to, the lessons from the past. The papers are:

Extending Entitlement Revisited:

  • Paper 1: Setting the scene

  • Paper 2: How was the evidence found and analysed?

  • Paper 3: The needs of young people and the Maintained Youth Service response

  • Paper 4: What did politicians want from the Maintained Youth Service?

  • Paper 5: How Knowledgeable were those working in the Maintained Youth Service of its discrete identity during the time of the Extending Entitlement launch?

  • Paper 6: Did the Maintained Youth Service have the tools to meet the priorities of Extending Entitlement?

  • Paper 7: What was happening in the Maintained Youth Service at the time of Extending Entitlement?

  • Paper 8:  What did the Maintained Youth Service do after Extending Entitlement and how was this measured?

  • Paper 9:  Findings and recommendations



A Practical Model for Youth Work Practice: Unpicking the Epistemology

Author: Sean Gallagher and Tony Morgan, University of Ulster 2013
This article is based on the premise that youth work practice is contained within a Community of Practice (Lave and Wenger. 1998) underpinned by and through experiential learning mirroring a quasi-Steiner approach to learning. The amalgamation of these three tenets make youth work, as practiced mainly by qualified workers, an interesting template that tips the balance of learning in favour of young people rather than based on a more formalized curriculum. The blending of both informal, non-formal and formal approaches within a youth work context is, we will argue, a more holistic approach to the development of learning which is based on the needs of young people.

In a previous article (Gallagher and Morgan. 2013) it was argued that while youth work should be independent of the school system it could offer a valuable contribution that will complement the learning process. This article takes the debate further by suggesting a model that could be emulated in other youth work projects and that might form the basis of collaboration between the formal and informal sectors.


A Practical Solution for Measuring Outcomes in Youth Work: Developing Structured ‘Experiental’ Growth Groups

Author: Dr. Sean Gallagher and Dr. Tony Morgan, Ulster University
This article is a positional paper on the need to reinvent or at least reinvigorate the use of group work in a youth work context. While youth work practitioners work with many diverse groups the imposition of an imposed policy curriculum continues to shape the nature of the group process towards, we contend, a more prescribed set of outcomes.

What we are suggesting in this paper is that if we know the expected outcomes that many young people need to achieve in life in order to make them more resilient and self-aware of their lives, do we need to emulate the formal didactic approach to learning, i.e. as in school? If we have a vehicle in which and from which these outcomes can be achieved do we really need a curriculum? Or more appropriately can the curriculum emanate from the lived lives of the young people themselves?

This paper presents a practical approach to the measurement of outcomes in youth work.  What we are proposing is that the ‘core’ of youth development can be addressed and achieved within an ‘experiential growth group’ and that the process is indeed the product. In other words we are proposing a move away from highlighting the end product of outcomes or ‘expected ‘ outcomes to refocusing on the vehicle in which and from which certain less tangible and nebulous outcomes can be nurtured and recorded.



Process is the Product: Is There a Need for Measurement in Youth Work?

Author: Sean Gallagher and Tony Morgan, University of Ulster 2013

The central tenet of this article is predicated upon a belief that there is a need to link both the formal with the informal/non -formal sectors without at any point compromising the strengths of either. The analysis within this article deconstructs the ideology and philosophy behind the perceived dominance of the formal sector over the informal youth work sector. It suggests that both worlds need not collide but that they can and should work more closely together in the interest of their common denominator, the development of young peoples’ potential. 

We also contend that youth work practice is qualitatively different from teaching and schooling and that the process used in youth work identifies that difference. We also contend that the inchoate nature of the youth work profession is militating against addressing some of these complex issues that are challenging the essential essence of youth work practice.