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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.



Participation: Whats it got to do with me? Guidelines for Young People by Young People

Author: National Advisory Council for the Youth Service (NACYS) 1988

These guidelines about Participation in the Youth Service are addressed to Young People in the Youth Service and were produced by the Participation Sub-committee of the National Advisory Council for the Youth Service. Two further sets of guidelines on participation, for Youth Service practitioners and Youth Service policy-makers have also been prepared by the sub-committee.

Pavilion Out of Hours Report

Author: Steve Khaireh, Butetown Pavilion 2011

Report of a project in the Butetown area of Cardiff. The Pavilion Out of Hours Project was launched in response to a need identified by young people and practitioners working in the youth services to provide an accessible, affordable and a good quality service for young people living in the area.

The project has been developed to address the issues of anti social behaviour, substance misuse, poor nutrition, and poor access to other services. The Service aims to provide flexible educational facilities to young people within their communities to enable the best possible use of premises and resources.

Particular emphasis is placed on securing services for young people who have had the least benefit from the education system and encourages their wider participation in the Service. The project links with the objectives of local and national strategies for adolescent improvement.

Performance Appraisal

Author: Wales Youth Agency 1990s
Overview of main points of performance appraisal.

Poems about youth work: Drugs I

Author: Les Seville

Poems about youth work: Drugs II

Author: Les Seville

Poems about youth work: Drugs III

Author: Les Seville

Poems about youth work: Gun Smoke I

Author: Les Seville

Poems about youth work: Gun Smoke II

Author: Les Seville