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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service. SAM McCREADY Shaping the Future of the Youth Service 25 November 2009. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service. 1. The Challenges 2. Youth Policy 3. What is Youth Work?

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thinking seriously about the future of the youth service

THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

SAM McCREADY

Shaping the Future of the Youth Service

25 November 2009

thinking seriously about the future of the youth service2
THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

1. The Challenges

2. Youth Policy

3. What is Youth Work?

4. Distinctiveness of Youth Work

5. Characteristics and Skills of Youth Work

6. Youth Work – Complementary and Alternative

7. Participative Democracy and Social Justice

8. Planning Framework for Youth Work: A Youth Service Delivery Model

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

1. Challenges for Youth Work

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • Need to get the right Policy to enable us to do the work
  • Gain (more) Recognition from Government, Partners and “new” employer for what youth work does, how it does it and why it is done that way
  • Influence key players to ensure there is the right Structure within which youth work can flourish
  • Ensure that Resources follow to enable us to do the Work
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

2. Youth Policy

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Its Purpose

  • articulate a vision of the social contract between government, children and young people
  • identify needs and goals that underpin that social contract
  • assure there is a co-ordinated approach to tackling youth issues
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Overall Aims of a Youth Policy

  • Support young people’s active citizenship IN A DYNAMIC SOCIETY
  • Support an empowering practice approach to enable young people to grow personally, socially, economically and politically
  • Improve the quality of life for ALL young people
  • Develop a youth service fit for such purposes
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

A LEAD FROM EUROPE

Agenda 2020 – Three Grand themes (Forum 21. 2009) that European Youth Policy should address over next 12 years:

- Human Rights and Democracy

- Promotion of cultural diversity

- Social inclusion

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

We are looking for a Youth Policy Framework that aims

to

  • create those conditions necessary for learning, opportunity and experience
  • that ensures and enables young people to be

- SOCIAL ACTORS OF DEMOCRACY

- FEEL INTEGRATED INTO AND PART OF SOCIETY

- PLAYING AN ACTIVE PART IN BOTH CIVIL SOCIETY

AND LABOUR MARKET

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

In the end we want a POLICY that is

  • PRACTICAL
  • ACTIONABLE

That has

  • CLEARLY ARTICULATED GOALS
  • DESIRED MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

3. Youth Work: What is it?

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

The Youth Work Act, Ireland (2001 s3) defines youth work as:

“A planned programme of education designed for the

purpose of aiding and enhancing personal and social

development of young persons through their voluntary

involvement…which is

  • complementary to their formal, academic and

vocational education and training; and

(b) provided primarily by voluntary organisations”

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Lifelong Learning UK in its National Occupational Standards

publication stated that the key purpose of youth work is to…

“Enable young people to develop holistically, working

with them to facilitate their personal, social and

educational development, to enable them to develop

their voice, influence and place in society and to reach

their full potential.”

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

IT IS EDUCATIONAL AND CONCERNED

WITH PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

4. The Distinctiveness of the Youth Work approach

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • The non compulsory and voluntary involvement of young people who have chosen to engage
  • Youth workers value young people for who they are (now)
  • A starting point in the relationship with young people that respects that they have the/some power in that relationship
  • An approach that prioritises young people as equal citizens
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • It has a focus on young people as an individual who functions within a peer network and is set within a wider community and cultural identities
  • A view that sees young people as a resource/asset for society
  • It is founded on, and wedded to, a trust of relational and associational ways of working with young people
  • Youth Work is process and process driven
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

5. Key characteristics and skills of Youth Work

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

a. The ability to go into a young person’s environment, their communities, their neighbourhoods with sensitivity, awareness and focus

b. Engage in a critical, relational driven encounter with intentions towards constructive learning and development

c. Use of consensual and voluntaristic mechanisms to achieve objectives - dialogue, bargaining and persuasion instead of enforced compliance

d. Listening and interpreting words and behaviour of young people as individuals and groups

e. Being there

f. Providing a place of sanctuary

g. Appreciation of young people’s value and worth

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

6. Youth Work: Complementary and Alternative

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • Education
  • School Curriculum
  • Investing in Health/Health Impacts on education
  • Children and Young Person’s Strategy
  • Cohesion, Sharing and Integration (CSI)
  • Youth Justice
  • Regenerating Communities
  • Arts and Culture
  • Sports
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Education

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT PROVIDES A RANGE OF

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

A contribution to young people becoming skilled and enthusiastic lifelong learners

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • NI Schools Curriculum (2007) cites three key goals

- to empower young people to achieve and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives

- to develop a young person as a contributor to society

- to develop the young person as a contributor to the economy and environment

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • Education (Other Skills) Order August 2007

All our children and young people have learning experiences that further develop their skills in

- Thinking

- Problem solving

- Decision Making

- Self Management

- Working with Others

- Managing Information

- Being Creative

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • Department of Education – Teacher Education Partnership Handbook

At the heart of becoming a teacher is, above all else, becoming a learner – a lifelong learner. To learn one has to ask questions, of oneself and of others and to know that this process is valued and shared across the school.

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • Chief Inspector’s Report (2009) NI Executive

At the centre of all our efforts must be the raising of achievements and standards for children, young people and adult learners, at both PERSONAL and academic levels

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

As we emerge from conflict and plan for the future, the need to be a learning society is ever more important… and reduce the gap between those who benefit most… and those whose educational achievements are constrained by the poverty of social deprivation, of low aspirations and by challenges of coping with modern society

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service
  • DE Strategic Plan 2008/09

Main strategic priorities

- Enable learners to fulfil their potential

(Raising standards, equality of access & tackling the

barriers to children’s learning)

- Prepare every learner for life

(Motivating and empowering our young people to contribute positively to society, now and in the future

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Every School a Good School (April 2009)

(Every Youth Setting a Good Setting)

(Every Community a safe and learning community)

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Priorities for Youth Work as part of Education (2009)

- Committed to strengthening the position of

youth work within Education

- More effective links between youth work

and formal education

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Our Children and Young People - Our Pledge: A ten year Strategy for Children and Young People 2006-16

“We recognise there are no quick fixes and that meaningful and sustained change will take time… Change in many cases will not always be immediately realisable and will take time to effect.” (Maria Eagle 2006: Foreword)

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

There are 8 pledges governing the whole strategy and

these resonate with the historic core aims and

objectives of the Youth Service

  • Whole child approach
  • Working in partnership with other adult colleagues
  • Emphasis on preventative and early intervention practice
  • Involves children and young people in decisions which affect their lives
  • Respects the progression of the rights of the child or young person
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

7. Participative Democracy and Social Justice

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Participative Democracy and Youth Work

Participative democracy is understood to mean the involvement of young people in public decision making, about institutions’ policies and programmes

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

“Participation and active citizenship is about

having the right, the means, the space, the

opportunity and the support to participate in

and influence decisions and engage in actions

and activities so as to contribute to building a

better society.”

(Council of Europe 2003)

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

For youth workers this means we will work

to:

- assert the right of young people to participate

- create the means by which they can participate

- create the space and the opportunity and support to participate and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities to make for a better and more dynamic society

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

It is about encouraging young people to

develop critiques of structures, social justice

and social change

It is about their POLITICAL LITERACY =

Compound of “knowledge, skills and

attitudes” Crick (1998)

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

“The level of frequency of face to face

interaction between youth workers and young

people means the incentives for trusting and

co-operative behaviour are likely to get

stronger.”

(Michael Edwards 2004)

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Social Justice

“Social Justice is the fair distribution of opportunities, rewards and responsibilities in society. Principles and institutions for the distribution of meaningful social goods – income, shelter, food, health, education, and freedom to pursue individual goals.” (McLaughlin and Muncie 2001)

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

- Linked to the equality agenda

- Provides a rights based framework for youth work that

“…indicates that this approach can change

both how young people are viewed, and in

terms of how they view themselves within

power relations in society”

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

The Educational nature of youth work is characterised

by a specific value system relating to social justice and

this is what distinguishes us from other approaches to

learning.

The Youth Work focus is on LEARNING FOR ACTION

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

8.Planning Framework and Model of Delivery

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Personal and social development of young people in their social context

What is important for the youth worker is to see the young person in their social context at the heart of the work

It is our task to ensure

- Young people are heard

- Young people participate

- Young people can help build/

rebuild their communities

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Universal Services – opportunities for leisure and non-formal educational experiences for all young people

Children and Young People Ten-year Strategy (Forward) – ‘Our Children and Young People Our Pledge’

“to produce improved outcomes for ALL children and young people… this will mean the provision of high quality universal services, supported by more targeted responses for those who fare worst… (so that all our children and young people can be helped) to make positive contributions to their local communities and to society generally.”

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

In the report “A Good Childhood: Searching for Values

in a Competitive Age (Children’s Society 2009) there

are a number of recommendations

“A high quality youth centre for every 5,000 young people”

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Characteristics of this work include

  • quality activities
  • self programming groups
  • community development
  • civic participation
  • local forums
  • active peace and reconciliation groups
  • participating young people
  • young people having fun
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Outcomes

  • development of ‘thinking skills’ and personal capabilities
  • increased understanding for health and well being
  • enhanced employability
  • motivated, skilled, flexible young people
  • contributing young people
  • enhanced civic development
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Early Intervention

Support for young people who may not involve

themselves in or connect with the universal services

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Characterised by

  • Localised problem solving
  • Civic dialogue
  • Overcoming barriers to training
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Advocacy
  • Cultural exchanges
  • Collective action
  • Locating self
  • Self help
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Outcomes

- ability to reflect on, and respond to, their developing concept of self (including managing emotions and reactions to ongoing life experiences)

  • skills development
  • enhanced personal responsibility
  • consideration of others
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Prevention/Specialist - planned interventions

services

Represents support to individuals, groups of young

people, families where there are more serious

problems being presented or young people who

cannot be reached through previous levels.

The youth work intervention is planned and needs

driven

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Characteristics

  • creating safe environment
  • sign posting
  • befriending
  • counselling
  • inter-agency working
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Outcomes

- skills development

- increased self esteem

- awareness of others

- decision making skills

- recognise, assess and manage risk in a range of real- life contexts

- respond to the specific challenges and opportunities which diversity and inclusion present

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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  • Targeted Intervention Services – interventions into the lives of young people who require help at a time of acute need
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Characterised by

  • counselling
  • mentoring
  • engagement
  • personal and social development processes
  • support
  • inter-agency collaboration
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

Outcomes

  • Evaluate their own performance and that of others
  • recognise and manage risk and apply safe principles
  • reduced level of crisis
  • self help skills
  • Developing skills of self awareness, coping and learning skills
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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

“To encourage personal development, social and

political education, shaped in partnership with young

people, based on learning from experience in safe and

enjoyable environments and driven by the desire for

social justice and a participative democracy.”

(Youth Service Sectoral Partnership Group 2009)