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THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

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  1. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service SAM McCREADY Shaping the Future of the Youth Service 25 November 2009

  2. 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

  3. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 1. Challenges for Youth Work

  4. 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

  5. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 2. Youth Policy

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 3. Youth Work: What is it?

  12. 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”

  13. 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.”

  14. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service IT IS EDUCATIONAL AND CONCERNED WITH PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

  15. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 4. The Distinctiveness of the Youth Work approach

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 5. Key characteristics and skills of Youth Work

  19. 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

  20. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 6. Youth Work: Complementary and Alternative

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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)

  30. 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

  31. 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)

  32. 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

  33. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 7. Participative Democracy and Social Justice

  34. 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

  35. 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)

  36. 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

  37. 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)

  38. 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)

  39. 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)

  40. 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”

  41. 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

  42. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service 8.Planning Framework and Model of Delivery

  43. THINKING SERIOUSLY ABOUT … The Future of the Youth Service

  44. 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

  45. 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.”

  46. 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”

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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

  50. 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