A childrens’ services (lead) youth work professional?

I wrote a while back about the confusion when it comes to the words “children” and “youth” and the different and conflicting definitions being applied, particularly when policy and general conversation are using the terms differently. (Article here)
However, new layers of confusion also arise with terms given to those who work with children/youth/young people. There already exists some fluidity in what constitutes a ‘youth worker’ but this could get even more complex in the whole arena of integrated childrens services/work force with anyone who does some work with young people being seen as a youth worker. All good in some ways but it starts to neuter the value/skills of those who are skilled in youth work (be they volunteer or employed) as opposed to delivering a specific service in one arena of work with young people.
There is a current proposal that fully qualified youth workers should be known as “youth work professionals” (CYPN report from Ross Watson April 20th 2010) to maintain a recognition of the skills and training of a JNC youth worker as opposed to someone who is working with young people (‘children’ in policy speak) but in a specific role.
We of course have further work to be done on what Youth ministry means in terms of the role it has and the skill set it requires from both voluntary and employed workers.
So, in summary: Reading the policies and practices and in this changing landscape there is a great deal of emphasis on working with young people BUT in any given circumstance there may be a great deal of confusion about the age group that is being worked with AND by whom and on what basis.
I am setting up Of-Confused as the monitoring body

One Reply to “A childrens’ services (lead) youth work professional?”

  1. This nonsense has come around time and again, and is fuelled by nothing other than youth workers own sense of inadequacy, their inability to be happy with indefinition or a hypernouminous condition.
    The simple reality of this debate is the failure of state (and church) to afford youth workers a secure and durable state of professionality, which has left them constatntly dangling subject to the whim of poltical fancies and societal needs and thereby trying to intellectually justify their professional status.
    The last nail in the coffin was ‘Transforming Youth Work’ which essentially told youth workers how wonderful they were but how they were doing it all wrong and needed to do it differently. Sadly on the back of its slavering promises of reesources and influence the profession went with it and signed its own death knell.

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