What is Youth Work?


Janet Batsleer, Bernard Davies & Keith Popple

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    Notes on the Contributors

    Janet Batsleer is Head of Youth and Community Work at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is a member of the Secretariat of the Youth and Community Work Training Agencies Group, taking a lead role in the Benchmarking process. She is the Training Agencies Group representative on the Education and Training Standards Committee of the National Youth Agency.

    Bernard Davies has been a teacher, youth worker, youth officer and tutor on courses for teachers, social workers and youth workers and is now an independent consultant focusing on youth work and youth policies. He is visiting professor at Leicester De Montfort University and a trustee of the Muslim Youth Work Foundation and 42nd Street, a young people's mental health resource in Manchester. His publications include a three-volume History of the Youth Service in England and Youth work: A manifesto for the times.

    Wendy Podd has been involved in Youth and Community Work for over 14 years. Research interests include youth policy, regeneration and participation. Wendy is currently a full-time postgraduate student at the University of Sunderland conducting reaching into: Local Authorities, Young People, Public Decision Making and Service Delivery in the North East of England.

    Annette Coburn lectures in Community Education at the University of Strathclyde. She is co-director of the Scottish Centre for Youth Work Studies and co-editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Youth Work. She has worked at local, national and international levels to advance positive practices, policies and more recently research in work with young people.

    Michael Whelan has gained an international perspective on the development of services for young people through his experience of working as a qualified youth worker in the Republic of Ireland, Australia and the UK. His experience in the UK has been primarily within statutory sector youth services; however, he is a strong advocate for the voluntary sector and is currently a trustee with one of the largest nation voluntary sector providers of support to homeless young people. In 2008 Michael began a three year PhD research project, researching the issue of ‘street violence amongst young men in London’.

    Rajesh Patel is a senior lecturer in youth and community work at Liverpool JMU where he has developed a module entitled Creativity and Learning in Partnership. He has over 25 years' experience of delivering and managing projects working with the arts/digital media for young people in youth and community work and also in schools, particularly with BME communities. He is currently undertaking a PhD on reflective practice and difference/identity. He is also a board member of CAPE UK, a voluntary organisation which advocates nationally and internationally for creativity in education.

    Emily Wood is currently a Youth Work Manager for Merton Council, a director of the Brighton Youth Centre and an active trustee of the Charlotte Miller Art Project. Particularly passionate about working with young people using the creative arts she spent a year delivering therapeutic arts workshops with street-affected children in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and teaching arts education in Santiago, Chile. A qualified youth worker, she completed her MA in Applied Anthropology, Community & Youth Work at Goldsmiths University.

    Raj Lehal is a professionally qualified youth worker who has acquired a wealth of experience over 25 years of involvement with youth work. He has worked directly with young people and managed youth work in a range of settings and contexts including building based and detached youth work in an inner city and semi-rural county. He currently works in a rural county as youth service manager. He recently gained an MA in Community Education.

    Momodou Sallah is a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University. He has over 15 years' experience working with young people at the local, national and international levels. He has published in the field of work with black young people and his research interests include diversity, participation and globalisation. Momodou teaches the globalisation/global youth work modules on DMU's BA and MA in Youth Work and Community Development programmes.

    Ali Hanbury has over eight years' experience working in public health, statutory youth services and third sector projects, working with survivors of abuse, young offenders and LGBT young people. She is currently the Education Outreach Coordinator for Brook in Manchester.

    Amelia Lee has been a youth worker for eight years and currently works at ICA: UK (The Institute of Cultural Affairs) as the youth participation programme manager as well as part-time for Manchester Youth Service. She also helps with co-ordinating the Feminist Webs project in the North West.

    Kalbir Shukra is based at Goldsmiths, University of London as a Community and Youth Work Lecturer in the Dept of Professional and Community Education and in the Centre for Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement. Previous work includes a book published by Pluto Press entitled The Changing Pattern of Black Politics in Britain.

    Tania de St Croix has been involved in youth, community and play work since 1993. She is currently a detached youth worker in Hackney, East London. She is involved in networks including the Federation for Detached Youth Work, In Defence of Youth Work and the Critically Chatting Collective.

    Foreword from the Series Editors

    Youth work and community work has a long, rich and diverse history that spans three centuries. The development of youth work extends from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century with the emergence of voluntary groups and the serried ranks of the UK's many uniformed youth organisations, through to modern youth club work, youth project work and informal education. Youth work remains in the early twenty-first century a mixture of voluntary effort and paid and state sponsored activity.

    Community work also had its beginnings in voluntary activity. Some of this activity was in the form of ‘rescuing the poor’, whilst community action developed as a response to oppressive circumstances and was based on the idea of self-help. In the second half of the twentieth century the state financed a good deal of local authority and government sponsored community and regeneration work and now there are multi-various community action projects and campaigns.

    Today there are thousands of people involved in youth work and community work both in paid positions and in voluntary roles. However, the activity is undergoing significant change. National Occupation Standards and a new academic benchmarking statement have recently been introduced and soon all youth and community workers undertaking qualifying courses and who successfully graduate will do so with an honours degree.

    Empowering Youth and Community Work Practice is a series of texts primarily aimed at students on youth and community work courses. However, more experienced practitioners from a wide range of fields will find these books useful because they offer effective ways of integrating theory, knowledge and practice. Written by experienced lecturers, practitioners and policy commentators each title covers core aspects of what is needed to be an effective practitioner and will address key competences for professional JNC recognition as a youth and community worker. The books use case studies, activities and references to the latest government initiatives to help readers learn and develop their theoretical understanding and practice. This series then will provide invaluable support to anyone studying or practising in the field of youth and community work as well as a number of other related fields.

    Janet BatsleerManchester Metropolitan UniversityKeith PoppleLondon South Bank University


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