• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What does it mean to practice youth work ethically? How does ethical theory relate to the youth work profession? What are the moral dilemmas confronting youth workers today, and how should practitioners respond? Youth Work Ethics examines these questions and more and should be on the reading lists of all youth work trainees and practitioners. A wide range of topics are covered, including: confidentiality; sexual propriety; dependence and empowerment; equity of provision; interprofessional working; managing dual relationships; working across cultures; working within an agency.


The intention of this book is to engage in a conversation about the core ethics of youth work as a profession. It isn't the first conversation about this: for youth workers, the ethical dimension is never far from the surface (Young 2006, Sapin 2009). All the things that youth work claims to do and to be for young people are about the ethics of the situation. Social justice is an ethical requirement. Empowerment is an ethical project. Inclusion is ethically driven. Poverty, homelessness, violence, destructive drug use, dispossession … these aren't technical problems, awaiting the skill and resource to fix them. They are deeply moral issues. To use that most unfashionable of words, their continued existence, and the structures that maintain them, are wrong. ...

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