The SAGE Handbook of Youth Work Practice


Edited by: Pam Alldred, Fin Cullen, Kathy Edwards & Dana Fusco

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Approaches to Youth Work Across Time and Place

    Part II: Professional Work with Young People: Projects and Practices to Inspire

    Part III: Values and Ethics in Work with Young People

    Part IV: Current Challenges, Future Possibilities

  • Copyright

    Editorial Advisory Board

    Professor Michael Baizerman, University of Minnesota, USA

    Dr Janet Batsleer, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

    Professor Judith Bessant, RMIT, Australia

    Dr Simon Bradford, Hungary

    Professor Maurice Devlin, Maynooth University, Ireland

    Professor Tony Jeffs, Durham University, UK

    Terri-Ann Gilbert-Roberts, University of the West Indies

    Dr Michael Heathfield, Harold Washington College, Chicago, USA

    Susan Matloff-Nieves, Deputy Executive Director, Goddard Riverside Community Center, New York, NY, USA

    Reverend Dr Sally Nash, MCYM, UK

    Wolfgang Vachon, Humber College, Toronto, Canada

    Tom Wylie, Consultant, Ex-Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency, UK

    Notes on the Editor and Contributors

    The Editors

    Pam Alldred is Reader in Education and Youth Studies in the Social Work Division at Brunel University London, UK. From 2012 to 2016 she was Director of the Centre for Youth Work Studies which had delivered Youth & Community Worker education for thirty years. Pam taught there for its final ten years. Her own formation was through critical psychology and cultural, psychosocial, then childhood studies. She has researched sexualities education, teenage motherhood, home-school relations, lesbian parenting and the notion of fitness to parent, focusing in each case on how policy is negotiated by those whose lives it governs. She has led two large international projects on gender-related or sexual violence with European Union co-funding and recently published Sociology and the New Materialism (with N.J. Fox, Sage, 2016). She has edited special issues of Sex Education, Sociological Research Online and many issues of Feminist Review and been a member of four book collectives on feminist methods and critiques of psychology. Pam and Fin co-convened the Sexualities Special Interest Group of the British Educational Research Association and together have researched student carers and supervised many youth and community work research projects. She brought the editorial group together on the strength of her collaborations with Fin and knowing Dana and Kathy through their work.

    Fin Cullen is Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Science at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK. She is a qualified Youth & Community Worker and has worked in practice settings across the UK for over fifteen years. For eight years she was involved in youth work education as part of the Centre for Youth Work Studies, Brunel University, UK. Her research and practice interests focus on drugs education, sex and relationship education, youth policy and sexuality and gender. She has long been involved in the work of the Gender and Education Association and was previously involved in the UK arm of the EU-Daphne co-funded project developing training to help educators challenge gender-related violence ( Fin has published in Gender and Education, Pedagogy, Culture and Society, Girlhood Studies and Sex Education, amongst others. In recent years, she has co-edited a collection with Simon Bradford on research methods for practitioners (2011) and a special issue on the theme of youth policy in austerity Europe (2013).

    Kathy Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Youth Work at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, where she teaches subjects related to youth sociology, professional ethics, policy studies and social action. Her research background is in women’s studies and political sociology and for the past 15 years she has researched in youth studies, her introduction to this being when she was involved in an Australian Research Council funded project that considered young people’s attitudes to politics and voting. Kathy has published extensively in the areas of youth participation, civic engagement, civic education, social inclusion and government policies in respect to these. Her research focuses on the nexus between policy and young people’s lives. Current research interests include the effects of globalisation on young people and on developing forms of youth work practices that take ‘southern perspectives’ into account. She has co-edited a collection of research papers on youth participation and published widely in Youth Studies Australia, the Journal of Youth Studies and Sociological Research Online, amongst other journals. She is on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Youth Studies.

    Dana Fusco has worked in the fields of education and youth work for over 25 years as a practitioner, college teacher and researcher. She has served as editor and author for several major works in the area of youth work, including Youth and Inequality in Education: Global Actions in Youth Work (2016); a special issue of Child & Youth Services entitled ‘Professionalisation Deconstructed: Implications for the Field of Youth Work’ (2013); and Advancing Youth Work: Current Trends, Critical Questions (2012). She served as the Howland Endowed Chair in Youth Development Leadership at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development during the 2012–2013 academic year, during which time she studied the professional education of youth workers in the United States. Dr Fusco brings to this project an array of skills as a writer, researcher and educator and a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field of youth work both within the continental US as well as globally.

    The Contributors

    Björn Andersson has a PhD in Social Work and Associate Professor at the Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Björn is a trained social worker and has been working in detached youth work and community work. He has for many years taught university courses in social pedagogy, community work and youth work. Björn has written extensively on outreach approaches in social work and current research projects include issues around young people’s participation in society and social sustainability in urban planning.

    Helen Bartlett is a youth worker based in Brighton & Hove. Having developed her practice in a community development setting, she is now working in a busy youth centre. Helen has a background in informal education, international youth exchanges and conflict transformation work and has interests in class, poverty, feminism and queer politics.

    Janet Batsleer works at Manchester Metropolitan University in the Faculty of Education, as Reader in Education and Principal Lecturer in Youth and Community Work. She has written and published extensively on youth work/girls work/community work from a critical and feminist anti-racist perspective. Current research collaborations include: ‘The Loneliness Project’ – a UK study, using creative methods to explore young people’s experience of loneliness – and Partispace ( – a study of young people’s participation practices in eight European cities. In her chapter she draws on work more fully developed in Youth Working with Girls and Young Women in Community Settings: A Feminist Perspective (London Ashgate Arena, 2013).

    Fiona Beals currently works as a senior staff member on the Bachelor of Youth Development in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has research interests in critical pedagogy, the sociology of youth and performances of edgework. Her recent publications have explored the whakapapa of youth development knowledge and the impact of that knowledge on current practices and policies in colonised spaces such as those in the Pacific. Fiona has a PhD in Education from Victoria University of Wellington. Outside of research, Fiona enjoys doing grassroots youth work in her local community of Wainuiomata in the Wellington region. She also sits as a governing board member to the youth sector’s peak body Ara Taiohi.

    Brian Belton is a senior tutor at the YMCA George Williams College, London. Coming from an East London/Gypsy family, Brian played a leading role in the youth gang life of that area in the late 1960s/early 1970s. However, with the help of a couple of tough but fair coppers he entered youth work as a volunteer and part-time practitioner in the docklands of the late 1970s. While working in youth-work-related situations around the world, including Israel, the Falkland Islands, Germany, the USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, Zambia, South Africa, China and Canada, Brian’s interest in identity and ethnicity flourished and today he is an internationally recognised authority on Gypsy ethnicity and the rights of Roma in Europe, having written widely and delivering papers on that subject, most recently in the USA, Austria, Greece, Sweden and Slovenia, as well as around the UK. He has recently concluded a three-year research programme focusing on the social exclusion of Roma with partners in Spain, Germany and Turkey. Having just completed baseline research into youth work in 35 nations (as lead writer) and a 3 year project developing detached youth work in Malta, Romania and Holland, Brian is embarking on research into and development of Roma led youth work responses with a number of agencies in the European context.

    Judith Bessant is Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. She has taught, researched and published in policy studies, sociology, politics, youth studies, media and history. She has designed higher education curricula in universities and developed secondary school curricula for the state government. Judith has worked in various governance, policy and advisory positions in universities and with various national and international governments and non-government organisations. Her recent books include The Precarious Generation: A Political Economy of Young People, with Rys Farthing and Rob Watts (Routledge, 2017) and The Great Transformation, History for a Techno-Human Future (Routledge, 2018).

    Simon Bradford is Associate Reader in Social Science in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Brunel University London. His main research interests lie in social policy initiatives that affect young people and communities, the history and organisation of professional work in the public services (particularly education services) and aspects of youth culture. He is the author, with Fin Cullen, of Research and Research Methods for Youth Practitioners (Routledge, 2012) and Sociology, Youth and Youth Work Practice (Palgrave, 2012). Simon Bradford lives in Kecskemét, Hungary.

    Gregory Brender is Co-director of Policy & Advocacy at United Neighborhood Houses – New York City’s federation of settlement houses. In this role, Gregory works with settlement house leaders and programme participants, including youth, to advocate for community-based services such as early childhood education and after-school programmes. He has written about ways to strengthen neighbourhood-based services and led campaigns to expand access to community programmes. Prior to UNH, Gregory worked as an aide to New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick and then Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. He lives in Astoria, Queens.

    Graham Bright is Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies and Youth and Community Work at York St John University, UK. His PhD with Durham University explores youth workers’ life and practice narratives. Graham is editor of Youth Work: Histories, Policy and Contexts (Palgrave, 2015) and co-editor, with Carole Pugh, of Youth Work: Global Futures (Sense, forthcoming). His practice continues to support work in the voluntary and faith sectors.

    Steph Brocken is a part-time doctoral student at the University of Chester. She is engaged in research around Youth Theatre, its political context and the way in which it develops young people socially, personally and politically. She combines her studies with work as a freelance drama practitioner, arts manager and consultant. Since 2009 she has run her own arts organisation, Minerva Arts, based in Chester. She also works for Peshkar, a National Portfolio arts organisation based in Oldham and consults for Curious Minds and CapeUK.

    Katie Byrne worked as a research assistant on the state-funded project on youth and gang violence intervention that is the subject of this chapter while completing her Masters in Community Development and Planning at Clark University. She graduated from Clark in 2016 and now works with the Department of Youth Services as a local coordinator for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

    Stephen Case is Professor of Criminology in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, having previously been an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Swansea University. His primary research interests are youth justice, youth crime prevention and social justice, particularly the promotion of positive, children-first ways of working with children embroiled in the youth justice system. He has published in a range of international journals and conducted research for the Youth Justice Board, Home Office and Welsh Government.

    Kodzo Chapman is a multi-skilled NGO Management and Technical Support Consultant with hands-on social and child protection expertise, having worked in partnership with the UNHCR, Ghana. Kodzo is a member of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and an effective communicator whose professional life has, however, centred on human rights, social justice and equity, as well as gender and development. He worked as a Programme Manager for Gender-Based Violence with the American Refugee Committee in Bong County, Liberia. In partnership with a Canadian popular educator, Marion Thomson, he developed the Young People’s Human Rights Project which became Young People’s Experience for Change – YPEC.

    Philippa Collin is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. She researches children and young people’s use of digital media, participation and citizenship and their relationship to health and well-being. She has worked extensively with youth and allied services, including as Managing Director, Research and Policy at online youth mental health initiative From 2011–2016 she was a Research Program Leader with the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre working with hundreds of young people, professionals, advocates and policy makers looking at the role of digital technologies for the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Philippa is the author of Young Citizens and Political Participation in a Digital Society: Addressing the Democratic Disconnect (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and co-author of Young People in Digital Society: Control Shift (with Amanda Third, Rosalyn Black and Lucas Walsh, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

    Paula Connaughton is Lecturer in Community Development and Youth Work at the University of Bolton. She has many years of experience working in the field of community development, community education and youth work. She is a Secretariat member of the Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work and Editorial member of the Youth & Policy Journal. She is also actively involved in Defence of Youth Work and is a trustee member of a local voluntary organisation.

    Susan Cooper is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Science at the University of St Mark & St John, England. She has over thirty years’ experience in youth work, as a practitioner, a manager and for the past ten years as course leader for Youth & Community Work at the University. She completed her doctoral studies in the field of participatory evaluation in 2011 and has conducted several evaluations of youth work. Her research interests focus on enabling young people, community members and practitioners to engage meaningfully with evaluation processes. She is currently co-ordinating a European research project using transformative evaluation to demonstrate the impact of youth work. Her publications include ‘Putting Collective Reflective Dialogue at the Heart of the Evaluation Process’ (Reflective Practice Journal), ‘Transformative Evaluation: Organisational Learning through Participative Practice’ (The Learning Organization Journal) and Participatory Evaluation in Youth and Community Work (Routledge, 2018).

    Trudi Cooper is Associate Professor of Youth Work at Edith Cowan University, Australia, where she is Director of the Social Program Innovation Research and Evaluation (SPIRE) group and leads the youth work programme, in addition to teaching postgraduate research. Her research includes youth work education, youth work theory and programme evaluation. In 2016, she became an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow. Previously, in 2010–2014, she led a national project to harmonise and renew the Australian youth work curriculum. Before her academic career, she was a youth and community worker in Lancashire in the UK and has also been a play-worker. She has taught at the University of Lancaster, and at institutions that became the University of Cumbria and the University of Central Lancashire.

    Jen Couch is Senior Lecturer in Youth Work at the Australian Catholic University (ACU). She has established a national reputation for her work in the area of young refugees and resettlement and has recently completed the first longitudinal ethnographic study of homelessness amongst refugee young people. Before beginning at ACU, she worked extensively in the youth and international development sector in Australia and South Asia including India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Thailand. Jen has worked with, and on behalf of, young people in the areas of refugee settlement, displacement, homelessness, rights and participation, torture and trauma, and capacity building. Jen was the Director of the Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies. More recently Jen has been teaching youth work to Burmese refugees and migrants on the Thai/Burma border. Jen’s current work is focused on youth work in conflict zones, decolonising youth work practice and embedding Southern Theory into youth work pedagogy.

    Tania de St Croix has been a youth and community worker for over two decades, and in recent years has combined practice with research and teaching in youth work, education policy and child studies. She is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Youth and Childhood at King’s College London. Her book, Grassroots Youth Work: Policy, Passion and Resistance in Practice was published in 2016 by Policy Press. She is actively involved in ‘In Defence of Youth Work’ and volunteers with a small youth workers’ co-operative in East London, Voice of Youth.

    Kate D’Arcy has been working in education for many years as a youth worker, teacher and researcher. Kate’s working practice has always been situated in the margins of education, supporting a variety of vulnerable and often disengaged children, young people and communities in a variety of settings. She is committed to equality and diversity and continues to work to promote an agenda for change for marginalised individuals and groups. She has a particular interest and expertise in exploring race and ethnicity and ensuring the active participation of marginalised children, young people and adults in research. Kate joined the University of Bedfordshire in October 2010 to undertake teaching about equality and diversity. She has led on numerous projects which have an agenda to improve social justice and circumstances for marginalised groups, including children and young people.

    Bernard Davies is a qualified and experienced youth worker who has also worked as a local authority youth officer and as a lecturer and tutor on full-time youth work, teaching and social work qualifying courses. He has been a trustee of a number of voluntary organisations and until 2015 was a director of the National Coalition for Independent Action. Currently he is active in In Defence of Youth Work, including facilitating its youth work story-telling workshops. His publications include a three-volume History of the Youth Service in England and Youth Work: A Manifesto for Our Times – Revisited.

    Ronnie Djupsund works as the head of the youth department in Kokkola, Finland. His expertise lies in the field of non-formal education. Djupsund, together with the youth department and Finnish Youth Research Network, has developed the first process-based curriculum of youth work in Finland. He was one of the writers of the book Why Is There Youth Work?, published in Finnish in 2015. As the head of the youth department, Djupsund is responsible for several projects, including outreach youth work and preventing exclusion and dropout in education. As a youth director and the president of the board of Youth Centre, Villa Elba he collaborates with numerous organisations related to education, guidance and counselling.

    Leo Fieldgrass is CEO of the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic). As a youth worker and policy advocate, his work in the UK and Australia has covered diverse themes, including youth participation, civic engagement, flexible education, sexual health, alcohol and other drugs, financial inclusion and music technology.

    Peter-Clinton Foaese currently works for the New Zealand Office of the Children’s Commissioner as a community and young person’s engagement specialist. He is dedicated to supporting marginalised young people and their families to find and use their voice to transform their situations. He also works as a youth worker with ‘Whakaoho’ and ‘Pacific All Stars’ – initiatives created and led by youth with family and community. Through his role as an Executive Council member in ASPBAE he has observed and experienced youth development practice throughout Asia and the Pacific.

    Ellen Foley is Associate Professor of International Development and Social Change at Clark University. She is trained as a medical anthropologist and she has been conducting action research on youth violence intervention programmes since 2006. Her other research examines health disparities and access to sexual and reproductive health care in West Africa.

    Jennifer Fuqua is a former youth worker and author of ‘The Curtain Rises’ (After School Matters, 2008). She recently completed a doctorate at the University of Delaware in Urban Affairs and Public Policy and teaches in the Organizational and Community Leadership Program at UD. Her research interests are Positive Youth Development systems, non-profit management and the role of arts in youth programmes.

    David Giles is Professor of Educational Leadership and Management in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, South Australia. After teaching in primary and secondary schools, David began teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in educational leadership, teacher education and higher education. He has taught in four universities within New Zealand and Australia and currently teaches educational leadership in China. David’s research interests focus on the phenomenological nature of relationships in education, curriculum, pedagogy, leadership and organisational culture. To this end, he employs Appreciative Inquiry, as a strengths-based lens on current praxis, alongside Hermeneutic Phenomenology, as a means of researching the essence of students’, teachers’ and leaders’ everyday lived experiences.

    Pauline Grace is Senior Lecturer and MA Programme Leader of Youth and Community Work at Newman University and Chief Editor of the International Journal of Open Youth Work. With over 28 years of face-to-face youth work experience in the UK, she is a founding member of the Professional Open Youth Work in Europe group and actively involved in In Defence of Youth Work. Her research interests include challenging the neoliberal in everyday life, feminism, reflective practice and international youth work.

    Anu Gretschel works as Senior Researcher in the Finnish Youth Research Network. Her research career started in 1996 in youth centres where young people were offered the possibility to develop their living environment. Her doctoral thesis about the participatory methods used was published in 2002 in the University of Jyväskylä. Interests in youth participation, youth work, action research and evaluation have taken her to a variety of contexts from the local to the national and the European level. Publications with several co-authors include ‘Municipalities of Children and Young People’, ‘Whose Arena is the EU Youth Policy?’ and ‘Youth Centre as Enabling Near Community’. She recently led a research process called ‘Network-based Development of Youth Work Statistics and Key Characteristics’. Currently, she is developing methods to evaluate quality and impact in different kinds of youth work processes.

    Angel Guzman is the Director of Outreach at Straight Ahead Ministries. Angel is a skilled trainer in topics such as Juvenile Delinquency and its Contributing Factors; Engaging High-Risk Youth: Transformational Approaches; and Juvenile Justice Institutional Ministry Models. He sits on the Worcester Police-Clergy Partnership and the Worcester Re-entry Initiative.

    Ken Harland is a Consultant, Trainer and Researcher in youth work practice specialising in the development of innovative approaches to work with boys and young men. For 20 years Ken lectured in Community Youth Work at Ulster University where he was also co-founder and ­co-director of the Centre for Young Men’s Studies. His research areas include masculinities, violence, educational attainment and youth work in contested societies.

    Peter Hart completed his doctoral research, titled ‘An Ethnographic Study of Ethical Practices in Relationships Between Young People and Youth Workers’ at Durham University and is now a research fellow in character education, researching the subject through English Literature curricula at the University of Leeds. His practice experience includes faith-based and statutory settings.

    Kieron Hatton has previously worked as a community worker and social worker, where his focus was on preventative work with young people entering the criminal justice system. Since 1992 he has been employed at the University of Portsmouth. He was Head/Professional Lead for Social Work between 2004 and 2013. He is currently Principal Lecturer in Social Work and Social Care. He has written extensively around social pedagogy, social work, community development and youth work. His current research interests include the reintegration of school-excluded young people through engagement with a Third Sector project, social pedagogy and service user/carer involvement in social and community work.

    Bethany Hayden is an undergraduate student in Christian Theology at York St John University, UK, where she was employed on the ‘Students as Researchers’ programme. Bethany previously spent time working with a Christian youth work charity and continues to volunteer with a local church.

    Jo Heslop is Lecturer in Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University College London. Jo teaches on issues related to gender, health promotion and research methodologies in developing country contexts. Her research interests are gender violence, sexuality and young people in developing country contexts and using mixed methods and participatory research. She has worked on several multi-country projects aiming to better understand and address gender inequalities and violence experienced by young people in and around schools. These have involved partnerships with NGOs and governments internationally and in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and Jo is interested in the research-policy-practice interface and better understand how change happens. She recently co-authored A Rigorous Review of Global Research Evidence on Policy and Practice on School-related Gender-based Violence, published by UNICEF.

    Frances Howard is a doctoral researcher from the University of Nottingham’s School of Education. She has worked previously in local authorities, arts education and youth work. For her PhD research she is undertaking an ethnographic study of ‘dis-engaged’ young people’s experience of the Arts Award programme within three youth project settings.

    Tony Jeffs was until recently a full-time member of staff within the Department of Applied Social Sciences, University of Durham (England) where for a number of years he was Head of the Community and Youth Work Unit. Although now retired, he continues to teach part-time at Durham University on post-graduate programmes. He also teaches part-time on a post-graduate programme at the University of Bolton (England). The founding editor of the journal Youth and Policy, he remains an active member of their Editorial Board. Youth and Policy since 2017 has been an open-access and online journal.

    Helen M.F. Jones is Director of Graduate Education at the University of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK. She teaches on undergraduate (BA) and postgraduate (MA) youth and community work courses. Her work includes supervising PhD, EdD and MA research students. She has been a trustee of The Youth Association (originally Leeds Association of Girls’ Clubs) for many years and has published several articles concerning aspects of the organisation’s century-long history and also their ongoing work. Currently she is working on an evaluation of the Association’s work with Roma Slovak young people. She lives with two cats who conspire to hinder her progress.

    Daniel Jupp Kina currently undertaking a PhD degree at University of Dundee, and is also a qualified Social Psychologist with over 12 years experience in community development in favelas in São Paulo, Brazil. This includes five years working and managing an interdisciplinary child protection team dealing with complex and serious reports of abuse. He has also had three years’ experience on a trustee board and as a board of directors’ member for three human rights organisations in Brazil and the UK. He has specialist practice and research knowledge of participatory and inclusive practice working in challenging environments. The combination of professional expertise and experience as a qualitative researcher brings an in-depth understanding of subjective vulnerabilities. His recent work is on interdisciplinary applied research, utilising action research to develop studies embedded in praxis.

    Richard Kennedy is Senior Lecturer in Education at De Montfort University, specialising in social justice, race, social class and critical consciousness. He is currently studying for a PhD at De Montfort University, examining the educational experiences of black young people in predominantly white areas. Richard was previously a Youth and Community development worker for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire County Council, with over twenty years’ experience of working with disadvantaged groups in non-formal settings.

    Tomi Kiilakoski is Senior Researcher in the Finnish Youth Research Network and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampere. His areas of expertise include youth work, youth participation, educational policy, school violence and its prevention, school as a societal institution, cultural philosophy and critical pedagogy. He has written numerous books and articles in Finnish, English, German, Russian and Turkish. He engages actively in promoting participation and developing youth work at the local and state levels in Finland. He devotes his leisure time to family life and his ambition to be an amateur folk musician, playing guitar, mandolin and glockenspiel.

    Viljami Kinnunen has twenty years of practical experience in working with youngsters, ten years of which as a youth worker. He also has a pretty annoying tendency to ask why. He has been a project manager in charge of developing an authentic youth work curriculum for Kokkola and other towns in Finland. During his professional career he has worked in multiple projects dealing mainly with well-being, peer dynamics, employability and motivation. He is a co-author of the book Why is There Youth Work?, published in Finnish in 2015, and the author of articles on the nature and meaning of youth work.

    Girish Lala is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. His research interests include identity and online interaction and technological mediation of social cohesion and social change. Girish’s current work explores using new ­communications technologies to create innovative methodologies and interventions to facilitate young people’s health and well-being.

    Heather L. Lawford is Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Bishop’s University and an Adjunct Professor of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University, specialising in Social Developmental Psychology in youth and adolescence and the Co-Director of Research at the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement. She received her doctorate in Psychology from Concordia University. Her major research interests and the focus of her publications, include moral behaviour, development of concern for future generations and narrative identity formation.

    Miguel Lopez is a Lieutenant in the Worcester Police Department (USA); the highest ranking Latino police officer in the department. Miguel has spent much of his 23-year career in the gang unit and his work has focused on gang prevention, youth programme development and evaluation and juvenile court diversion. Through these initiatives Miguel is working with community partners and city leaders to shape a city-wide youth violence reduction plan.

    Wendy Luttrell is Professor of Urban Education, Sociology and Critical Social Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of two award-winning books on this topic, Schoolsmart and Motherwise: Working-Class Women’s Identity and Schooling (1997) and Pregnant Bodies, Fertile Minds: Gender, Race and the Schooling of Pregnant Teens (2003) and is also the editor of Qualitative Educational Research: Readings on Reflexive Methodology and Transformative Practice (2010). Her visual longitudinal project, Children Framing Childhoods and Looking Back, examines the role that gender, race and immigrant status play in how diverse young people growing up in working-class communities portray their social and emotional worlds through photography and video. Throughout her career, Luttrell has directed community-based, university and teacher inquiry projects that are dedicated to advancing social justice in and around schools and that promote innovative research and teaching practices.

    Tim McConnell is a trans-masculine person with lived experience of mental health issues, substance misuse and trauma. They have previously worked as a peer support worker and substance abuse counsellor at a youth residential addiction treatment facility in New Brunswick, and as a community outreach worker and workshop facilitator with several agencies in Toronto. They write extensively on trans accessibility, institutional cisgenderism and Insidious Trauma, and have presented their work at Grounding Trauma 2014 and the Canadian Conference on Child and Youth Care. Tim is a project coordinator with Pieces to Pathways, a peer-led initiative creating Canada’s first substance use support programme for LGBTTQQ2SIA youth aged 16 to 29 years old in Toronto. Tim recently compiled a zine on trans and gender non-­conforming experiences of sexual violence.

    Catherine McNamara is Pro-Dean and Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). She is a Reader in Applied Theatre, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teaches on various undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Central as well as supervising at Doctorate level. Catherine is one of the co-founders and Directors of Gendered Intelligence, an organisation engaged in encouraging the cultural shift needed to develop a more intelligent approach to gender and sexuality across society as a whole. Catherine’s recent projects include ‘TransActing’, a project that nurtures trans talent by facilitating performer training masterclasses for trans and/or non-binary actors and connects those actors with industry professionals.

    Susan Matloff-Nieves is a youth and community worker who has created and implemented programmes for over thirty years. Currently Deputy Executive Director of Youth and Aging at Goddard Riverside Community Center in New York City, she has a commitment to developing programmes that are responsive to youth and community voice. She is interested in integrating research, theory and practice and has previously presented and published on the intersection of social justice and youth work, preparing girls to confront gender bias in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and staff development.

    Eliz McArdle is Lecturer in Community Youth Work at Ulster University. Eliz has worked in partnership with Susan Morgan for over 15 years focused on maintaining and developing work with young women in Northern Ireland. Eliz worked as Team Leader for the Equality Work with Young Women team in YouthAction Northern Ireland (previously the Gender Equality Unit) and co-created ‘Gender-conscious work with young people’ advocating the use of gender-conscious approaches in youth work settings. Her research interests are in feminist youth work; gender and mental health; how youth work processes can impact on peace-building in Northern Ireland.

    Martini Miller is a youth worker and experiential educator from Aotearoa New Zealand. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Wellington Institute of Technology in Wellington, New Zealand and has been involved within the New Zealand youth work sector for over seven years. As an indigenous youth worker, Martini identifies strongly with the South Island based Māori tribe of Ngai Tahu and strives to incorporate indigenous perspectives into all aspects of his practice. Martini is currently studying towards a Masters in Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights in Berlin, Germany. His academic interests include traditional child-rearing practices, post-colonial hybridity and children’s rights perspectives within an Aotearoa New Zealand context.

    Susan Morgan is Lecturer in Community Youth Work at Ulster University. Susan has worked in partnership with Eliz McArdle for over 15 years focused on maintaining and developing work with young women in Northern Ireland. Susan is co-creator of ‘The Gender Lens Model’ outlining perspectives and methodologies in gender-conscious practice. Morgan and McArdle have recorded a local chronicle of feminist youth work, entitled ‘Long walk from the door: A history of work with girls and young women in Northern Ireland since 1969.’ Her research interests are in feminist youth work; gender and formal education; and widening access to further and higher education for under-represented groups.

    Rachel Morris is Lecturer in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York. As a criminologist, her research interests focus on the relationship between youth justice policy and practice and the criminal careers of young people. She also teaches undergraduate students, focusing on criminal justice, youth justice and prisons. She is the Executive Secretary of the British Society of Criminology.

    Adam Muirhead has been a youth worker since 2002, specialising in detached and community development methodologies. Having professionally qualified in 2010, he currently works as a Projects Manager for a community development charity in Brighton, UK, overseeing the organisation’s work with young people. Adam also lectures on the Youth Work degree course at the University of Brighton and is the Chair of the Institute for Youth Work, the professional association for youth workers in England.

    Roshni K. Nuggehalli is Executive Director at Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), a non-profit organisation in India that works on issues of urbanisation, urban poverty and the right to the city. YUVA facilitates people’s organisations towards their empowerment and conducts research and advocacy on issues of housing, livelihood, children and youth. Roshni’s interests include youth and child rights, migration, informal labour and gender justice. She has published on themes of urbanisation, children’s participation, youth work and governance.

    Mike Ogunnusi is interested in transformative pedagogies that explore and promote solutions for peace in our communities by bringing together youth work, critical peace education and public engagement. Michael offers university-, school- and community-based learning, workshops and project management with young people, practitioners and educators across the UK and internationally. His background includes lecturing, social work, community development, research, civil rights work and police monitoring. Michael continues to deliver youth work and peace education and is currently a PhD student at De Montfort University using Photovoice to investigate how young people understand peace through youth-led advocacy and public engagement.

    Rajesh Patel is currently Senior Lecturer in Youth and Community Work at Manchester Metropolitan University. He was a practitioner and youth work manager in the North of England for over twenty years, with interests including working with BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities, youth and community arts and international exchange work. In his academic career he has continued to develop work on reflective practice – the subject of his PhD (2015); the use of visual methods; arts-informed research methodologies; creativity and partnership work in education settings; and, most recently, youth work in hospitals, with assistance from the UK health-based youth workers’ support group.

    Helen Perkins was born in Essex, England and moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005. Helen has worked with young people for twenty years in England and Aotearoa in a variety of projects that have included alternative education, youth justice support, outdoor activities, community-based youth work, detached youth projects, youth courses and establishing a number of pilot projects. Helen currently works for a community organisation coordinating programmes based in South and West Auckland supporting parents and delivering a programme for young mums. Helen lives in West Auckland with her two young daughters after spending a few years living and working in Christchurch in the South Island. Helen is interested in research concerning informal education, changing behaviour and community development work. She is interested in further study of Tikanga Māori (Māori customs and ways) and in postgraduate research concerning informal education, changing behaviour and community development work.

    Egbert Pinero has been in youth work for ten years and is currently an outreach worker on Worcester’s Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (in the USA). He was an outreach worker and case manager at the Worcester Youth Center prior to his work on the Byrne programme. He has developed a speciality in utilising social media in targeted street outreach strategies.

    Steve Pullano is Director of Education, Employment and Outreach at Queens Community House (USA) where he founded a unique programme that conducts street outreach among young people. A junior high school teacher in public schools for many decades, he has worked to create a nexus between traditional education modalities and youth work. He has mentored youth workers and teachers and has learned and developed a myriad of methodologies to engage young people, particularly those who have developed a distrust of adult institutions.

    Marisa Ragonese is a PhD candidate in the field of social welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center and Silberman School of Social Work, where she is working on a dissertation exploring the reproduction of gender inequity among teens at the intersection of the aggression commonly known as bullying and sexual harassment. A long-time feminist activist and advocate with and on behalf of girls and LGBT youth, she opened and ran the first and only drop-in centre for LGBTQ youth in her native Queens, NYC. Currently she serves as Director of the Westchester County Youth Councils. She is also a research fellow at QuERI, the Queering Education Research Institute of the LGBT Social Science Center and Policy Institute at Roosevelt House, Hunter College, CUNY. She lives in Yorktown, NY with her partner and their daughter, Holly.

    Heather L. Ramey is Professor in the School of Social and Community Service at the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, an adjunct professor of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University and the Co-Director of Research at the Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement. She received her doctorate in lifespan development psychology from Brock University. She began her working life as a child and youth worker and has worked in a variety of roles in direct work with youth, including youth-adult partnerships. Her research has focused on youth engagement and youth community mobilisation and the bidirectional relationships between youth and larger contexts, including organisations and communities.

    Victoria Restler is Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Master’s Program in Youth Development at Rhode Island College. Since 2002 she has worked in schools, juvenile justice facilities, galleries, neighbourhoods and non-profits to address social justice issues through participatory art-making. Victoria received her PhD in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2017. Her multimodal dissertation explores the visual culture of teacher evaluation by zooming in on the images and experiences of educators grappling with new evaluation policies. She was awarded the 2018 AERA Outstanding Dissertation Award in Arts-Based Educational Research.

    Laurie Ross is Associate Professor of Community Development and Planning at Clark University (USA). She is also Director of the Youth Work Practice professional certificate programme at Clark. She engages in community-based action research projects on topics such as youth and gang violence, youth and young adult homelessness and youth worker professional education.

    Jennifer Safford-Farquharson serves as the Outreach Coordinator/Community Resource Liaison focusing on creating, maintaining and supporting a collective approach to outreach work, which includes training, organising, advocating and managing. This work falls under her broader work as Youth & Gang Violence Initiatives Projects Coordinator for Clark University (USA) where she also works as Adjunct Faculty.

    Momodou Sallah is Reader in Globalisation and Global Youth Work at the Social Work, Youth and Community Division, De Montfort University, UK. He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Global Hands, which is an INGO operating in The Gambia and the UK. In June 2013, he was named a National Teaching Fellow by the UK Higher Education Academy. In November 2015, he was named the ‘Most Innovative Teacher’ in the UK in the Times Higher Education Awards. He has more than twenty years’ experience working with young people at the local, national and international levels; from being the Youth Director of The Gambia Red Cross Society to a Senior Youth Worker at the Leicester City Council, UK. Dr Sallah has numerous publications in the fields of working with black young people and young Muslims and globalisation/global youth work. His research interests include diversity, participation and globalisation, especially in relation to young people.

    Natalie Sargent is a passionate youth worker, with vast experience working alongside youth in a variety of contexts. She graduated from Wellington Institute of Technology with her Bachelor of Youth Development in 2016. Her drive for positive outcomes for youth has led her to engage in further study focusing on youth development, whilst continuing to work in the New Zealand youth sector.

    Alastair Scott-McKinley is Lecturer in Community Youth Work at Ulster University. He has practitioner experience in a range of youth work settings, including youth justice, political education, community relations work and centre-based youth work. He has written on curriculum use in youth work and is currently researching epistemic culture amongst youth work professionals.

    Howard Sercombe is a youth work academic and practitioner. He has been a pioneer internationally in thinking about professional ethics for youth workers and was involved in drafting codes of ethics for youth work associations across Australia and in Scotland, England, South Africa, Zambia and New Zealand. His book, Youth Work Ethics was the first text on the subject by a major publisher (other than edited collections) and has been widely influential. He has also published widely on the sociology of youth, including the construction of youth in the media and the emerging influence of neuroscience. He is currently honorary Professor of Education at the University of Glasgow.

    Ismail Shaafee came to Australia to study youth work in 2008. He has a Diploma in Youth Work (Holmesglen TAFE), a B.Soc.Sci (Youth Work) and a B.Arts (International Studies) (Hons) from RMIT University. His honours dissertation, for which he was awarded a distinction, considered the international transfer of youth work knowledge. In 2014 Ismail moved back to his home, in Male, the Maldives, to take up the position of Senior Youth Officer in the Ministry for Youth and Sports. In this capacity, he managed Youth Centres across the Maldives and designed and facilitated programmes for these, while also being involved in reviewing the existing Youth Department framework and developing and drafting the Youth Bill. Aside from his official work, in his free time, Ismail loves to help young people in activities such as finding work or accessing health care.

    Nicola Sim is a PhD candidate with Tate and the University of Nottingham. Her work investigates partnerships between visual arts organisations and the youth sector, using a Tate-led programme called Circuit as the context for her ethnographic study. Nicola was formerly Curator, Public Programmes at Whitechapel Gallery and a freelancer in the Youth and Adult Programmes at Tate Britain.

    Hans Skott-Myhre is Professor in the Social Work and Human Services Department at Kennesaw State University. He is cross-appointed to the graduate programme in psychology at the University of West Georgia and holds appointments at Brock University and the University of Victoria. He is the author of Youth and Subculture as Creative Force: Creating New Spaces for Radical Youth Work and co-editor with Chris Richardson of Habitus of the Hood, co-editor with Kiaras Gharabaghi and Mark Krueger of With Children and Youth, as well as co-editor with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Kathleen Skott-Myhre of Youth Work, Early Education and Psychology: Liminal Encounters.

    Kathleen Skott-Myhre is Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of Social Sciences at the University of West Georgia. She is the author of Feminist Spirituality under Capitalism: Witches, Fairies and Nomads as well as the co-author of Writing the Family: Women, Auto-ethnography, and Family Work. She is co-editor with V. Pacini-Ketchabaw and H.A. Skott-Myhre of Youth work, Early Education and Psychology: Liminal Encounters. She has published multiple articles, reviews and book chapters.

    Joshua Spier is Research Associate in the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work at Flinders University, Australia. He has practised in community development, music and education for over 17 years across a variety of contexts, including youth work, local government and the international development, relief and advocacy sector. He has taught community development, sociology and youth studies as a lecturer within various tertiary programmes. Joshua’s doctoral research crafted a hermeneutic phenomenological analysis of Australian educators’ everyday experiences of teaching pre-service youth workers in university contexts. His recent book conveys the findings from this study: Heidegger and the Lived Experience of Being a University Educator (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Joshua’s current research agenda seeks to advance equity and ethical practice within higher education, community development, health and human services.

    Helmut Steinkellner’s perspective on youth work practice is informed by almost two decades of experience in the field of ‘Streetwork’, where he has undertaken both direct-work and management roles. Helmut is a long-standing member of the international Streetworkers network, ‘Dynamo International’ and has fulfilled a variety of roles within numerous European Union youth programs. Through his practice roles and his involvement in various international networks Helmut proactively lobbies for the rights of the child and has a particular interest in the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Helmut is currently completing a Masters in Political Education at Danube University Krems.

    Tony Taylor is the coordinator of In Defence of Youth Work, having been previously a youth worker, trainer, community education adviser, chief youth officer and lecturer. Throughout his career he has been a prominent trade union activist. He has written extensively on such subjects as anti-sexist practice with young men and the relation of class politics to youth work. Most recently he has focused on the illusions of the outcomes-led agenda, speaking to this theme in Europe and Australia.

    Paul Thomas is Professor of Youth and Policy at the University of Huddersfield, UK and a professionally qualified youth and community worker. Paul’s research focuses on how multiculturalist policies such as Community Cohesion and Prevent have been mediated and implemented by local policy-makers and practitioners (particularly youth workers) and experienced by youth and their communities. It has led to the books Youth, Multiculturalism and Community Cohesion (Palgrave, 2011) and Responding to the Threat of Violent Extremism – Failing to Prevent (Bloomsbury, 2012), as well as journal articles. Paul has recently researched the barriers faced by young adults in different communities when it comes to sharing concerns with authorities regarding someone close to them having an involvement in violent extremism and also how the ‘Prevent legal duty’ has been understood and implemented by schools and colleges in England.

    Roma Thomas is Research Fellow at the Institute of Applied Social Research (IASR) at the University of Bedfordshire. She joined the International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking in IASR in 2013. She is Course Coordinator for a Masters in International Social Work and Social Development and her teaching interests include adolescence, gender, research methods and academic skills. Her research interests include family support, social work, young masculinities and emotional methodologies. Her past research work includes a range of projects with children, families and practitioners. Roma is currently completing her doctoral studies, focusing on young masculinities, at the University of Sussex.

    Naomi Thompson is Lecturer in Youth and Community work at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has previously worked at Middlesex University, YMCA George Williams College and The Open University and she has a professional background in local authority youth work. Her research specialisms include young people, youth work, crime and religion. She edits for the online journal, Youth and Policy. Her research monograph on Young People and Church since 1900 was published by Routledge in 2017.

    Marion Thomson has extensive experience in developing and facilitating education programmes with youth and community workers, community organisations, unions, social housing tenants and staff. This work has focused on such areas as equity and human rights, community and international development, popular education, children’s rights, barriers to educational success, gender, oral history, participatory research and evaluation. These innovative programmes were developed for various continental contexts in urban and rural communities in Canada, the UK and Ghana, West Africa. The latter programme is the focus of our chapter drawing on Marion’s experience working in partnership with Kodzo Chapman and YPEC using arts-based methods and popular theatre. She has worked extensively with young people and children of all ages and believes in the transformative power of critical and participatory approaches to education and youth work. Marion has a Masters and a PhD in Education with a special interest in critical youth work, equity and social justice, popular education and arts-based education, qualitative research and social history.

    Jo Trelfa is the Head of Academic Professional Development at the University of Winchester, UK, supporting lecturers in their teaching and facilitation of undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of degree programmes, including work with children and young people. Prior to this she was senior lecturer in youth and community work programmes for 20 years, having worked for 12 years as a youth worker, community worker and psychotherapist in the UK and Middle East, and on projects in South America and the Caribbean, with individuals, groups and communities around issues of abuse, violence, mental health and being well. The anchor of her work has always been the process leading to decisions that she/professionals make, referred to as reflective practice. This became the focus of her teaching and research. She is in the final stages of a part-time PhD and has a number of papers published in this area, more recently in Japan where she has supported an initiative to establish reflective practice as part of university programmes there. She is the full-time mother to a wonderful daughter and enjoys living near the sea.

    Wolfgang Vachon has been working with children and youth as an advocate, ally, artist and educator for close to three decades. Community arts practice has informed his work with diverse young people including those who are street involved, homeless, LGBTQ+, survivors of trauma and in detention as well as state care. Wolfgang is a full-time faculty member in the Child and Youth Care programmes at Humber College in Toronto, Canada and is the host of CYC Podcast: Discussions on Child and Youth Care (

    Ron Waddell is Director of Aftercare at Straight Ahead Ministries. He has been continuously involved in serving disadvantaged youth. His commitment to young people resulted in him leaving his high-paying job as a project manager to focus on his passion for young adults. He also recently founded the Finding Cain Fatherhood Initiative, which has a mission to maximise the potential of fathers, spiritually, socially, economically and psychologically.

    Candice T. Wallace is an avid Child Protection Advocate, International Development Consultant and Certified Mediator. Her expertise is centred on the research, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of social policies, programmes and projects. She has a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters in Children, Youth and International Development. She has a strong blend of experience in child and youth development, restorative and juvenile justice, judicial reform, conflict resolution, human rights and gender equality. She is the President and Founder of RISE – a Child Protection Foundation and co-founder of XDA, a youth organisation that uses dance as a medium to empower at-risk youth. Candice has contributed to several policies and programmes and the development of procedures, protocols and standards to enhance child well-being in Trinidad and Tobago. She has also worked with organisations and communities in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the UK strengthening child protection systems, building monitoring and evaluation capacities and designing community-based approaches to address gender-based violence.

    Rob Watts is Professor of Social Policy at RMIT University. Rob teaches in policy studies, criminology, ethics and good practice, the history of ideas and applied human rights. He was a founding member of the Greens Party in Victoria, a founding editor of the journal Just Policy and he established the Australian Center for Human Rights Education at RMIT in 2008. His books include The Foundations of the National Welfare State (1987), Arguing About the Australian Welfare State (with M. Considine and P. Beilharz) (1992), International Criminology: A Critical Introduction (with J. Bessant and R. Hil) (2009), Sociology Australia (3rd edition, with J. Bessant) (2007) and Talking Policy: Australian Social Policy (with J. Bessant, T. Dalton and P. Smyth) (2007). His States of Violence and the Civilising Process: On Criminology and State Crime was published in 2016 and Public Universities, Managerialism and the Value of Higher Education in 2017.

    Michael Whelan’s professional background is in youth work where he 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. In 2008 he completed his PhD research project, which focused on researching the issue of ‘street violence amongst young men in London’. Public space, social geography, youth violence and detached youth work are all important themes within Michael’s work and this is reflected in his professional practice background, his research and publication interests and his teaching focus with higher education.

    Tanya Wiggins has twenty years’ experience as an educator, during which she has supported youth through middle school instruction, professional development, non-profit leadership and higher education. Tanya currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Foundations and Adolescent Education in the School of Education at Pace University. Her research interests seek to bridge the worlds of research and practice by exploring the ways in which young people create their own forms of social capital in support of educational achievement, as well as examining the role of community-based youth organisations as educational spaces.

    Mark Wood has worked with young people for thirty years in Europe, the UK, USA and New Zealand. He has trained youth workers in both the UK and New Zealand. He is a published author, having written a guide to working with young men for the UK charity UKYouth. He has many years’ experience in group work and individual work with young people, their families and communities. He is passionate about youth development and its ability to make services more responsive to young people’s needs.

    Dan Woodman is the TR Ashworth Associate Professor in Sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is President (2017–18) of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) and also Vice-President for Oceania of the Research Committee for the Sociology of Youth (RC 34) within the International Sociological Association. His work focuses on the sociology of young adulthood and generations, social change and the impact of insecure work and variable employment patterns on people’s relationships. His recent books include Youth and Generation (with Johanna Wyn, Sage) and the four-volume collection Youth and Young Adulthood (with Andy Furlong, Routledge) and the edited collection Youth Cultures, Transitions, and Generations: Bridging the Gap in Youth Research (with Andy Bennett, Palgrave).

    Johanna Wyn is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, FASSA, FAcSS, at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She leads the Life Patterns longitudinal study of two cohorts of Australians and her research focuses on the impact of social change on young people’s lives, with particular reference to the relationships between education and work, and gender and well-being. Recent books include Youth and Generation (with Dan Woodman, Sage), Handbook of Children and Youth Studies (with Helen Cahill, Springer) and Youth and Society (4th edition, with Rob White and Brady Robards, Oxford University Press).

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