• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Youth Work Practice showcases the value of professional work with young people as it is practiced in diverse forms in locations around the world. The editors have brought together an international team of contributors who reflect the wide range of approaches that identify as youth work, and the even wider range of approaches that identify variously as community work or community development work with young people, youth programmes, and work with young people within care, development and (informal) education frameworks. The Handbook is structured to explore histories, current practice and future directions: Part One: 'Youth Work' and Approaches to Professional Work with Young People Part Two: Professional Work With Young People: Projects and Practices to Inspire Part Three: Values and Ethics in Work with Young People Part Four: Current Challenges and Hopes for the Future

Looking Over Our Shoulders: Youth Work and its History
Looking Over Our Shoulders: Youth Work and its History
Tony Jeffs

To remain ignorant of what has been transacted in former times is to remain always a child. (Cicero)


Words and concepts have their own histories. Precision regarding the appearance of a ‘marque’ such as ‘youth work’ is seldom readily to hand. Definitive answers may elude us but even partial ones are helpful. For example, these can help us demarcate youth work’s borders, thereby gaining a grasp of where it, as an entity, begins and ends. Youth work is not a walled well-manicured garden. The fences are ramshackle and intermittent; the borders porous with neighbouring welfare and educational professions who work with young people ...

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