JNC rescued from oblivion as workers accept pay settlement


CYPN reports that for now the JNC agreement remains intact, JNC saved after youth workers accept pay settlement.

Earlier this year, local government employers announced they intended to end the dedicated terms and conditions deal for youth workers, known as the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) agreement, which has been in place since 1961.

However, this week staff representatives of the JNC agreement, which consist of Unite, Unison, the National Union of Teachers, and the University and College Union, accepted an offer that will see youth workers on salaries of £17,651 and above receive a rise of one per cent from September 2016, followed by a further one per cent increase in September 2017.

The pay deal will now preserve JNC terms and conditions for youth and community workers until 2018.

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, national officer for community, youth and play workers at Unite, said saving the JNC agreement is a “significant victory” for youth and community workers.

“We believe that termination of the JNC agreement will see the marginalisation of the youth work professional qualification and the consignment of the youth work profession into the history books, so this deal represents a great outcome,” he said.

“We will continue to protect and defend the profession of youth work and the JNC.

Whilst this outcome is to be welcomed it masks a continuing tension across what we might term the youth work profession. A significant number of youth work professionals have long been on pay and conditions other than JNC. Many work in settings, where JNC is not the accepted norm. So too in the shifting economy of youth work many independent initiatives, seeking to draw on social enterprise funding streams, find it impossible to compete and survive without abandoning JNC. How do folk on the ground respond to these dilemmas? What do they make of the present situation?

The use of story-telling to look at responses to sexual abuse in Argentina


We’ve been taken aback by the global interest in our advocacy of story-telling as a  subjective, qualitative and comparable attempt to illustrate the distinctiveness of informal youth work. Indeed partial translations of our web resource, Story-Telling in Youth Work  have appeared in Russian, Kazakh and Finnish with a Japanese version in the offing.

And now Colin Brent has posted a fascinating translation of a piece by Alejandro Capriati, Researcher at CONICET/University of Buenos Aires entitled, ‘The use of story-telling to look at responses to sexual abuse in Argentina.’

Alejandro begins:

Story-telling in Youth Work is a process used by workers, tutors and students that work with young people. In England many of them are government-employed youth workers specially trained for working with young people that are not part of formal education or health services and work in open-access spaces for young people. These have few restrictions on young people’s engagement and are spaces where young people can hang out, take part in a great range of activities (radio, music, art, courses, cooking, etc.), or just do nothing. Each youth centre works in its own way, but is based on the principal of voluntary engagement, and has a focus on relationships, the building of trust between young people and workers, and personal development. From that starting point, some young people may reengage with formal education, report abuse, get support with substance misuse, etc.

There are similarities and differences in the work with young people in English youth centres and in certain projects in Argentina carried out by charities or as part of some social programmes. Looking at these comparisons has been the focus point of a collaboration with Colin Brent, a manager of a youth centre in London, with the aim of adapting our practice and sharing experiences. As part of this exchange of ideas I have taken up using the story-telling technique.

This technique can be used face-to-face in work with young people; as a resource for organisation change through staff training, supervision and monitoring; to communicate the value of youth work; and to evaluate projects. The general aim is for youth workers and their colleagues to have a clear idea of what is distinct in their practise and how this is important for the young people, using critical reflexion about methods of intervention to identify successes, challenges and inconclusive processes.

The objective is for participants to be able to critically reflect on the uniqueness of youth work through describing and analysing an example of practice, exploring the meaning of it for themselves and for the young people. Of course, the idea is to adapt the technique to each situation and context, and below I share our experience.

Continue here

The web resource also includes the Spanish original at El uso del relato de caso (story-telling) para pensar las respuestas a casos de abuso sexual en Argentina

Let’s meet locally and regionally – a new initiative


Bernard Davies and Malcolm Ball setting a date for the next meeting

Ever since our emergence we’ve wanted to encourage local and regional IDYW involvement. Indeed our revised 2014 Statement of Purpose reflected that,

Apart from London and the North-East we have been much less successful in encouraging the flowering of local and regional IDYW groups. This is a major weakness. In truth it means we are a campaign with an appreciative, but largely passive following, relying on the endeavours of a small number of activists to keep the flame burning.

And in reality the London and North-East efforts were not sustained.

However Colin Brent from the IDYW steering group has made a bid, initially on Facebook, to have a fresh crack at bringing people together.

Hi everyone, I’m thinking tentatively about organising some semi-regular seminars (once every three months?) for youth workers and other friends of IDYW to discuss issues around youth work. These would take place in London, be free and open to all and hopefully create a space for people to come together. Is there any interest in this or any ideas of themes? I would like to do one on the ethics of banning young people from youth provision. I look forward to hearing people’s views.

There has been a lively response from the South-East, Yorkshire, Liverpool, Cumbria and Dorset, where cream cakes are being offered as an incentive. However everyone recognises that making this happen, finding the time and energy, is easier said than done. With this in mind we are thinking we should explore this issue together at the IDYW conference on September 30 in Birmingham.

In the meantime Colin is organising a meeting, probably on Friday, November 18 in the metropolis, whilst Tracey Ramsey Lhu is hoping to hold a gathering on the same date in Liverpool. They will be liaising on how the two events might collaborate. More information to follow.

Thanks to Colin for the kick up the backside and to once more encourage supporters to think seriously about meeting and gathering strength from each other.

When two or three are gathered together – in coffee bar or hostelry – we render collective our criticism and resistance. Make a date with your fellow workers. You know it makes sense. (A.N. Other, 2016)

PS The Institute for Youth Work via Adam Muirhead has indicated that it is keen to collaborate in setting up/supporting local and regional meetings under whatever umbrella.



Positive Youth Justice: Children First, Offenders Second, October 20, Glasgow

Message from Steve Case, now at Loughborough University, re this event.

Would love to see some IDYW folks in Glasgow. I’d like to think that you’d approve of the message!

This reminds me that we should get our act together and organise a joint event with the Positive Youth Justice folk.


Positive Youth Justice: Children First, Offenders Second

CYCJ and the School of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Strathclyde are hosting a free seminar event ‘Positive Youth Justice: Children First, Offenders Second’ as part of the School of Social Policy and Social Work Seminar Series 2016/2017.

Featuring guest speaker Professor Stephen Case from Loughborough University, the event will commence at 4pm (for a 4.30pm start) on October 20 in the Collins Suite, Collins Building, University of Strathclyde.

If you would like to attend, please email cycj@strath.ac.uk.

Seminar abstract

The Children First, Offenders Second (CFOS) model evolves youth justice beyond its contemporary risk focus and promotes a positive, principled, progressive and practical approach to the treatment of children in the Youth Justice System.

The measurement, assessment and improvement of the risk children present to themselves and others underpins and drives contemporary youth justice processes. However, the utility of the risk paradigm has been over-stated and is incapable of sustaining the faith placed in it as the guiding principle for animating youth justice practice. Nevertheless, there is at present no consensus about what approach to youth justice should or can replace risk as the driver of policy and practice.

In his seminar, Professor Case will outline the CFOS model as a manifesto for changing the Youth Justice System – a modern, economic-normative paradigm founded on central guiding principles for positive youth justice practice – child-friendly and child-appropriate, rights-focused treatment, diversion, inclusionary prevention, participation and engagement, legitimacy, the promotion of positive behaviour and outcomes, evidence-based partnership, systems management and the responsibilisation of adults. CFOS is a blueprint for a distinctive, principled, progressive approach to working with children; one that can be adopted and adapted by local authority areas throughout England and Wales, and by other nation states across the UK, Europe and beyond.

The evolution, trajectory and practical realisation of CFOS positive youth justice will be discussed with evidence from a 20 year programme of associated reflective research in Swansea, and the emerging success of an integrated, holistic and child-friendly delivery model in Surrey.

A Collective Chance to be Self-Critical – see you in Brum on the 30th





FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 from 11.15 – 4.30


Back in April we postponed our national conference as a number of other broad initiatives were on the go. We said at the time we hoped our rearranged conference would keep the debate about the future alive and ongoing. Our themes, ‘Blurring the Boundaries?’ and ‘Re-Imagining Youth Work?’ raise questions for In Defence of Youth Work. and the youth sector as a whole.



11.15 Where is IDYW up to? What is its role?

11.30 Challenging IDYW’s perspective, ‘Thinking the Unthinkable’ – Annette Coburn [University of West Scotland] and Sinead Gormally [University of Hull] with a response from Tania de St Croix [IDYW] followed by open discussion.

12.40 Paul Fenton will share the major themes arising from the Shaping the Future events held by the Professional Association of Lecturers in YCW followed by open discussion.

1.30 Lunch – bring your own snap as per tradition or there are local shops.

2.15 Where are people working? How is youth work surviving? Kirsty Lowrie  [Aspire Arts] and Malcolm Ball [IDYW] will lead off a dialogue in small groups about the state of play on the ground.

3.45 Where do we go from here? Dependent on how the day unfolds we will have a Q&A panel session or break into local/regional groups.

Tea, coffee etc will be available.

Conference fee is a minimum of £10 waged, £5 students/unwaged.

To book a place contact Rachel@yasy.co.uk

Please circulate the flyers

idywsept30 – Word flyer

idywsept30 – pdf flyer

Identifying Risk, Building Resilience and Catching Pokémon : Call for Papers

CYWU conf.jpg

UNITE Community, Youth and Play Workers 

Identifying Risk, Building Resilience and Catching Pokémon

National Conference, Eastbourne, 19 November, 2016

Youth centres are a great place for young people to come together, make friends, mix with others from different backgrounds, participate in a range of positive activities and catch some Pokémon. But behind the façade of games and activities, the work undertaken with young people via the youth work delivery model is far more involved.

Young people voluntarily enter into a relationship with a youth worker and together explore a wide spectrum of issues, from behavioural difficulties, violence and extremism to teenage pregnancy, helping young people to develop the ability to manage difficult situations, build resilience and make appropriate life choices. Preventative work with young people, ensuring that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to stay safe and to make a positive contribution to society in adult life.

This conference will offer a range of seminars, expert panels and workshops facilitated and delivered by key professionals in the field, and the wider youth and play sector, that will identify, explore and offer new insight into some of the more complex and challenging issues that are faced by professionals in the field and by the children and young people that they work with.

Conference Themes

Papers are invited that explore and challenge current policy and practice in relation to the key themes below. All submissions will be disseminated to delegates and may be used to inform discussion and debate. There is also opportunity for these to be published in our journal, Rapport, and be made available on our website.

Papers are invited in relation to the following themes:

‘Keeping children and young people safe and building resilience.’

Resilience has become the buzz word in intervention work with children and young people but the whole notion of resilience can be a challenging concept for both policy makers and front line workers. Youth services and play services are under increasing pressure to avoid exposing children and young people to any manifestation of risk despite the obvious contradiction that in providing support to children and young people experiencing adversity, they may be insulating children from those very experiences that enable them to build resilience in the first place. We invite papers that focus on how best we can work to build resilient children and young people and in particular, how the youth work model can be used to provide the needed to respond to the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood and to navigate successfully in adulthood. We would particularly welcome papers on topics looking at children and young people’s experiences of risk practices relating to alcohol, drug-use and sexual activity; how building digital resilience is a key to keeping young people safe online and how sexualised media and social networking impacts on children and young people.

‘Will Youth Work survive in an ever changing landscape?’

The climate of austerity has resulted in major changes in the nature of youth work provision and has had a major impact on the ways in which youth workers and other service providers work with and for children and young people. We invite papers that encourage critical discussion of policy issues and practice initiatives shaped by these measures. We are particularly interested in papers that challenge dominant policy and practice conversations and which address the recent move away from the traditional focus of youth work towards the employability and skills agenda.

‘Because We’re worth it’

Youth Work is facing increasing pressure to prove its worth and youth workers are now working with young people to deliver predetermined outcomes through time-limited contact. Government cuts to budgets continue to have devastating consequences for the most marginalised and vulnerable people and on the practice of youth work. Where services do remain youth workers struggle to navigate the new terrain, whilst maintaining ethical integrity. However, throughout the history of youth and community work there is a distinct tradition of innovation and diversity with proactive and creative practitioners shaping and influencing agendas based on community needs. We invite papers that explore the context of youth work in contemporary society and offer critical reflection on aspects of youth work practice.

‘The politics of social action’

We know young people in the UK are affected by politics. Unemployment is highest among 16 to 24 year olds and the likelihood of finding a permanent, full-time job is now much lower than it was for generation X causing delays to traditional stages of adulthood; the proportion of young people over 18 living with their parents is increasing year on year and tuition fees are increasing again. Campaigns to get more young people involved in social action emerged in abundance over the past six years as a result of the focus by former PM, David Cameron and his ideas around Big Society with social action projects now found across the UK involving the youth, voluntary, business, education and faith sectors. But with social action now more commonly defined as taking practical action in the service of others, such as restoring a community property or organising a charity event, how do young people participate in the politics of those making decisions about them without them? Every issue of concern to young people is political so how do youth work professionals ensure that young people have an opportunity to change the world around them? We invite papers that explore why youth workers should be the providers of political education and how they could equip young people with a grounding in political theory, the knowledge to dissect the views put forward by their representatives and the ability to debate with them on best policy practice.

Please make submissions via email to Kerry.Jenkins@unitetheunion.org by Monday 17th October 2016.

Working with Girls and Young Women Conference: ‘Challenging Ideas of Control and Consent’ October 22



Organised by : Feminist Webs, Youth and Policy and The Empowerment People

Working with Girls and Young Women Conference: ‘Challenging Ideas of Control and Consent’

A space to debate and share good practice

We are delighted to announce that this Conference will be taking place at Hinsley Hall, Leeds in October 2016.

The conference will include a mix of plenary/presentation-style sessions, workshops and interactive events.

Conference Participants are invited to offer workshops for sharing ideas, interests and practice.

We are look for a range of people to be involved e.g. people who run girls’ groups, people who work in Universities or research youth work/ feminism/ anti-sexist work, and other people who can bring useful understanding and experiences to this topic. We are especially interested to hear from people who represent lesser-heard groups, e.g. working class women, Black and Asian women (and women from other minoritised ethnicities), women with disabilities, trans women, LGB women etc.

All women who define as women welcome. We expect all women who come along to the space to be respectful of one another.

The space if for us to explore and discuss together. We cannot promise it will always feel like a ‘safe space’, as we want it to be a place where ideas and assumptions can be discussed and challenged.

However, we have an anti-discrimination stance, and will challenge racist, homophobic, sexist or ablest sentiments; or similar actions that infringe on the human rights/safety of others.

The National Lottery Awards for All programme is part-funding this event.

There are a limited number of FREE places for those who deliver a workshop or give a presentation. Email feministwebs@yahoo.co.uk for details of how to contribute a workshop.

DRAFT programme is below:

Saturday 22nd October

10.00              Registration

11.00              Jayne Senior and Akemia Minot  –( Risky Business)

with Question  and  Answer session

12.30              Lunch – Dining Room

13.30              Workshop session 1

14.45              Coffee – Lounge

15.00           Workshops – Session 2

16.15              Coffee – Lounge

16.30              Workshops – Session 3

18.00              Evening Meal – Dining Room

19.00         ARCHIVE magical mystery tour.

.                 Girls work revisited History evening:


Saturday 23rd  October

8.30                Breakfast – Dining Room

9.15                Panel: Where is the girls work and where will it be in the future? –  what do young women want from it?

10.45              Coffee

11.15              Workshops – Session 4

13.00              Network/ Lunch – Dining Room

14.00              Head home

Saturday, 22 October 2016 at 10:00 – Sunday, 23 October 2016 at 14:00 (BST)

Hinsley Hall – 62 Headingley Lane, , LS6 2BX – View Map