Threatening Youth Work : The Illusion of Outcomes – Part One : The Seminars


Over the summer we organised two Critically Engaging seminars focused on the implications of the outcomes-led approach for youth work, one in Bolton, t’other in Wigan. There is no truth in the wicked suggestion that both were held in the North-West to make sure at least some of the audience were familiar with Tony Taylor’s Lancastrian drawl!

On both occasions a challenging critical discussion followed his contribution, ‘Threatening Youth Work : The Illusion of Outcomes’. As a result Tony agreed to draw together his thoughts in some sort of written piece. In the end these are appearing in the form of an interview, which we hope will capture your attention and interest. This will be posted over this coming weekend.

In the meantime here are some quotes from people, who attended the seminars.

“Good to have a discussion about outcomes-based practice that doesn’t assume that it’s the only way to go!”; “particularly valued the critique of Young Foundation framework, which to my mind hasn’t been scrutinized enough”.

“Really enjoyed IDYW talk with Tony Taylor.  Just loved the democratic process of sharing experiences.  We shared our stories of outcomes-based practice, moaned and groaned about what is happening to youth work, but then we left feeling confident to challenge and change what we are doing, when we can”.

“My knowledge of the Young Foundation Framework is better and I have a much better understanding of what youth work really is, rather what we are told it should be by managers and policy initiatives”

“Loads to think about – what struck me most was that we don’t have these debates at  work. Why?

“I found the event helped me to understand further the conflict between outcomes and youth work values. It also provided a safe environment for me to begin networking with other youth workers”

“I found the lecture which Tony Taylor delivered on outcomes very useful. It gave me the opportunity to critically reflect on outcomes used in Youth Work and begin to understand what relevance they have in the Youth sector if at all. I came away from the lecture believing passionately that we as workers must stick up for Youth Work as a process, educating the wider public on its core principles and values. The lecture also gave me the opportunity to sit alongside other professionals from the sector and debate the subject of outcomes”

Our thanks to everyone, who participated and in particular to Paula Connaughton in Bolton and Debi Shaw in Wigan for their hospitality.

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