The Institute for Youth Work goes live, but who is on stream?

The Institute has been launched and has its own dedicated web site at IYW.  Here you will find details re membership, the code of ethics, continuous professional development and its raison d’etre.

Simon Skidmore, who alerted us to the web site’s appearance, commented on our Facebook page,

I’m aware of the mixed opinions about the IYW that have been posted on the IDYW pages and it will be interesting to see if this new professional body for youth work in England will in future years make us richer or poorer in terms of defending what’s in the best interests of youth workers, youth work practice and young people?


This has led to a flurry of exchanges, ambivalent and negative from individuals. On the organisational front The Scout Association and CHYPS have come out strongly in favour, whilst CYWU/UNITE remain very cautious.

For my part I’ve noted,

 IDYW responses have continued to be agnostic. The NYA has still ducked a question we have consistently posed. In order to have a chance of surviving/developing the Institute will have to embrace youth social work, youth justice, school inclusion etc – imposed, targeted forms of work with young people. In this sense this is an Institute for Work with Young People not an Institute for Youth Work as we define it. Dana Fusco’s question from across the waters is pertinent. She comments,’ odd time to start a professional organization AFTER the loss of so many jobs? Are they trying to SAVE the profession or co-opt it?’  In my opinion they are seeking to save us from ourselves by redefining what we mean by youth work. Significant is the demand that would-be members must sign up to a Code of Ethics. This raises all manner of issues, which is why we are holding a Politics and Ethics event in Birmingham on November 5.


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