Cuts to youth services ‘will lead to poverty and crime,’ – exaggerated and unhelpful rhetoric?


Following upon a piece in the Daily Mirror, ‘British youths betrayed by  £259m cuts as experts warn a time-bomb of struggling youngsters, the Independent continues in a similar populist and  exaggerated vein with ‘Cuts to youth services will lead to ‘poverty and crime’.

Both these articles are a response to the publication this week of UNISON’s report, ‘The Damage’.  In the Independent several interviewed IDYW stalwarts attempt to paint a broader picture, but struggle to counter a preventative rationale for youth work that has become increasingly dominant in recent decades, not least amongst the profession itself. Backed into a corner we make claims that assist those, who wish to define us as youth social workers or indeed latter-day careers officers.

The cuts disproportionately hurt those from poorer backgrounds, as a youth officer can help with career advice and guide them to apprenticeships.

Later today we will post a piece by Bernard Davies, written just before these newspaper articles appeared, that affirms youth work as a distinctive practice of informal education.

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