Evidencing Outcomes : A Warm Welcome to new TAG web site

TAG

The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work – still affectionately known as TAG from a previous incarnation as the Training Agencies Group – has a new smart web site. In drawing this to your attention I’ve pinched a succinct and pertinent blog on the continuing controversy around evidencing youth work. The piece also publicises the following TAG event.

Day Conference – Monday, March 30th 2015

“Perspectives on Evidence in Youth and Community Work”

Monday 30th March, 12.30-5.00pm at the Royal Society of Arts, John Adam Street, London

The Association is collaborating with the Centre for Youth Impact in a conference at the Royal Society of Arts on the nature of evidence of impact in youth and community work practice. The conference is designed as both a debate on perspectives on ‘evidence-based practice’ and a consultation for Association Members to engage with the role Higher Education has in influencing the current policy agenda. The Centre for Youth Impact will be gathering responses from the day with a view to informing their development plan with the Cabinet Office and the Association will carry forward themes for further consultation at its national residential conference at Brathay in June (25th-27th) 2015.

The conference fee is £49.00 for Members and £69.00 for non-members. You can read more details, book your space, and pay on line using the Associations Eventbrite page or request an invoice is sent to your institution

Tickets are available here.

Evidencing outcomes

So, my son came home from school today and said “NCS rang me up. Do I need to go?” As a fit, healthy 15 year old, who is heavily into leadership activities at school, debating competitions and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, my response was, “No, I don’t think so”. 

Interesting that the Cabinet Office is tweeting today about how participating in the NCS ‘boosts wellbeing for the young people who participate’. Something I guess, that those of us who have been involved in NCS-like activities since the 70’s & 80’s could have told them, but more interesting is how they choose to show it on www.gov.uk website (https://coanalysis.blog.gov.uk/2015/02/10/national-citizen-service-whats-the-impact/).

The links in the tweet lead eventually to http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/impact# where there is a paragraph about measuring the impact of participation in NCS of young people, focusing amongst others on confidence, compassion and capability. Interesting how youth work as a discipline was criticised for not being able to articulate this type of outcome by the 2012 Education Select Committee process, and yet NCS haven’t been able to find another way to evidence skills and qualities that we know are key outcomes of contact with youth work and youth workers. The results shown prompt further questions such as ‘how is confidence or compassion defined?’ or ‘how are these terms applied?’.

So what’s the difference? Perhaps our day conference on March 30th on Perspectives on Evidence in Youth and Community Work may help us to understand why NCS is able to ‘evidence’ confidence and yet it’s not seen as viable if a youth worker does.

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