I’m not at all convinced by Patrick Ambrose’s historical perspective in this blog,
For most of the 20th Century, and a good part of the 21st, the forces acting upon the provision of Youth and Community services, and lots of other services, both statutory and voluntary, have been developmental or centrifugal in nature. They have, on the whole, involved growth and expansion; diversification; experimentation and the adoption of new strategies and modes of delivery. Because funding was fairly stable and well spread, organisations were not afraid of taking risks or spending money on new ventures. Training was delivered on the assumption that the world would need brand new, shiny, happy, qualified youth workers to deliver a wide range of interventions and services in a wide range of settings for a long time into the future. People talked to each other and visited each other (I think we used to call it cross-fertilisation).
Life within youth work has been more topsy-turvy than that description allows. Indeed the neo-liberal forces acting upon provision in the 21st century have been intent on turning youth work as a collective endeavour upside down. However it’s good to see the Youth Work Unit at Yorkshire and Humber engaging with the issue of where the youth sector is heading by organising the following event.
On 22nd September, in Central Leeds, we will be discussing the lack of leadership in the Youth Sector and looking for solutions. Should be an interesting day: