Further to yesterday’s piece celebrating Nottinghamshire’s defence of open youth work, find below a report on the launch of a Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire Youth Work Alliance, which outlines powerfully its collective sense of purpose and identity.
Is this a useful template for others in the struggle to renew a tradition of cooperation and solidarity within our work? It would be interesting to hear the views of the youth work trade unions and the Institute for Youth Work. I believe the D2N2 Alliance is making a contribution to the Unite national conference in Eastbourne on Saturday, November 19. My own initial response is that we should encourage further serious discussion about the wider possibilities of this important development.
D2N2 Youth Work Alliance is a forum of professional Youth and Community Workers who contribute to the support and development of young people in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The methods, approaches, values and principles are in line with those set out through academic and evidence based practice.
On the 15th October 2016 we held the Launch event at Derby University, the programme of workshops was developed and facilitated by a group of young people to over 70 attendees, including Youth Workers from both Statutory, Third and Voluntary Sector Organisations and Elected Members.
The three workshops (Youth Work Past, Youth Work Present & Youth Work Future) led to plenary session to ratify the Alliance’s future programme of work;
- To promote and youth work as a distinct and effective educational approach to engaging and intervening with young people.
- To encourage the growth of open access youth work outside of the school day and targeted Youth Work with small group or individuals.
- To positively influence the professional training and development of both Youth Workers and Youth Support Workers.
- To advise on the quality assurance and inspection of youth work practice across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
- To promote of cross border cooperation and efficiencies on aspects of youth work including; policy & practice, curriculum, quality assurance and workforce development.
Eligibility for Membership of the Alliance is set out below.
This is to maintain the professional status of Youth and Community Workers. Membership recognises the diversity of the youth work sector; hence includes those that work with young people, who engage on a voluntary basis, in public, private and third sector (including faith-based) organisations. The work may be paid or unpaid and includes face-to-face workers, youth work managers and educators. It recognises those practitioners that may have an interest in community development, with young people at the heart of their interests. All members must subscribe to the Code of Ethics.
Membership is open to anyone who;
- Holds an enhanced DBS check
- Contributes to the development of young people in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
- Supports and does not contravene the code of principles and ethics of professional youth and community work.
Membership will include the following benefits:
- Quarterly forum meetings to discuss current issues, debates and professional practice
- A forum to raise issues, concerns or challenges that require challenge in decision making arenas
- Membership of a collective voice which enables collective action for social change in the interest of young people and their communities
- Ability to contribute to maintain the professional standards of youth and community work
- Invitation to free CPD events
- An online portal to share news within the field, opportunities, best practice and resources for effective youth and community work.
Fees: This is free
D2N2YWA believes that Youth work enables young people to develop holistically, working with them to facilitate their personal, social and educational development, to enable them to develop their voice, influence and place in society and to reach their full potential. It is characterised by:
- Positive relationships based on mutual respect.
- An informal educational process starting from their current unique experience based on voluntary participation, harnessing the unique learning opportunities of working in groups.
- Planned opportunities, activities, experiences and interventions based on an informal curriculum, co-created through the young person and the professional.
- Providing information, advice, support and guidance on the many complex needs young people face, in all areas of their lives.
- Preparing young people to make a positive contribution to society in adult life, based on the principles of empathy, equality and social justice.
- A diverse professional sector with a clear value base and National Occupational Standards to support young people through their adolescent phase of life.
Whilst youth work skills are applied in a variety of settings and contexts, which are welcomed, youth work is not:
- Formal vocational or academic education or training.
- Social control directed by outcomes driven by social care, education or youth justice professionals.