Slimmed down youth work, with scary times ahead


In the latest contribution to our Is Youth Work Dead series, we hear an honest appraisal of the situation in a county in England, ending with a call for action.

Please keep the submissions coming, either commenting below or emailing them to And don’t forget to add your local open access provision to our mapping exercise.

Youth Work is not dead where I am working but it has lost a lot weight and feels slightly feverish.

I am from a service that is a quarter of the size it was 8 years ago. We are now a targeted service which sits within Children’s services. We have thresholds and criteria for the young people we work with. The work we do though is undeniably youth work. Young people lead, direct and choose the work we do.
We still have a few sessions a week that young people can just walk into. These are in ‘targeted’ areas or issued based projects. We recognise the benefit of being able use the fluidity between targeted 121 and group projects.
I feel that is there is still a fight to be had, that youth work can be saved. I feel positive that in my area youth work is still being delivered by dedicated and enthusiastic youth workers. I am still a very proud youth worker.
However we are small and if we are very unlucky it will not take much for us to disappear without anyone really noticing. As well as past cuts we also have cuts happening now. and it is really scary. We have to be proactive about proving the value of youth work.

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