Spring is in the air with a new edition of CONCEPT

Our friends at CONCEPT inform us that the Spring edition is now online at http://concept.lib.ed.ac.uk/Concept/. Always worth exploring.

Vol 8, No 1 (2017): Spring
Table of Contents
Articles
Feminism: A Fourth to be Reckoned With? Reviving Community Education Feminist Pedagogies in a Digital Age by Mel Aitken

Vulnerable Practice: Why We Need Honest Conversations To Make Change  by Nicky Bolland

The Challenges of Community Planning for the Community and Voluntary Sector in the Current Climate: A Road Well Travelled? by Mae Shaw

Youth And Community Based Approaches to Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls: Reflections from India by Marjorie Mayo, Deboshree Mohanta

On The Block: The Fairer Scotland Action Plan and Democracy  by Jim Crowther

Poetry

Poem: United Colours of Cumnock by Jim Monaghan

Reviews

Review: Peter McLaren, (2015) Pedagogy of Insurrection by Juha Suoranta

Review: William Davies, (2016) The Happiness Industry by Christina McMellon

MMU BA Y&C course under threat! Advice and support appreciated.

The BA [Honours] Youth and Community course at the Manchester Metropolitan University is facing a precarious future. Against this worrying backcloth Janet Batsleer, Reader in Education and Principal Lecturer, Youth and Community, writes to ask our readers the following question.

What would you design into a Community Education course for the future that builds on the learning of the past 40 years or so? Or would you just close it down?

Your replies should be sent to Janet at J.Batsleer@mmu.ac.uk and would be much appreciated.

 

20170317-_DSC1323-Edit

Tony Taylor, Jon Ord and Janet Batsleer at the IDYW conference

 

These are indeed troubled times.

Brighton Campaign Protect Youth Services video

As the campaign nears its climax a measured video narrated by Adam Muirhead, which steers clear of simply using the preventative argument. Adam will be contributing to our national conference on March 17.

FEB 23 PYS Protest – Budget Council Meeting 

Hove Town Hall
Norton Road, BN3 2 Hove – 16:00–18:00

Brighton and Hove Council make their final decision about the cuts to the youth service budget at this meeting. This is our final bid to fight for young people’s services – let’s make it a big event. Please join us, share the event and spread the word. Bring your banners and voices – Protect Youth Services!

Another Great CONCEPT, Winter 2016

concept

Our usual cordial welcome to the latest winter issue of CONCEPT, the Journal of Contemporary Community Education Practice Theory, packed as usual with interesting stuff. At this point I’ve only read Allan Clyne’s fascinating piece on the foundational relationship of Christianity to youth work. I can feel a reply coming on!

Vol 7, No 3 (2016): Winter 2016
Table of Contents

ARTICLES

A Genealogy of Youth Work’s Languages: Founders
Allan Clyne

Austere Lives: Marginalised Women Gaining a ‘Voice’ in the Former Durham Coalfields
Jo Forester

Possibilities of a Community Centred Pedagogy: A Snapshot of a Reading Project in Cape Town
Salma Ismail

Easter Rising Dublin 1916: Learning the Legacy of a Revolutionary Moment as a Subjugated Discourse in Scotland
John Player

Political Education in Scotland: A Practitioner’s Perspective
Neil Saddington

REVIEWS

Review: The Stigma of Poverty: Challenges, Interventions and Possibilities 29 September 2016
Luke Campbell

Book Review: Leona M. English and Catherine J. Irving (2015), Feminism in Community: Adult Education for Transformation
Bríd Connolly

Book Review: Akwugo Emejulu, (2015) Community Development As Micropolitics: Comparing Theories, Policies and Politics
Gary Craig

Book Review: Carol Roy (2016) Documentary Film Festivals: Transformative Learning, Community Building and Solidarity PDF
Kirsten MacLean

 

 

Renewing Collective Purpose : The D2N2 Youth Work Alliance

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

LAUNCH

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;

 
PURPOSE:

  • 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.

Covering over the cracks continued – from Youth Work to Family Well-Being

Following upon Bernard’s criticism of the CYPN ‘evolution of youth work’article, its shallow attempt to suggest that somehow the assault on youth work is not so bad really, I’m copying a revealing exchange from our Facebook page. This conversation was sparked by the following question:

family-network

Ta to dudleycypfnetwork.net

I have asked this question before, but I would like to hear again, as Lancashire moves it’s Young People’s Service and SureStart into a combined ‘Well-being, Prevention and Early Help [WBPEH] Service’. We will be case workers working with families who will be put through he Common Assessment Framework [CAF] as a condition of accessing the service. A caseload of 20 per full time post with 12 weeks to work with each family. All outcomes must meet Troubled Families Unit [TFU] criteria to pull down funding. Plus targeted group work with young people and parents in the evenings. this is what the Level 1 workers ( soon to be Grade 4 NJC) will be doing if on evening posts.
Are you working this way already?
What is the reality?
What is it like to manage workers doing this role?
What are the positives if any?
Have you been able to manage in a democratic way, given the inherently target based approach?
Can you retain the values and empathy of the youth work role?

Oh yes, and did I mention that open youth work would be minimal or non-existent? No? sorry, just assumed everyone took that as read…..

These are but some of the responses, which reflect the shifting priorities and dilemmas on the ground and the continuing integration, even disappearance of youth services/youth work. These scenarios are skated over in much of the debate about whether boundaries should or should not be blurred.

Check out Leicestershire County Council’s model. Sounds exactly the same but did this over 4/5 years ago. The merge was depressing, the youth work became very diluted. Ultimately it is social work but on a very low wage.  I now work in the voluntary sector

I’m Leicester City. We parted company with the CAF process about two years ago and moved towards an integrated early help/targeted youth support model at around the same time. Our full time workers and senior youth support workers are expected to carry a case load of Targeted Youth Support work as well as maintain delivery of open access youth provision or street based work. We’re about to enter into another ‘remodelling’ exercise which is likely to move us further along the road towards a social work lite approach to work with young people. We’re also part way through a process of closing down significant numbers of our youth centres and children centres. Indications are that the focus will be on more generic family support in the future. Crock of proverbial shit and precious little recognition of or support for any kind of critical pedagogy.

Qualification is an issue. As a Community & Youth Worker who has worked closely with Social Workers, I know enough to know that I am not a Social Worker. As mentioned above – deprofessionalisation. I have also worked with generic ‘children’s services’ – and Social Work training is not a suitable background for Informal Education or a group/community approach to intervention. Even superficial similarities can be misleading, with terminology having different assumptions & professional models behind them. I would hope to see ‘conversion’ courses – at PGC to Masters level – for people who already have appropriate Professional qualifications; but I suspect that this will not happen.

I’m in that camp, might as well get a Social Work degree and get paid 5k more. I don’t agree that youth work cannot do same job. I believe our training is better able to tackle social problems inside and outside the home. There are just different forms and approaches!! The danger is the criticism the Youth Work heard about Social Work not being present, available, being human – is that the pressure will turn our services into the same quick fix programme.

There’s no ‘community’ in our practice in Leicester City now. The community development element of our role has been sacrificed in order to free up more capacity to carry ever increasing case loads of Targeted Youth interventions! Since we moved to an early help model, we have no senior management who come from an educational background, informal or otherwise.

Sadly that mirrors the reality of many parts of the country. The first head of the combined ‘Children’s Services’ in one County seemed to enjoy going round meetings telling people the there was no such thing as a ‘Youth Service’.

Caseload of 20! That’ll last about a month. I don’t know anyone in children’s services with less than 35 and most working 40-50. The ideology is corrupt at its base and the methodology employed crap. The reason young people in these programmes and in care for that matter continue to have poorer outcomes is that those working with them are manacled to Key Performance Indicators that have a higher priority than furthering the education and options of the individual they are working with. Following procedure is the mantra, doing what is right for that young people in that place at that time has no credence whatsoever, even if it is agreed, if it’s not in the playbook it’s not allowed to happen, if it is allowed to happen it has to go through 19 layers of bureaucracy by which time the moment is lost and circumstances changed so it becomes irrelevant.

We’ve both worked for the same service for a long time – we are professionally qualified & anything under grade 7 NJC isn’t – we all have transferable skills to do the job – the question is do you want to? Caseloads, line management as a senior practitioner at grade 8 should be you target if you feel you can go forward with the WPEHS – for me it’s not just about paying the bills it vocational as I volunteered for 7 years – I love my job as a youth worker & agree with the above I never wanted to be a social worker & clearly the path to integrated social care is pending –

We still have the semblance of voluntary engagement in our service but this is becoming increasingly tenuous and I would be surprised if this survives the next round of remodelling and reviews and once this has gone, it just ain’t youth work in my view!

The only way to stop Youth Work from disintegrating is to forget informal education and go into desistance theory models. With academization the Education route is over. Youth Work is going to be a useful arm to any service, as we are the profession who knows young people best. The best chance of keeping open access Youth Work is through cosying up to the Youth Justice Board model.

Youth Justice Board don’t do it for me, rather cut loose if that’s all that’s on offer! We are still putting up a fight through my union in Leicester 😉

Quick note to say we need a post on desistance theory, which crudely is about the how young people, in this case, might be encouraged to cease being criminal or more broadly anti-social.

 

 

 

If Young people exist in community – should youth workers develop positive community approaches?

Given yesterday’s notice of the Federation of Detached Youth Work conference and its theme of ‘community’, James Ballantyne, who is going to be one of the contributors, offers some advance thoughts, adding that you deserve a medal if you make it to the end of his piece. Obviously I’ve already put in for my reward.

Detached Youthwork - Learning from the Street

In  a few weeks time im delivering a workshop at the Federation of Detached youthwork conference, the title of which I am yet to finalise, but in readiness of the conference and its theme, i have asked around a few places to get a few definitions of ‘Youth work’ as well as gather some from the resources i have to hand on my bookshelf, or recent articles.

One of the themes of the Conference is – ‘Is community back on the Agenda?’ for detached youthwork, with the brief that aspects of partnership and community work seem to be more common place in detached youthwork at present, with the reason being that it might be other agencies, such as the police, that are in effect funding it, and so there has to be a community, or at least a community agency partnership focus to the work. The question i want to ask is

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