Is the tide turning? A workshop template to help you be involved


Suggested session format for discussion workshops based on the paper:
Is the tide turning? Policy proposals for youth work: A discussion paper.
In Defence of Youth Work, Summer 2017

In Defence of Youth Work created the ‘Is the Tide Turning?’ discussion paper in summer 2017 in order to encourage discussion around the potential revival of open youth work, particularly in the aftermath of the 2017 General Election.

We would like to encourage individuals and groups who read the paper to organise discussion workshops based on the paper to discuss its key tenets. We hope to gather feedback from these events to feed into our analysis of the responses to the paper and the way forward for open youth work. We will collate and analyse this feedback and share it widely including at our 2018 annual conference.

The session format suggestions below are intended as a template for those who want some guidance on how they might run such a workshop. Please don’t see them as a rigid formula but do organise your workshops and gather evidence in any form to send back to us.

We imagine that the workshops will be centred around the three questions that are contained within the summary (and perhaps also any sub-questions that emerge in initial discussions):

  • Should local authority youth services be reopened, or are there different ways that state-supported youth work can be organised?
  • What principles should underpin the revival of open youth work?
  • How can these changes be made feasible in terms of funding, infrastructure and staffing?


IDYW – Tide Turning workshop template– please visit and share the full proposal


To repeat as per Monday’s post

A Provisional Timetable of Activity

We are looking to use the National Youth Work Week, November 6 – 12, as a point of reference, especially as its theme is:

Youth Services: youth work for today and tomorrow

Our hope is that a diversity of local and regional meetings will take place in and around this week, although not necessarily so. For the moment we are not envisaging an explicitly national event. Thus, from now, we are taking a two-pronged approach.

We are approaching specific people to act as organisers of regional gatherings.
We are hoping very much that this initiative will resonate with our readers/supporters and that you will feel moved to organise meetings at a local level, however small or large. To repeat, please feel free to get your act together as you think fit.

In some ways, our ‘Is the tide turning?’ initiative is a test of our collective energy and sense of purpose. We believe together we can rise to the challenge. We hope you agree.

The idea of an educated public’: ‘One can only think for oneself if one does not think by oneself’ [Alasdair McIntyre (1987)]

For more information and to let us know you are throwing your questioning hat into the ring of critical debate, contact

On Being Committed to Youth Work : An Open Letter to Jason Pandya-Wood

jason wood

In a recent piece in Children and Young People Now, expert challenges youth workforce’s commitment to protecting services, Jason Pandya-Wood, Head of Sociology at Nottingham Trent University and a former youth worker, “fears that youth workers are partly to blame for the widespread streamlining of services”. Being he says self-critical he goes on to argue,  “I don’t think youth workers have done nearly enough to stand up for what youth work can be about, what it does for young people and why it should be protected.” 

Sociologically speaking this seems simplistic. Politically speaking it seems to be missing a thing or two. Hence I’ve dropped the following note to Jason in the hope he might join us at our conference and explore the issues in more depth.


Having read your expert analysis of the situation facing youth work and youth services on CYPN I must beg to differ. Of course there is a question mark over how youth workers have responded to the assault on youth work as a distinctive practice. However at the very least the predicament is suffused with contradiction. It is difficult ‘to promote the importance’ of your service – to take but a few examples –  when you have been made redundant or you are being intimidated for raising your voice or indeed when you have been transformed against your wishes into a youth social worker.
Nevertheless there have been significant efforts to resist the neo-liberal onslaught. Although it appears the existence and efforts of the Choose Youth Alliance or the In Defence of Youth Work [IDYW] campaign have passed you by. As it happens the IDYW is holding its fifth national conference in Leeds this coming Thursday, April 10, its theme ‘The Future of Youth Work? The Future of the Campaign’. As coordinator of this campaign I’d like to invite you to join us in critical debate and collective commitment along with our keynote speakers Janet Batsleer and Howard Sercombe plus a rich diversity of practitioners.
Best Wishes
Tony Taylor