What future for state-funded youth work? Manchester and London seminars in June

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In Defence of Youth Work
Engaging Critically Seminars

What future for state-funded youth work?

Manchester, Wednesday 14th June 1-4pm
London, Friday 23rd June, 1-4pm

  • What is the current role of government in providing or funding open access youth work?
  • What does this mean for young people, youth workers, and youth organisations?
  • What might we expect to see in the future, and what should we be fighting for?

Bernard Davies will start from the proposition that the local authority youth service may well have disappeared by 2020 as the model for supporting and providing open access youth work. Recognising that ‘the state’ is a complex and contested concept whose past intrusions into this form of practice with young people have not always been helpful, his recently published article in Youth and Policy 116 on which his talk will draw seeks to break out of the neo-liberal mind-set to re-imagine, for youth work, more appropriate state responses. Bernard is a widely published author on youth work and is a retired youth worker, Youth Officer, and lecturer who has been active in IDYW since it was created.

Tania de St Croix will critically discuss the government’s primary vehicle for investment in a universal youth service – the National Citizen Service. What does state support for the National Citizen Service tell us about how young people – and services for young people – are perceived in policy? Does the National Citizen Service ‘count’ as youth work, and does that matter? Six years on, is Tania’s critique of NCS in Youth and Policy 106 still relevant? Tania is a Lecturer in the Sociology of Youth and Childhood at King’s College London, a volunteer youth worker/co-op member at Voice of Youth, and has been involved in IDYW since the early days.

These short talks will be followed by open discussion on the questions above. We particularly welcome youth workers and other youth practitioners (paid or unpaid), managers, voluntary sector and local authority employees, policy makers, students, tutors/lecturers, researchers, and anyone else who is interested. The seminar is offered an opportunity to take time out from the hurly-burly of practice to think about where we are, where we are going, and what we might do differently.

In Defence of Youth Work is a forum for critical discussion on youth work. We are committed to encouraging an open and pluralist debate at a time of limited opportunities for collective discussion.

Manchester seminar: Wednesday 14th June 1-4pm at M13 Youth Project
Brunswick Parish Church Centre, Brunswick St, Manchester, M13 9TQ
A short walk or bus ride from Manchester Piccadilly. See map and directions: http://www.brunswickchurch.org.uk/contact–location.html

London seminar: Friday 23rd June, 1-4pm at King’s College London
School of Education, Communication & Society, Rm 2/21, Waterloo Bridge Wing, Waterloo Road, SE1 9NH.
Five minutes from Waterloo station (but slightly confusing to find!) See map and directions: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/education/WTKings/Finding-WBW.aspx

Suggested donation to IDYW: £2-5 (students/volunteers/unwaged) / £5-10 (waged). Tea/coffee provided.

To register, email Rachel@yasy.co.uk

Please circulate around your networks the flyer for this event.

YS NCS flyer [Word]

YS NCS flyer [pdf]

IDYW 7th National Conference, September 30 in Birmingham

IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK 7th NATIONAL CONFERENCE

BLURRING THE BOUNDARIES OR RE-IMAGINING YOUTH WORK?

BIRMINGHAM SETTLEMENT, ASTON, BIRMINGHAM

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 from 11.00 – 4.30

 

Back in April we postponed our national conference as a number of other broad initiatives were on the go, notably UK Youth with its concept of the Social Journey, the Training Agencies Group ‘shaping the future of youth work’ and ChooseYouth. We said at the time we hoped our rearranged conference would keep the debate about the future alive and ongoing. In this spirit we are holding our event on Friday, September 30 in Birmingham. Our themes, ‘Blurring the Boundaries?’ and ‘Re-Imagining Youth Work?’ raise questions for In Defence of Youth Work. and the youth sector as a whole.

 

In the morning session Annette Coburn and Sinead Gormally will challenge our emphasis on the voluntary relationship as a cornerstone of youth work’s distinctiveness, suggesting that IDYW’s position is an obstacle to ’thinking the unthinkable’, to the potential of reinventing youth work across professional boundaries. This challenging critique will be followed, after group discussion, by a report by Paul Fenton of the Training Agencies Group on the major themes arising from its series of conferences on ‘Shaping the Future’, particularly the impact of the changing landscape on the character of professional training.

 

In the afternoon we will seek to draw on your sense of what is happening on the ground. What sort of youth work are you involved in? What is your perspective on the future? This debate will be catalysed by a couple of inputs from projects such as Aspire Arts, which are charting different ways of keeping youth work alive. We wonder whether this sharing of your experience and your differing work situations might be the first step in mapping the diversity of provision brought about by the dramatic change in the economy of youth work.

 

In a final panel session involving amongst others, the Institute of Youth Work, ChooseYouth and UK Youth, we will grapple with the dilemmas of how we can cooperate rather than compete and how we can retain our integrity within a political climate, which favours conformity and compliance and funds accordingly.?

 

Further details to follow – confirming programme, speakers etc…

 

As for lunch, please bring your own as is our tradition.

 

Conference fee is a minimum of £10 waged, £5 students/unwaged.

 

To book a place contact Rachel@yasy.co.uk

 

Please circulate the PDF flyer – Conference2016Flyer1