The art of youth work
Second edition
By Kerry Young

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"Young's description of the way in which good youth work can instil the key features of critical thinking that underpin educational attainment and the sense of citizenship is about as good as it gets… an eloquent, poetic and philosophical reassertion of the unique contribution of the youth work purpose." Rapport.

That was one of the many favourable reviews attracted by the first edition of this work. Since its publication in 1999, The Art of Youth Work has become a standard text for both youth work practitioners and students, appearing on the reading list for qualifying courses at both national and local level.

In its first edition it argued that youth work is centrally concerned with making relationships with young people, which support them in creating themselves and the values and meanings that shape their lives and guide their actions in the world.

That essential message remains the same in this second edition. However, given the changes for youth work and the Youth Service since 1999, this edition of The Art of Youth Work has been thoroughly revised and updated to examine the implications for youth work purpose, principles and practice in the context of the broader social and political agenda for young people.

Questioning whether 'transformed' youth work is still youth work, it reaffirms its own commitment to youth work as fundamentally an exercise in philosophy - not because young people are 'yobs' (anti-social hooligans, criminals), 'users' (drugs, alcohol, smoking), or 'victims' (socially excluded, disaffected, underachieving); but because they are people embarking on the human process of reconciling reason, passion and desire in ways that make sense to them.

Providing a clear theory of youth work that explains the distinctiveness of the phenomenon known as 'youth work', and offering a framework for making sound judgements about practice and the training and development of youth workers, this book is about good youth work and the philosophy and practice that underpins it.

As such, it is centrally concerned with two questions. · 'What is youth work?' · 'What do youth workers do?' It answers these in terms of an understanding of the purpose of youth work as opposed to the forms that it takes (e.g. centre-based, outreach, detached work), the methods it adopts (e.g. discussion groups, projects, outdoor activities) or the groups of young people with whom youth workers work.

You will find here a rich reaffirmation of youth work, at its best, as a powerful educative and developmental process.

Paperback. 128 pages. 978-1-903855-46-2. Published 2008. £14.95.



Emerging purpose
Consistency & continuity
'Adolescence' & 'Youth'
Ethical standards
The nature of youth work.
The art of youth work
Skills and values
Ethical practice
Philosophy and the 'habit'
The future for youth work