Don't shoot! I'm a detached youth worker
By Mike and Inez Burgess

Unlike other valued books on detached youth work, this one has the important distinction of being written by a detached youth worker together with his partner.

Illustrated with case studies, photographs and posters involving young people with whom he has worked in the North East of England since 1989, this book brings to life the fun and enjoyment, challenges and difficulties that are involved in detached youth work everywhere.

It also contains a battery of photocopiable project management documents that you can adapt to help support work in your own area, whether you are a detached worker yourself, a manager, or in a partner agency.

Detached youth work is a valuable method of working with young people in a wide variety of social settings because of its adaptability, flexibility and responsiveness, which includes working outside the 9-5 hours of many other agencies and organisations. It can provide focused support for young people within the communities in which they live, and on the street corners where they congregate.

Showing how these ideas can be put into practice, this is a guide that:
  • can help youth workers and their managers develop effective methods of working with young people; enabling them to explore life choices and encouraging positive change, personally and socially, as members of their community.
  • will support and inspire both experienced and new workers, and others employed in the human services, to value and use detached youth work as a means of social and personal education as well as a means of helping and supporting socially disadvantaged young people.
  • shows what happens when workers go out onto the streets, or other places where young people meet, to form relationships with those for whom more traditional styles of youth work don't exist, or where commercial youth provision is unaffordable, inappropriate or fails to meet their needs… and when those relationships are built on the mutual trust and respect that develops, on the young person's terms.

  • Many young people face a multitude of disadvantages and often feel socially excluded. This book shows how a detached youth worker will face a diverse and challenging range of issues affecting young people's lives: unemployment, mental health, addiction and masculinity are amongst those discussed in this book.

    But the focus of the work is the whole person and their developmental needs, not a particular problem or difficulty. Once these needs are identified, the workers can give information, provide practical assistance, offer emotional support during times of stress, and undertake counselling to help youngsters through key transitions in their lives… alongside the equally important matters of helping youngsters get the most out of being young, by assisting them to organise activities and projects and facilitating trips, residential weekends away and holidays.

    Large format. 96 pages. 978-1-903855-95-9. 2006. £14.95.

    Starting out: reconnaissance period
    Detached youth work with young men: practical guidelines
    Detached youth work with young women: a male approach
    Relationship building with individuals and groups
    Issue based work: gambling
    Issue based work: employment
    Work with other agencies and partnerships
    Managing detached youth work
    Celebrating detached youth work


    "Will inspire practitioners as to what they can achieve and illustrate to onlookers what detached youth work actually is and what can be reasonably expected of it." Youth and Policy.

    "Will interest new and experienced detached workers." Children Now.