Youth Work in Northern Ireland: An Exploration of Emerging Themes and Challenges

Ken Harland, Anthony Morgan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper presents the findings of a recent research project which explored the perceptions of youth workers in Northern Ireland of the nature and purpose of their work and their attitudes towards a number of important current issues, including the role of youth work in combating social exclusion, the measurability of youth work outcomes, the relationships between trained professional workers and volunteers, the place of youth work in schools and the tensions associated with practising youth work in a 'post-conflict' society. The paper reveals that while youth workers attach immense importance to relationship-building and attending to process, they appear to have difficulty identifying more concrete or measurable outcomes from their work with young people. The youth workers see their practice as being increasingly shaped by external factors such as the funding environment, policies for formal education, social exclusion measures and the persistence of sectarian social divisions. The authors suggest that youth workers have an opportunity to secure greater recognition for the value of their work by articulating its benefits more clearly, but they caution that funders and policy-makers should be realistic in their expectations given the scale of disadvantage and disaffection experienced by many young people.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages4-18
    JournalYouth Studies Ireland
    Volume1
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2006

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    Harland, Ken ; Morgan, Anthony. / Youth Work in Northern Ireland: An Exploration of Emerging Themes and Challenges. 2006 ; Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 4-18.
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    abstract = "This paper presents the findings of a recent research project which explored the perceptions of youth workers in Northern Ireland of the nature and purpose of their work and their attitudes towards a number of important current issues, including the role of youth work in combating social exclusion, the measurability of youth work outcomes, the relationships between trained professional workers and volunteers, the place of youth work in schools and the tensions associated with practising youth work in a 'post-conflict' society. The paper reveals that while youth workers attach immense importance to relationship-building and attending to process, they appear to have difficulty identifying more concrete or measurable outcomes from their work with young people. The youth workers see their practice as being increasingly shaped by external factors such as the funding environment, policies for formal education, social exclusion measures and the persistence of sectarian social divisions. The authors suggest that youth workers have an opportunity to secure greater recognition for the value of their work by articulating its benefits more clearly, but they caution that funders and policy-makers should be realistic in their expectations given the scale of disadvantage and disaffection experienced by many young people.",
    author = "Ken Harland and Anthony Morgan",
    note = "Reference text: Bamber, J. (2001/02) Educational Groupwork and Active citizenship. Youth and Policy, 74, 1-16. Banks, S. (1999). Ethical Issues in Youth Work. London: Routledge. Department of Education (1997) Youth Work: A Model For Effective Practice. Department for Education, Northern Ireland. Department of Education: A Youth Service for a New Millennium, 2000. Department for Education, Northern Ireland. Department of Education (2003) Youth Work: A model for effective practice. Update 2003. Department for Education, Northern Ireland. DfES (2002) Transforming youth work. Resourcing excellent Youth Services. Nottingham DfES Doyle, M. E. & Smith, M. K. (1999). Born and Bred? Leadership, heart and informal education. London: YMCA George Williams College/Rank Foundation. France, A, and Wiles, P., (1997) The Youth Action Scheme and the Future of Youth Work. Youth & Policy. 57, pp. 1-16. Jeffs, T & Smith, M.K. (1998/99). The Problem of ‘Youth’ for Youth Work. Youth and Policy, 62, 45-66. Jeffs, T. (2001). Something to give and something to learn. In R. Gilchrist & T. Jeffs (eds.). Settlements, Social Change and Community Action. London: Jessica Kingsley. Hand, J. (1995). Raising standards in schools. The Youth Work Contribution. Leicester: Youth Work Press. Harland, K. (2001). The Challenges and Potential of developing a more effective youth work curriculum with Young Men. Child Care in Practice, 7, 4, 288-300 Harland, K., Morgan, T., and Muldoon, O. (2005) The Nature of Youth Work in Northern Ireland: Purpose, Contribution and Challenges. Department of Education. www.deni.gov.uk/rb2_2005.pdf Henriques, B. (1933). Club leadership. London: Oxford University Press. McCartney, Clem. (1999) Unattached Youth Programme, Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust, Belfast. Morgan, T., O’Hare, B., & Campbell, H. (2000). The Excluded Adolescent. Research funded by YouthNet and the Northern Ireland Council for Northern Ireland. Murphy, H. (1999). Purposes – Why is Youth Work important? Concept reader in conjunction with Scottish Youth Lobby, Edinburgh. Community Learning Scotland. Ord, J. (2004) The youth work curriculum and the ‘transforming youth work agenda.’ Youth & Policy. Vol, 83. p43-59. Review of Public Administration (Aug. 2006) www.rpani.gov.uk/august_rpa_bulletin-2.pdf Smith, M., K. (2002). Transforming Youth Work – Resourcing excellent youth services. A critique, the informal education homepage, www.infed.org/youthwork/transformingyouthwork Smith, M., K. (2003) From youth work to youth development. Youth & Policy 79, p46-59 Young, K. (1999). The Art of Youth Work. Dorset: Russell House Publishing. Youth Council for Northern Ireland (2001). The debate on Social Exclusion: Causes and Manifestations. Youth Service Liaison Forum (20054) Strategy for the Delivery of Youth Work in Northern Ireland 2005-2008. Draft Youth Work Strategy 2005 – 2008. Department of Education.",
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    Harland, K & Morgan, A 2006, 'Youth Work in Northern Ireland: An Exploration of Emerging Themes and Challenges', vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 4-18.

    Youth Work in Northern Ireland: An Exploration of Emerging Themes and Challenges. / Harland, Ken; Morgan, Anthony.

    Vol. 1, No. 1, 20.10.2006, p. 4-18.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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