Thanks to BOJA
Our campaign made a significant contribution both directly and indirectly to the first conference of the fledgling Professional Open Youth Work Europe [POYWE] conference in Vienna. The network has just posted a stimulating and diverse mix of videos and powerpoint presentations from the event.
POYWE CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
“Ethics, professionalism and youth work” by Sarah Banks, Durham University, United Kingdom and IDYW supporter
“Professional Open Youth Work – an overview about the situation of youth work in Europe” by Miriam Teuma, Chief Executive Officer Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, Malta
“Professional Standard for Youth Workers – Education and Training” by Mick Conroy, Newport University Wales, United Kingdom
“Quality – development: Quality and Quantity!” by Werner Lindner, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Germany
Panel discussions, including Pauline Grace from Newman University College and the IDYW steering group, are also included plus concluding remarks from Howard Williamson, University of Glamorgan.
At various meeting some followers have indicated that they welcome video presentations as an alternative to the written word. Bags here to get your teeth into.
It’s a grim Easter Monday – not a time for fools’ jokes. The Guardian declares:
It’s worth following the chronology of these changes as they come into effect over the next month.
It’s sobering to read alongside a piece by John Harris, which grapples with the deeply uncomfortable dilemma, that many across society welcome the measures.
Drawing on his conversations with folk as he has travelled the country – often finishing the dialogue on a note of ‘cut the scroungers’ benefits’ – he remarks,
In Warrington, Liverpool, Hartlepool, Peterborough and many other places, I have heard much the same stuff, and two rules always apply. First, as against the idea that disaffection with the benefits system amounts to a petit bourgeois roar from the suburbs, a lot of the noise gets louder as you head into the most disadvantaged parts of society. Second, it is the under-30s who have the most severe perspective of all. Polling bears this latter point out: in the aforementioned ComRes poll, the share of those aged 18-34 who thought a half or more of people on benefits were “scroungers” outstripped that of all other age groups by nearly 10 percentage points.
This last point needs to be explored further by those of us defending young people and youth work. It exposes the limitations of overemphasising ‘age’ as an explanatory category, the pitfalls of ‘ageism’. It is not only young people, who have been demonised via the mass media. The struggle to defend young people and youth work cannot be understood outside of the wider political struggle to resist the assault on the gains, however imperfect, of the post-war settlement between Capital and Labour. All of which poses the question of whether such resistance must go far beyond the achievements of ‘the spirit of ’45′ in terms of power and democracy.
In the coming months as well as revisiting the ethics of youth work through the Institute of Youth Work discussions, it’s time to renew a debate about the politics of youth work. The two are inextricably interrelated. What ethics in the service of what politics?
We’ve more than a few questions and dilemmas to share, but we’ll go slow over the next few days, hoping you might be pinching a few days’ break. As you relax you might care to contemplate Matt Lent’s appeal.
Why Youth Workers Should Blog
For my part I suspect I’ve thought something similar for many a year, long before blogging entered the dictionary. Whether I’ve been the editor of the trade union or Youth Service newsletter or indeed co-ordinator of this web site today, I’ve longed for, prayed for contributions to put me out of my isolated misery. It’s difficult to articulate the joy I feel when someone responds to a post or, marvel of marvels, sends in a link, a video or, most precious of all, initiates a discussion. Of course, see Matt’s blog, the reasons for folk not contributing are varied and understandable. The one thing I would add is that if you do shake off the shackles and blog [or its equivalent] you will put a smile on the faces of people you don’t know, glad that you made them think.
As for now, seeing Greek Easter is five weeks away – the vagaries of differing Christian calendars – I’d almost overlooked today is Good Friday. Memories in the North of England, at least, that the chip shop was open serving the obligatory battered cod. Any road I hope you can spend the weekend as you think fit. To underline the contradictions of existence, as an irreconcilable atheist, I’ll turn to Johann Sebastian Bach for inspiration and consolation.
And in the words of Dave Allen, the sit-down comedian of yesteryear,
“Thank you, goodnight and may your God go with you”
[Apologies - I should have posted this as Tony Taylor not indefenceyw, but pressed the wrong key - too much village red, methinks!]
For more information about the conference and the organisation see the new Youth Elements web site.
Be young, be quiet!
Monday’s Guardian carried this revealing piece on the state of youth work in Sheffield.
Sheffield’s Hub was there for generations of children but it has become another casualty of cuts as councils slash funding.
There are some choice quotes, ending on this note.
A youth worker at Sheffield Futures, who said he could not be named after signing a gagging order, said his job had changed out of all recognition. “We used to work very informally, engaging with young people in a very relaxed way.
“Now they want us to wear a uniform, a hoodie with the police logo on the back – they don’t seem to understand that the sort of young people we used to engage with would run a mile from anyone wearing that.”
It’s a real pity that the journalist didn’t contact one of our leading lights, Sue Atkins, who continues through Youth Association South Yorkshire to defend youth work in the city. It would have been enlightening too as her own history goes back to the days of the Sheffield Hub and the worker, Leroy Wenham, highlighted in the story.
Now retired, Wenham worked in Sheffield’s youth service for 30 years, including a long spell at the Hub. Its closure was “a serious loss to the city”, he said. “The Hub provided a platform where black people could express their views and share their culture with the wider community.”
If you read this early Tuesday it might still be possible to contribute on the Guardian site itself before they close Comments.
Thanks to Aston Wood
We’ve received the following approach from NYA re the proposed IYW. Leave aside the fact that we’ve no financial resources, the Steering Group feels that this request for an ‘in principle’ commitment to the IYW runs ahead of where the discussion is up to. Our reading of the last Development day was that a majority agreed the need to keep as many organisations involved in an open and provisional debate for as long as possible.
Read the following NYA letter and complete our very first survey of opinion at:
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.
Dear Tony Taylor
I am writing to update you on the development of the Institute for Youth Work and to ask for IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK CAMPAIGN’s involvement in taking the project further.
I would be very grateful for your response by 4th April 2013.
About the Institute for Youth Work
The Education and Training Standards Committee (ETS) of the National Youth Agency, as a cross sector body with wide representation from the whole youth work sector in England, is leading the development of the Institute for Youth Work.
The aim of the Institute for Youth Work is to improve and support quality in youth work. It will aim to engage all those in the youth sector who work to enable young people to develop holistically and to reach their full potential.
The IYW will be open to all those working with young people and youth workers from across the youth sector, employed and volunteering, who work to the key principles of Youth Work as outlined by the framework for ethical practice.
The aim of the Institute will be to support youth workers to ensure individuals, and the sector, reach the highest possible standards in youth work. This will be achieved by developing work across some key work areas:
· Youth work practice – including developing and promoting a framework for ethical practice; this will be the bedrock of membership and will provide opportunities for sharing practice, supporting colleagues through peer support and mentoring opportunities.
· Providing a strategic voice for members to influence policy and practice and promoting the recognition of the impact of youth work;
· Providing guidance and information around continuing professional development;
· Potentially developing a sector skills platform – providing the sector a clear qualification strategy and youth work qualification pathway recognising the diversity of roles Youth Workers are engaged with young people.
The ETS committee of the NYA will retain the responsibility for validating professional youth work qualification for England, but during the interim IYW structure this work is will sit as a strand area to illustrate the breadth of work undertaken by the ETS.
IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK CAMPAIGN’s involvement
The National Youth Agency is backing this project on behalf of the sector, but the steering group recognise that it will be essential to have a range of partnerships in place to ensure the IYW’s sustainability. We also want to be sure we can reach youth workers from across the youth sector.
I am therefore writing to ask for IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK CAMPAIGN’s support to ensure the project is successful. We recognise that the web site and full IYW offer is not yet in place, but we are asking for an ‘in principle’ commitment to provide support in-kind to promote the Institute.
Given the proviso above, which of the following would your organisation be able to support?
· advertorial or editorial column space in your organisation’s magazine or newsletter (not news coverage);
· a letter or email from a senior member of staff to your members recommending the IYW;
· facility to provide staff payroll deduction for annual membership (similar to union payments etc) and to make staff aware of this facility;
· additional IYW option on your membership’s annual subscription fees (group discount to be negotiated);
· web banner/ console on your home page providing click through to IYW pages.
· any other offers (please give details).
I would be grateful for your response by 4th April 2013. I look forward to hearing from you.
National Programme Manager – Workforce