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ChooseYouth AGM September 4th 2017

Youth Work and Youth Services: Our Shared Future(April 13th 2016)

Overview of ChooseYouth, it’s work over the last five years and the current youth sector landscape - Doug Nicholls, Chair

Guest speaker - Anna Smee , CEO UK Youth

Breakout groups:

1.Identity and how we define ourselves

2.How the sector is represented – what voice do we have and who does it reach

3.Improving our profile

4.Working in partnership – greater collaboration – a joined up approach

Outcomes and key themes:

•The need for a collective identify –fragmented approach currently

•Who is best placed to represent the youth sector?

•How do we have an independent voice

•We need a strong voice for the sector – Need to influence policy

•Do we need a new body to represent the profession or should we use the vehicle already in place?

•ChooseYouth already in place providing a robust platform but needs more representation from the sector – needs to seek further collaboration from other youth sector organisations that are currently not engaged (IYW; NYA; UK Youth) to increase capacity and reach.

•Need a better way of mapping youth sector provision and cuts – work previously undertaken by NYA

•Supporting and promoting JNC in the voluntary youth sector

•Promotion of Youth and Community Work (and Playwork)

•Ensuring that the value of our work is recognised

•Advocating youth work and building the recognition of the value and impact of the work

•Influencing and informing political policy

•Furthering the work around protection of name and a license to practise.

•Discussion re the APPG and the Youth Service Bill

•Have we a database of the sector? Who would be the gatekeepers?

•Discussion around organising a collaborative event – need all stakeholders to resource and contribute

•Political campaign to profile youth work via ChooseYouth

•Discussion about research funding and possible student placement to provide additional resources to ChooseYouth.

•Agreed to hold a meeting in September.

•Correspondence to be sent to main partners and other stakeholders to get sector unity and sign up to ChooseYouth Alliance.

Feedback from breakout groups:

Professional status of term ‘Youth Worker’

Internal and external marketing

Campaign for Youth Work

•What we do

•How we do it

•What we achieve

•‘educating Essex’ – very profile raising of the work done - could we do this with youth work?

•Identifying and profiling the value of youth work

Valuing Young People


All Young People can benefit from YW

Opportunity for Youth Work – Outside more formal learning (school)

Recognition of informal education

NCS/Social Action – only one part of youth services

What youth work actually is?

•Personal and social development
•Character development

Youth Work – Practice and Context

Youth work skills are in high demand and are being transferred into new roles.

Are training programmes reflecting this transferability?

Youth work skills being used to address key concerns such as CSE – but there is a PR problem with youth work.

Need to harness more advocates.

Youth workers are unsung heroes – changing lives on a daily basis.

How are political parties engaging with young people?

•Votes at 16

Need to:

•Find celebrity endorsements

•Cross Party advocacy

•Use existing forums e.g APPGs; Select Committees; lobbying tools e.g. EDMs

•Need active/joined up campaigning

•Tools – social media; website

•Need a consistent ongoing campaign with a clear plan

•Look at media trng?

Training levels and registration

Training and level of training disappeared from grass roots

Registration of youth workers?

Outcomes and frameworks (qualitative practice/learning)

Need for youth work led outcomes framework with soft outcomes and how it is linked to funding

System to show change

NCS – alternative ‘signature’ programme – possible research project?

Students – and effects of negative demise of service – positive job market conversation

Loss of open access v targeted work

Sector need to be driving the identity of youth work – need to claim the words and dispel public perception of ‘youth work’

Canada has a registration system

Register of Youth Workers/License to Practice/Protection of title

Need to protect profession and safeguard all that is youth work.

Professional body?

•Need to be a unified profession – talk as one voice

•Need to define practice as professional

•Voluntary sector resistant

•Bringing up QA and support

•Necessarily linked to CPD

•NYA/IYW – interested but many challenges particularly cost

•LTP needs to come through JNC

•Needed to protect profession


•Need employer buy in

•JNC and the voluntary sector

•Code of ethics (IYW)

Six asks:

1.Articulate offer

2.New forms of funding

3.Develop cross sector alliances

4.Impact and heightened profile

5.Key players for leadership

6.New business models

Other thoughts…

•Young people need to identify their youth work

•Reflective practice is too subjective

•How do we hold onto professional qualification (ETS licensed JNC qualification)

•HE using work placed learning – not necessarily ‘youth worker’ but using youth work skills

•NYA looking at mapping career pathways and entry pathways

•Do we need to revise NOS?

•Training – lack of availability for lower level qualifications – impact on higher levels – clear challenges

•De-professionalisation – need protection of name – 100’s of different job titles

•Voices saying ‘youth work works’ – Youth Justice/social work/anti CSE

•Youth work is suffering because lack of ‘professionalism’

•Youth work has young people at its centre

•NYA quality mark and evidencing the intervention – not compatible with social impact bands or NEET figures

•Calculus of transformation – valuing the value

•Changing marketplace

•Youth work v youth services


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