Primary Sources: Current Trends in Youth Work and Education

A happy family blowing soap bubbles in the park.

“Recognizing the Future: Current Trends in Youth Work and Education.” Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, Vol. 23, July 2010.

What it's about: Students working towards their bachelor's degree in applied development with a concentration in child and youth care work conducted a survey of sixteen national leaders in the field of youth work. They report on the challenges of the youth work profession, opportunities for change, and the potential for youth workers to help promote school success.

Why read it: As busy as youth workers are day-to-day, it can be a good idea to step back and look at the profession as a whole—find out where it is and how it’s changing.

Biggest take away for youth workers: One of the biggest challenges of the youth work profession is that many people don't understand what child and youth care workers actually do, so there is little support for the field. The surveyed experts believe that one way to promote the field is through a focus on school success. Youth workers can not only serve as advocates for students inside and outside of the classroom, they can also complement school services; partner with teachers on challenges like effective discipline; and provide guidance to parents, teachers, and school leaders about young people’s individual and developmental needs.

Additional reference: The Association for Child & Youth Care Practice is an educational, scientific and professional organization that supports and develops activities and programs to enhance the competence and professional status of child and youth care workers. Read its report on Competencies for Professional Child and Youth Work Practitioners.

(Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of NCFY, FYSB or the Administration for Children and Families. Go to the NCFY literature database for abstracts of these and other publications.)

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