Journeying Together Review

16 November 2010 — Leave a comment

Regular readers will know that I contributed a chapter to a youth work book published earlier this year. You can read my input here or buy a copy here.

The book as a whole was reviewed by Carlene Phillips in Youth Work Now back in June, but I forgot to post her assessment. For those interested, here is what she thought:

This book addresses the myriad issues facing youth workers, managers and funding bodies, and brings it all together in plain, easy-to-read language. Quite a feat when addressing complex subject matter from such diverse points of view.

The authors have tackled some of the history of youth work and the policies that have affected it, such as the rise of bureaucracy and red tape; the way the global economic crisis has affected young people; the greater cultural and ethnic diversity; and the focus on the individual rather than the community or group.

The book is a comprehensive overview of what it is currently like to work in youth work, where the sector seems to be going and where it needs to go. The authors argue that youth work needs to become more relational and less transactional, and that the issues to be addressed and the targets youth workers should aim for should be decided by the communities in which they work.

Advice is given on how to grow self-belief and self-development within a workforce. The authors argue that what is needed is a principle-driven, not target-driven leadership style, which fosters trust and honesty so issues can be raised and risks taken that benefit youth work and make a bigger impact in the community.

More than anything, the book aims to inspire youth workers and others in the sector to take the talent, ability, excitement and “spark” and use it to innovate further.

Carlene Phillips, studying for a youth work degree and is involved in voluntary work with young people in Huddersfield and Kirklees


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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

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