What makes a good youth worker? An investigation of what young people want from their youth workers and how this compares to other professions
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Youth work is becoming increasingly targeted and outcome focused, with many youth services taking on a caseload approach whilst simultaneously rapidly losing funding. This dissertation focuses on what it is about youth work that makes it a unique service to young people by focusing on what it is that young people think makes a good youth worker and how this links to the main characteristics of youth work. This aims to renew the case for universal open access youth work. This dissertation took a case study approach by analysing a local authority within south east Wales. The data was gathered firstly through a questionnaire asking what qualities young people thought made a good youth worker, this was compared to a small sample of questionnaires asking the young people the same of other professions. The second method used was a focus group with youth work apprentices who were asked to analyse some of the questionnaire information in more detail. Overall, it was found that young people used a variety of positive terms to describe what they wanted from their youth workers, most of which emphasised the value young people placed on a relationship building process within youth work. The focus group provided some positive analysis behind the questionnaire answers and how and why this varied from other professions such as teaching or policing. The main conclusions drawn showed that overall the responses linked positively with the main characteristics of youth work. The main recommendation following this research is to allow for young people’s opinion and views to shape the future of the youth service by completing more research which shows the youth service from a young person’s point of view.
MA Education - Dissertation
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