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The Nature of Youth Work in Northern Ireland: Purpose, Contribution and Challenges

Harland, Ken, Morgan, Anthony and Muldoon, Orla (2005) The Nature of Youth Work in Northern Ireland: Purpose, Contribution and Challenges. Department of Education. University of Ulster. 65 pp. [Research report (external)]



This study investigated the role of youth work in Northern Ireland in combating social exclusion. The sample involved 44 youth work practitioners including four focus groups and two in-depth individual interviews with youth workers delivering non traditional youth work in inner city areas. Findings revealed that youth workers are dedicated and committed to working with young people they primarily perceive as marginalised, socially excluded or experiencing difficulties that mainstream youth provision struggles to deal with effectively. Findings also revealed that youth workers place huge significance on the nature of relationship building between a youth worker and a young person. While this is fundamentally important, youth workers experience difficulty measuring social progression or identifying outcomes beyond their initial work with young people. This paper raises important questions about ‘levels’ of youth work expertise, practice and training that impact upon the status of youth work as a profession. It also discusses the delivery of youth work in non traditional youth work settings such as school and communities experiencing political conflict.

Item Type:Research report (external)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:9570
Deposited By: Dr Ken Harland
Deposited On:02 Feb 2010 10:52
Last Modified:09 Dec 2015 10:41

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