From a functional point of view, several definitions can emerge for one: It can be viewed as a program or set of programs focusing on young people’s needs, experiences and contribution (Smith 2001). In another sense, one can describe it as voluntary participation in which young people become involved in social work. It can also be described as communal process through which the youth strive to foster relationships and associations among each other’s and members of the society (Davies and Docking, 2004) According to the minister of youth affairs, youth work is primarily focused on activities as opposed to formal or even informal education; these are constructive activities, which at the same time contribute to enhancing the youth’s leisure and enjoyment (Barrett, 2005). Contemporary UK youth work comprises the biggest non-uniformed voluntary youth organization in the United Kingdom with networks divided into around 40 areas representing wherein the major counties metropolitan areas and national areas are covered. Scotland, Wales and the Northern Ireland are also included. UK youth work is headquartered in Avon Tyrrell Activity centre and each year, over 20,000 young people spend their holidays undergoing a variety of training activities however for the sake of centrality and ease of access it also operates a London office. Youth workers are tasked with the responsibility of promoting the social, personal education growth of the youth who are typically aged between 11 and 25.The program also aims to actively engage young people in the redressing of societal inequalities as well as empowering individuals in society to a proactive role in tackling issue such as health, education, environment and employment. Fundamentally, the purpose of UK youth work is to enable the youths all over the country to live up to their potential and take cognizance of their achievements through social work which is facilitated in the many youth programs . Through youth work, young people can gain accredited learning awards such as junior achievement award and several other non-academic qualifications. The UK youth work program also provides training and the necessary resources to promote and advocate for high quality youth work especially through a youth steering group run exclusively by the youths which aims to promote the promotion of active citizenship through actively engagement with the administration of charity (Blacke, 2013). In addition, it is the onus of youth workers to assist young people in achieving the aims and outcomes that have been underscored in the directives by the government as they appear in under “Every child matters”.These categorically state that every child should be assured safety, health (both mental and physical) and enjoyment in their lives all the while making positive contributions and achieving economic wellbeing (HM Government, 2004). Critics of youth work have often questioned its true function and purposes and this is mostly fuelled by the apparent perpetual state of youth work identity crisis because of which youth workers are unable to define their core features. There is little doubt about the fact that youth work is a powerful educational and service provision tool, which provides the youth with
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Work with young people has significantly expanded in the last few decades and today, the field, which was once the reserve of educators and social services, is open to several agencies seeking to intervene and improve the lives of the youth. The government has also taken an immense interest in youth work and although this has resulted in a number of challenges, which shall be discussed herein, there have been many improvements in the structure and accountability of youth work (Sheila, Roger and Donald, 2007)…
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There is still a need to convince people and table evidence showing outcomes or benefits of participating in making decisions.
Although participation of the young people and children is a crucial principle and human
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