Youth Work Essay

3529 words - 14 pages

IntroductionYouth employment has caught the attention of public health professionals. As a result, several studies were performed over the past decade documenting the patterns, scope, and effect of work among youths in the United States. This information offers insight and viewpoint related to the contemporary state of youth employment. Adolescents possess many positive traits such as energy, enthusiasm, and a desire to take on challenging situations. Such traits may lead to reluctance to ask questions and the tendency to perform tasks beyond their physical capabilities, thereby resulting in injury. Moreover, young workers are not likely to demand improvements in working conditions or pay because they are typically naive about their legal rights and employers' responsibility for workplace health and safety. These characteristics place young workers at risk for injury and illness and must be addressed by occupational health professionals.Youth work has traditionally considered youth as a period of 'being' as much as of 'becoming' (Davies 2000). For youth workers, the ideal is to affirm the positive aspects of youth's combined plus individual identities, to enable them to better understand their present. From this viewpoint, they support constructive and reflective understanding in the here and now so as to craft futures which by definition cannot be pre-planned. Therefore the governing philosophy within youth work is one of 'processes rather than 'result'. This does not mean that aimed results are not accomplished, but that they cannot be presumed. Conventionally, youth work is holistic and youths are regarded as in terms of their humanity rather than their issues or 'deficits' (Wylie 2003, 23).Literature ReviewThe youth affairs area has undergone a significant transition in terms of types of issues central to the area and the characteristics of the people working in the area in current years. In order to gain information on a broad range of social and legal issues associated with youth service provision we currently surveyed more than one hundred youth workers throughout Western UK (see White et al 1990). Undertaking a study of this nature required us to be sensitive to the broad range of issues occupied in trying to determine who is a "youth worker" and what kinds of activities can be included under the title of "youth work".Unfortunately, there has been much confusion over the question of what is youth work, due partly to the historical growth of this kind of work over the last century (Ewen 1983; Maunders 1984; Westhorp 1988; White, 1990a). The difficulty of defining youth work is also due to the apparent reluctance of many consultants to stipulate a definition of practice simply because to do so inherently limits or restricts who is or is not seen to be occupied in youth work. One result of this has been that debates and discussions over the definition of youth work have generally been inconclusive. This is primarily because attention has...

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