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Education is the antidote to racism

The bear-baiting of British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin in his recent appearance on Question Time did nothing to advance race relations in our country.

Informal educators or bureaucrats and spies?

"Not another bloody form!" says Patricia when I give her the paperwork required for a girls' project. "Oh no!" groans Jerome in exasperation when handed several pages of monitoring forms at the end of a film project.

Small interventions make a big difference

"My electric wheelchair blew up yesterday ... the bus driver wouldn't put down the ramps for my other wheelchair, and that's difficult to drive because I've got a frozen shoulder ... I've got to go into hospital to have an injection to loosen it up ... oh, and I've probably got to have another operation on my spine ... and last week a pipe burst in my flat and flooded the living room ... and my mum's not well ... "

Teenage fathers

The government launched a campaign earlier this month called Think Fathers to dispel the myth that dads are the invisible parent.

The next commissioner needs bite

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has fired the starting gun to recruit a children's commissioner for England to succeed Sir Al Aynsley-Green early next year.

When Fred Goodwin steered clear of risk

As young people walk into my cottage in north Wales, they see a poster of the ocean with a solitary boat tossing on the waves. On it there are the following words: "A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships were built for." My view of youth work is that it is quintessentially about "pushing the boat out", stretching young people's imagination, competence and experience beyond their comfort zones but not so far as to engender panic (and thereby cause them to retreat back to the safety of where they came from). For me, that is the fundamental skill of the youth worker in dealing with both the mental and physical activities of young people. When executed effectively, young people come to understand and consider risk and make informed choices accordingly.

Editorial: The decline of the male youth worker

It's hard to imagine nowadays a time when male youth workers outnumbered female youth workers. But back in the early 1980s it was not unusual for youth services to employ twice as many male youth workers as women.

From The Frontline - Drugs don't always work for ADHD sufferers

I've worked with many young people with behavioural problems and hyperactive disorders since I started out in youth work eight years ago. I've lost count of the number of conversations I've had with concerned families about how their child is "out of control" or "needs sorting out" because they are unable to cope with the erratic behaviour.

Let's keep youth centres for young people

I have just completed the second leg of my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship looking at larger youth centres in various cities in the US. Many of these offer facilities beyond our wildest dreams in the UK.

Can social investment really change the world?

"There are few moments like this when something happens that can really change the world". That was the proclamation of Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude last summer as plans gathered pace to develop the UK market for social investment. Was he going a bit over the top? Perhaps; but only perhaps.

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