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Today's youth is vital to big society

Conventional wisdom might hold that youth participation -- any work that gives young people a voice and involves them in shaping services -- is near the front of the queue for cuts in our age of austerity.

Youth clubs do not foster risk takers

I must confess to having been a bit worried about the results of the recent Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) report Risky Behaviour and Social Activities, as it seemed to suggest that those who attend youth clubs were more likely to be involved in risky behaviour such as fighting, shoplifting and vandalism.

Focus of spending must be balanced

It's official: the UK spends more money on child welfare and education than the average market economy. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report out last week, we spend just over 90,000 per child from birth to 18 compared to an OECD average among 30 member countries of just under 80,000.

Iran exposes our youth policy dilemmas

A youth and community work course for which I was an external examiner required students to undertake the following assignment: "Freedom, without discipline, is anarchy. Discipline, without freedom, is tyranny. You have to find the path between the two." Discuss, with particular reference to youth work.

Last Word: Face the fear of weekend opening

Great youth workers are fearless. Not reckless. That is something altogether different. But fearless. It's described in the dictionary as being audacious, intrepid and hardy. And it's a big part of the way they do their job.

The old youth work mottos still ring true

Sometimes we can be inclined to reject the quaint statements that kicked off various youth organisations as suited only for historical archives rather than as a basis for informing contemporary thinking about youth work philosophy and practice. But we do so at our peril.

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