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From the Frontline - The net has boundless opportunities for us

One of the most misused words I hear is "empowerment" - often used without consideration to what "power" we are able to hand over. More recently "participation" is the shiny terminology used to express how committed we are to the involvement of young people, but here too I wonder how much thought staff give to how they participate in their field or what opportunities they have to influence policies, projects and so on.

Resilience prevails amid Osborne's bleak choices

Like a piercing, bitter English winter, Chancellor George Osbourne's "autumn statement" was eye-wateringly harsh. It is, without doubt, children and young people growing up in the most deprived households who are being asked to bear the brunt.

Shhh... Every Child Matters lives on

Watch out, the language police are about. An internal Department for Education memo lists 30 terms the government wants consigned to history, and the words that should be used in their place. Many relate directly to children's services.

Spend on the service, not the name

When we brought youth workers and personal advisers together to create a new service for young people we stopped for a moment to consider what it should be called.

Policy into practice - Extracurricular activities

The issue: Demonstrating soft skills, such as decision making, relationship building, problem solving and teamwork, can really help to boost a young person's employment prospects. Former Health Secretary Alan Milburn's recent report into social mobility says that in order to help narrow the attainment gap between young people from different social backgrounds, schools should provide a range of extracurricular activities.

Outstanding challenge for Ofsted

Ofsted-bashing has been on the rise for several months. Cries of exasperation over the way the children's services inspectorate goes about its business have come in fits and starts from all quarters.

It's fair to charge for youth clubs

I've been following the debate on the cypnow.co.uk forum about whether young people should be charged for access to youth clubs. It's an excellent question and one that has prompted a range of responses.

Generational respect works both ways

British society worships at the altar of the young. Lord Heseltine, the former deputy Prime Minister, attracted a great deal of publicity for this statement in a recent speech.

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