Module ED 2004

The Social Policy Context of Youth and Community Work

Youth workers are increasingly encouraged to address issues of youth crime through involvement in Youth Offending Teams, Social Inclusion programmes, Connexions and other policy-led initiatives.   How appropriate is this?   Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of youth service involvement in these types of schemes.

In order to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of multi-agency working practice I will, throughout this assignment, be looking at a project that I was recently involved in whilst working for Westbury Youth Development Service.   Through analysing this project and the effect of the way my own and other agencies are structured and regulated I will discuss the appropriateness of the youth service’s involvement in this working practice.   I will begin by looking at what social policy is and will then look at the effect this has on not only my own working practice but society as a whole.

An understanding of the social and political factors that affect the community and individuals within it are important.   Public structures, services and resources are regulated by the government through Government Acts, some of which are cascaded down to local authorities for implementation.   These policies can change; new policies may be introduced as both during a political party’s time in office and when governments change.

Within one of the areas in which I am currently working a number of issues relating to youth crime have arisen recently.   One of these involved vandalism of empty properties on the estate where the youth centre is situated as well as a reported increase in incidences of ‘gangs of youths on mopeds’ causing a disturbance and verbally abusing members of the public within the vicinity of the estates’ local shops.   During a monthly ‘Community Action Meeting’ a number of residents from the estate said they felt that these incidents were...