Models of Youth Work

Models of Youth Work – Library/Papers

Six Intervention Models of Youth Work (Theoretical)
Bessant et al (1998) described youth work as ‘engaging with young people in a professional relationship in which:
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the young person(s) are the primary constituency and the mandate given by them has priority the young person(s) are understood as social beings whose lives are shaped in negotiation with their social context the young person is dealt with holistically’.

Youth work practices (referred to in this paper as ‘intervention models’) attempt to incorporate this definition in a variety of ways. Understanding these models will help you to develop a theoretical framework that can be built upon. Knowledge of these models will also provide you with an essential suite of approaches to use within your work. It is important to understand that there is no single, conclusive model of youth work. In practice, different components can be taken from a range of models and incorporated into a combined model, depending on personal values, agency guidelines, or the client’s issues. A good place to start research into models of youth work intervention is the article Models of Youth Work Intervention by Trudi Cooper & Rob White (Youth Studies Australia, volume 3, number 4, pp 30–35, 1994). In this article the authors discuss their interpretation of intervention models based on their own practice methods and experiences. Cooper and White argue that youth workers need to have a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve and the impact of the methods they use. The authors describe their models as incomplete works in progress and draw from a variety of political values, ideologies, skills and practical orientations to develop the six models of intervention. These models are:
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the Treatment Model the Reform Model the Advocacy Model (Radical) the Advocacy Model (Non-Radical) the Empowerment Model (Radical) the Empowerment Model (Non-Radical).