Youth Work

The case for professionalization of Youth Work in the UK

This essay will look at the debate over the professionalization of Youth Work in the UK and why it should be professionalised. Professionalisation is the act of professionalising an occupation so this essay will begin by analysing what is meant by the terms profession and professional. Then it will look at Youth Work and the positive and negative impact that the recognition as a profession can bring. It will then conclude by summing up the benefits of professional recognition.
A profession is defined as a ‘vocation or calling, especially one that involves some branch of learning or science’ and a professional as a ‘person involved in a skilled profession’.(Concise Oxford Dictionary) These definitions are very broad and do not help to define what makes a professional in order to discuss its merits within youth work. So what is a profession, or a professional? You'd have to say that "professional" is one of the most used and abused terms around. If you can describe a boxer, a cashier, or a driver as professionals then it’s clear it can mean a lot of different things, and that some clarity is urgently needed.
The trouble with most analyses of the professions is that they look at what the established professions have in common. This can result in a list of attributes, such as the existence of a professional association, code of ethics, processes of registration and deregistration, recognition in law, university training, and an accepted body of knowledge. This however is only looking at the external features of the profession. The code of ethics and the need for recognition in law and society is for Youth workers and others to defend the profession/professional that they already are. It can be argued on that the true identity to a profession is ‘the how-the methodology, which is what defines youth work and distinguishes it from other professions practices’ (Ord, J p105)
Tucker (Roche & Tucker, 1997,...