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ERIC Number: EJ790685
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1533-8916
Reflections on the Road Not (yet) Taken: How a Centralized Public Strategy Can Help Youth Work Focus on Youth
Pittman, Karen J.
New Directions for Youth Development, n104 p87-99 Win 2004
As a formal observer of youth development work for the last fifteen years, the author is pleased to say that the field in the United States has made great progress in creating and institutionalizing the basic elements of a mature professional development system and in becoming purpose-driven. Topics such as youth worker competencies, links to higher education, professional support networks, adequate recognition and compensation for skills, and career ladders for growth have not only been debated but addressed at state and local levels across the country. There have even been promising glimpses of action at the national level as these issues have been taken up by policy researchers, national intermediaries, and government agencies. Recently, however, the author has been increasingly concerned that the field may be gaining momentum but losing its focus. Efforts to refine definitions of the youth development field and youth worker competencies appear to be more centrally focused on where and when than on what and how. Yet the latter, for her, lead directly to the elements of youth work that distinguish it from the related professions of teaching, counseling, or social work. She is convinced, there is not a more elegant statement of the purpose of youth work than that offered by the British government as articulated in the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work (NOS). In this article, the author grounds her reflections on the state of the field's professional development in the United States in an examination of the United Kingdom's youth work structure. (Contains 17 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States