Youth Work in The Commonwealth

A Growth Profession

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Youth Work in the Commonwealth: A Growth Profession establishes a baseline to inform the planning and implementation of initiatives to professionalise youth work in Commonwealth member countries. The study was conducted in 35 countries in the Africa, Asia, the Caribbean/Americas, Europe and Pacific regions.

It catalogues the extent to which the youth work profession is formally recognised in these countries and examines the qualities and rights-based ethos of the various forms of youth work promoted and practiced in the Commonwealth.

The report aims to help countries learn from good practices, and assess gaps in establishing youth work as a recognised profession in diverse contexts.



Defining Professionalism

It might be difficult to imagine from most perspectives how youth work, some of it undertaken by unpaid volunteers, might be considered professional. One would probably not, given the choice, visit an enthusiastic but unpaid, unqualified, parttime dentist, with no official regulation or recognition by other dentists, for root canal treatment, so why would one send or allow one’s child to be looked after by an equally motivated, if relatively ignorant, educational and/or child care worker with only the claim of being a ‘specialist’? How do you know that this person even had any background checks assuring that they are not a paedophile, drug dealer, someone connected to extremist organisations or child trafficking?


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