A little over twelve months ago I was part of a small group of youth workers at their wits end with how the youth sector was progressing. We were concerned about the current curriculum for youth workers. We were concerned about the lack of good ongoing professional development for the sector. We were really concerned that there was a lack of mentors and solid professional supervision in youth work organisations. In short we were worried that youth work was becoming a lazy profession.
We discussed these issues many times and eventually we challenged each other to do something about it. most of us on that fateful night decided to stop whinging and to do something about the issues we saw. Some of us became youth work teachers in university, TAFE and private registered training organisations. Some of us began internal change in our own organisations. Some of us embarked on the development of the Ultimate Youth Worker organisation.
As I have embarked on the journey that has been the Ultimate Youth Worker I have found that there are a number of thoughtful, concerned youth workers changing the world. We are all coming at the issues in the youth sector from slightly different perspectives and using different ways of communicating but we all want to see youth work become more professional, more caring of our young people and more supportive of staff.
There are a number of canny outlaws in the youth work sector at the moment who we have been supported by and who we have great respect for. We have been phenomenally supported by Shae and Stephen Pepper of www.youthworkinit.com in the USA, they have promoted our blog and allowed us the honour of posting on theirs. But in their own right they promote best practice through knowledge sharing and support the sector through resource development. We have also been supported by an awesome youth minister from South Africa in Neels Redelinghuys. Neels runs a youth ministry in Bloemfontein, South Africa and a great blog and twitter account and has promoted pretty much everything we have said for the last six months (we wonder if he isn’t angling for a job).
These are just a small group of thoughtful, concerned youth workers changing the world, and as once was said: