Youth work change makers: rebellion or resurrection

Youth work is changing rapidly. Many of the changes are coming to the fore because of issues which have haunted an under qualified, under supported and minimally accountable workforce. Unfortunately the way the issues are being dealt with is with a firm hand with an iron grasp. We are setting the barrier to entry in our fledgling professional associations as high as possible. We are requiring more in every youth work position description to show how good we are and we are using highly regulated professions as a template for our own.
Youth work has also seen a number of people who have said that this is not good enough. However, these voices are being shouted down in a torrent of violent opposition as rebellious to the cause of professionalism. Youth work is a profession which thrives under scrutiny and leads in innovation. Why would we want to lose our innovation to fall in line with groups like nurses and social workers???

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein

Youth work needs more great spirits and canny outlaws to keep it from becoming just another form of toothless neoliberal social service experiment. We need to resurrect the passion and talent that youth work has historically been known for and harness it for the future. There will be some who see it as holding the profession back… but these are just mediocre minds.

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Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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