Why you need to read youth work journals

Late last year Australian youth work was dealt a blow which hurt us to the core. Youth Studies Australia, our journal of 18 years, lost its funding and even after outcry from the sector and pledges to step in it closed up shop. As an avid reader for almost a decade I will miss the journal. The stories and articles as well as the reviews helped me in numerous ways though out my career. Youth Studies Australia is but one journal however that targets youth workers. 

A cursory check of my old RMIT library account shows over 20 academic journals devoted to youth work from throughout the world. These journals cover the breadth and width of youth service provision and give youth workers varied policy and cultural backgrounds to draw from. Over the years I have read articles from all of these journals and have found them to provide great insight into young people and youth programs that youth workers can use to develop their own practice.

Previously on this blog we have implored youth workers to read a book, to develop their their knowledge and practice wisdom. We Have asked youth workers to seek professional development opportunities and to study harder. We have asked youth workers to be more accountable to the young people and the sector. One of the easiest and least time consuming ways we know of doing this is reading journal articles.

Journal articles are bite sized peer reviewed gold nuggets of practice wisdom which take less than half an hour to consume and which give years of excellent ideas. Articles are the way Ultimate Youth Workers share what is working for them and their young people for us to leverage in our own practice environment. It is also the most up to date research available to the sector.

In a nutshell, read up.  

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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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  1. I totally agree .I do not understand why the majority of newly qualified youth workers have no desire to read more than the university reading list.
    We need to read more …and become “experts” in our field. There is no excuse that you can not find time to research and read more about the area you have chosen as your future career. Being average is not enough to be considered a professional.

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