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.