A timely note on youth, poverty & powerlessness

So here’s what I believe. Poverty is caused by powerlessness. If you work through what this seemingly simple statement means, I think there’s some pretty compelling evidence to back this up. If this is true: Young people will be especially at risk of poverty, because they have less power because of ageism. Young women will…

Why are so many youth workers blaming the young for being poor?

There’s so much work that happens for disadvantaged young people (the most common proxy word in the UK front line services for “poor”), and while it may seem odd for me be saying it given my line of work, more than a shade of it bothers me. A lot of the work is brilliant and…

Biting the hand that feeds you

Radical youth practice, by its very nature, challenges the status quo. This can be made particularly difficult when the ‘status quo’ you’re targeting – the government – happens to be your source of funding. Every youth service that receives local authority, or other government funding, knows this all too well. It’s very difficult to challenge…

Can rights trump outcomes?

There’s been a swell of activity around outcome measurements and impact assessments across the youth sector, from new initiatives to help the youth sector improve its collective measurement to social investment bonds, which pay services handsomely, but only if you can demonstrate measure outcomes. Outcomes are ubiquitous and omnipresent. Now, don’t get me wrong as…