CYPNOW state that Hartlepool Borough Council is to review its detached youth work projects (http://www.cypnow.co.uk/news/ByDiscipline/Youth-Work/937538/Council-review-its-detached-youth-work-service/). What caught my eye was that as part of this councillors will accompany youth workers on detached projects. From my experience of detached work, there is a fine balance in the relationships built up over time between the youth workers and young people. How effective can any such review of detached youth work can be? Bringing outside parties into the young peoples’ ‘territory’, for want of a better word, has the risk of upsetting this balance and the trust that has been established between workers and young people. In contrast by their nature, I would suggest that with building based youth work projects there might be more openness to such visits, as the young people are in some way entering into such projects on the terms of the organisation. Having said that, that is not to say that detached youth work is beyond review or monitoring and it is not impossible for such a review to be a positive experience, but I would be surprised if it is ever possible for external parties to fully review and report on detached youth work without their presence effecting the work they are reviewing.
Reviewing Detached Youth Work