Youth work starts where young people are. It is perhaps this general principle that seems to create a certain 'myopic view' in youth work practice, policy and research. We tend to concentrate on the questions of today and take them as a starting point for our future plans. This sometimes makes youth work an uncertain and fragile practice. The lack of historical consciousness makes youth work vulnerable to instrumentalisation, whether by policymakers or even by young people themselves, claiming youth work should fulfil the needs they define to be urgent and relevant.Youth work is a contingent practice and history will not reveal to us its one and only real identity. Knowing where we come from, however, is an important step in establishing a confident, though not arrogant, identity. Youth work is a social and pedagogical practice that must be adapted to very diverse historical, geographic and social contexts, but there are still some underlying, basic assumptions that have structured practices and policies to date and continue to do so. In this light, a cross-cultural and transnational perspective can be most enlightening.This second volume of The history of youth work in Europe, presents the youth work histories of some very different countries: Belgium and its three communities, the Netherlands, Ireland, Wales and Hungary. The reader is also introduced to the history of the relatively young European youth policies, and is even given a glimpse beyond European borders with a history of youth work in South Africa.
In search of the sources of youth work and youth policy in Europe
1. Key points of the opening address
2. The history of youth work - Re-socialising the youth question?
3. The relevance of history in youth work
4. The evolution of public policies for youth work in the French-speaking community of Belgium
5. The history of youth work and its influence on youth policy -The perspective of the German-speaking community of Belgium
6. Youth policy in the Dutch-speaking community of Belgium
7. Youth work in the Netherlands - History and future direction
8. For God's sake, tie your ropes together: the (recent) history of youth work in Wales- Political betrayal, professional infighting and practice inertia
9. Youth work in Ireland - Some historical reflections
10. Zigzagging in a labyrinth -Towards "good" Hungarian youth work
11. The history of youth work -The South African perspective
12. The history of European youth policy
13. The history of European youth work and its relevance for youth policy today -Conclusions
14. The social and pedagogical identity of youth work - Learning from two history workshops