Improving Community-Based Youth Work: Evaluation of an Action Research Approach.
Roholt, Ross VeLure. Rana, Sheetal.
Child and Youth Services
Vol. 32, No. 4 , p. 317-335
Routledge -- Taylor and Francis Group
7625 Empire Drive
Florence, KY 41042
Tel: (800) 634-7064
Fax: (800) 248-4724
Few formal post-secondary educational programs in the United States focus on youth work, thus youth workers often enter the field with diverse backgrounds and varying levels of experience working with youth. Drawing on mounting evidence that quality youth service requires skilled staff, professional-development opportunities have received increasing support by agencies and funders. Typically, youth work professional development supports propositional (theory) knowledge learning to develop a more skilled workforce. This article describes an approach to youth work professional development that supports professional-craft knowledge learning (practice wisdom). Based on action research methodology, the approach has been developed over the last three years with groups of youth workers in a public organization. Using program evaluation data over the last two years and university-facilitator reflections, the authors describe what have been found to be the critical components of this approach. Also discussed are implications of using such an approach in day-to-day youth work practice. (Author abstract)
Youth agencies; Youth services; Caseworkers; Evidence based practice; Agency practice; Model programs