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Concepts and methods of youth work looks at the key issues of youth work as a career and as a profession.

Concepts and methods of youth work

ACYS publications

Earlier publications:

Outdoor programs for young offenders in detention: An overview

Susan Reddrop
Hobart: National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies
ISBN: 1 875236 42 2 (pbk) 228 pp.
Out of print

Outdoor programs for young offenders in detention dispels the myth that all outdoor programs for young offenders must conform to this design and was written chiefly with the intent of codifying miscellaneous literature regarding outdoor programming for young offenders in a detention centre context.

Much of the literature surrounding outdoor programs for young people focuses upon extended wilderness trek experiences in the style of Outward Bound. Outdoor programs for young offenders in detention is designed primarily to provoke thought and inspire informed action for those interested in designing an outdoor program for young offenders in custody. It does not purport to provide any definitive answers for determining the proper role and effect of outdoor programs, only to contribute as a tool in this process.

Issues covered include:

  • the definition of an outdoor program
  • evidentiary findings of research and the subsequent limitations of this research
  • a summary of the proposed benefits of outdoor programming for young offenders
  • a compilation of the most recommended components of effective programs
  • models and strategies exploring how to conduct outdoor programs for young offenders
  • a discussion of adapted outdoor programs for special populations of young offenders
  • examples of Australian outdoor programs, and a look at evaluation mechanisms.

At its conclusion, this document offers recommendations for designing and conducting outdoor programs. These recommendations are designed to be readily accessible and applicable to existing programs as well as future endeavours in outdoor programming.

And when she was bad? Working with young women in juvenile justice and related areas

Edited by Christine Alder and Margaret Baines
Hobart: National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies
© 1996, 109pp.
ISBN: 1 875236 36 8
Cost: $10 including postage and handling (was $22.00)

Statistics and common knowledge tell us that young women compose only a minority of the cases dealt with in the juvenile justice system. Given these small (in comparison to male) numbers, it is unsurprising to find that facilities and programs to accommodate the needs of these young women are fewer in number and narrower in scope than those available to young men.

  • What is the extent of this additional marginalisation of an already disadvantaged group?
  • How does this impact on the rehabilitation and future lives of these young women?
  • How do our assumptions about femininity affect our treatment of young women who do not conform to those assumptions?
  • What responses, both inside and outside the justice system, could help to address the needs of these young women and those who work with them?

These are some of the issues debated in the 1995 conference, Working With Young Women in Juvenile Justice and Related Areas. This book arose from the demand, after that conference, for more -- more discussion, more information, more widely available.

"...And when she was bad? fills an important gap in the literature for those working in the juvenile justice field, as well as for policy makers, academics and students themselves.

Opting out: Early school leavers and the degeneration of youth policy

By Peter Dwyer
Hobart: National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies
ISBN: 1 875236 34 1 (pbk). 88pp.
Cost: $10 including postage and handling (was $27.50)

In 1996, over 200,000 Australians aged 15 to 19 were not in full-time education or full-time work. This Youth Research Centre report determines the concerns, problems and needs of those defined as early leavers, and identifies effective strategies that would give them the opportunity to choose to continue their schooling beyond the compulsory years.

Opting Out is a valuable reference for practitioners and researchers in the youth field, particularly educators, education administrators, curriculum planners and state and federal policymakers.

"If we wish to re-engage potential early leavers, we need quite consciously to disengage their needs from the current preoccupation with Year 12 retention/completion rates ... What is at stake for them is to find ways in which their future choices are informed by a positive and successful experience of schooling rather than by a feeling that 'anything is better than school'..."

The report includes extensive data on early leavers and reviews both the policy and research backgrounds to the issue, placing them within an international context. The report also covers 'the many programs which demonstrate that effective responses are possible', including examples of supportive school cultures and comments from teachers and students in these schools.