Compiled by Alan
Dearling and Alison Skinner.
Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1 898924 39 2
The government has issued a number of recent reports and
documents about youth justice and young people. Too often, they contain bland
statements and meaningless targets that raise the question of when the writers
were last in day-to-day practice with users of services.
By contrast, Making a Difference attempts "to provide
practical ideas and information for those involved in direct work with young
people". The focus is on youth justice, preventive work, befriending,
volunteers and staff development. Eight authors contribute to the book’s 13
chapters. A good example is by Alan Dearling writing about how games can be
used to help young people participate, discuss and learn, and then gives
examples of games he has used. Similarly, chapters on "Working away from
base" and on befriending show that practice, programming and policy making
can all go together.
A few of the chapters are too short and are characterised by
bullet points that require more detail. But, overall, this is a book that is
not only instructive but enjoyable.
Bob Holman is a voluntary neighbourhood worker in
Glasgow. He is the author of Champions for Children (Policy Press, 2001)