The RHP Companion to Working with Young People

Edited by Fiona Factor, Vipin Chauhan and John Pitts.
Russell House Publishing
ISBN 1 898924 52   

At first glance a standard text for youth and community work
students, this book opens surprisingly with a fierce attack on New
Labour. Resources are targeted on young people seen as problematic
instead of providing what is needed – a universal youth service.
“The preventive and educational focus of youth work has been
sacrificed to the knee-jerk reactions of ministers attempting to
appease middle England.”

While this may have been true of youth justice policy in the
early days, there is plenty of evidence here that creative work
with young people is going on in a wide variety of settings. The
book is densely packed with useful material covering the policy
context, practice guidance and specialist work with particular
categories of young people, including asylum seekers, travellers
and the often overlooked group of young carers.

The editors have done an excellent job – the 32 chapters are of
a uniformly high standard and written in an accessible style with
lots of sub-headings and suggestions for further reading. Students,
professionals and volunteers will find it a most useful resource,
although it is definitely for dipping into rather than continuous

Sonia Jackson is visiting professor at the Thomas Coram
Research Unit, London Institute of Education

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