Assesment 1 - What is youth policy and how does it influence the work of youth workers? By Ciara Davis
Youth policy is a vital aspect of Australian society, and is constantly being re-written and altered. Policy is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “… A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual”. The term "youth" applies to young people roughly between the ages of 12 and 25 who are beginning, amidst, or towards the end of adolescence (Children and Young People Act, 2008). Youth policy is under the jurisdiction of the government, who control the legislation that affects all young people belonging to Australian society. Youth workers, however, have the chance to assemble research directly from those they work with, and transfer it to the government, in an attempt to shed light on issues that need to be addressed urgently.
This existence of the youth worker is linked to the growing need for professionals who specialized in the needs of young people. This began approximately before the turn of the nineteenth century, as “…the modern state selected children and young people as one of many population groups deserving special policies and particular attention” (Spicker, 2005 pg. 69). This is useful to separate the very differing problems that exist for young people in comparison to adults, or children. However, since youth workers are under the control of government departments, they are expected to follow the protocol that has been arranged by the higher powers in parliament.
“The most important role of government… is the establishment of rules and procedures – a framework for social life” (pg. 72). These words by Bessant et al. (1998) reflect the government’s responsibility in safely and sufficiently governing young people of modern society via youth policy. The government must look at the issues of the present day as they evolve, and change youth legislation accordingly to meet these requirements. The United...
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