Moving Beyond Where and When to the People and Practices That Impact Youth

Karen Pittman


Descriptors like after-school and out-of-school make it easy for funders and families to understand the basics of what the youth development field offers—places for young people to go when they are not in school. These descriptors, however, do little to promote the youth work profession. Youth work is best practiced in settings that prioritize relationships, promote social and community engagement, and provide opportunities for interest-based skill building and exploration. The value youth workers bring to their practice, as the archive of articles in this journal demonstrates, is not in the basic descriptors of the setting, but in the design of the learning environments. This article explores the need for youth work professionals to use, contribute to, and share our knowledge base within and outside of the field.


youth work; after-school; practitioners; researchers

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Brandt, B., & Murray, C. (2013). Take an adventure bite. Journal of Youth Development 8(2), 96-105. doi:10.5195/jyd.2013.99

Bryant, M. J., Outley, C., & Edwards, M. B. (2013). Social justice and civic engagement through participation in a youth health leadership program. Journal of Youth Development 8(2), 76-83. doi:10.5195/jyd.2013.97

Ernst, J., & Schwartz, J. (2013). Environmental service and outdoor adventure as a context for positive youth development: An evaluation of the Crow River Trail Guards program. Journal of Youth Development 8(2), 57-75. doi:10.5195/jyd.2013.96

Lee, J. E., Culpepper, M., & Julien, R. (2013). Working toward peace: A holistic approach to addressing youth violence by Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Journal of Youth Development 8(2), 84-95. doi:10.5195/jyd.2013.98


Copyright (c) 2018 Karen Pittman

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