Relationships are the key to good urban youth work practice. The purpose of this hermeneutical phenomenological study was to give understanding to how youth workers create and maintain trusting relationships. A literature review looked at what relationship development looks like in the various ways adults work with youth. The literature on expertise in practice was reviewed to understand how youth workers use their experience and skills to create relationships with youth. The approach was to observe, interview, and have informal conversations with five expert youth workers over a period of nine months. The data was analyzed using a selective or highlighting approach.Three overarching themes emerged: The stance of youth work, the youth work dance and the relational nature of youth work practice. Under these three major themes several sub themes or aspects of each theme were discussed. From the stories of the youth workers a pattern t developed; a web of confluence. It is not linear, but for this group of youth workers most of these aspects are present in their creation of relationship. It starts with the stance; and the youth work dance and the relational nature of the work is interwoven with the stance to make it all come alive. The data supports the theory that relationship is the cornerstone of good youth work practice.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. September 2014. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Dr. Rosemarie Park. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 222 pages.
Ezaki, Jerilyn May.
Expert urban youth workers and the stories they tell: a narrative of lived experience.
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