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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2009): Child welfare - overseas

'The end of certainty': policy regime change and Australian youth policy 1983-2008

J. Bessant

Youth and Policy, no. 100, 2008, p. 27-40

Like many Western countries, Australia lacks a discrete and well-defined corpus of youth policy. Youth policy is as often found in the context of other policy domains like education, health, housing, welfare and justice as in narrowly defined youth agencies. It is also often merged with children's policy, particularly in areas such as child protection and education. Australia also has three levels of government, national, state and local, with complex interlocking fiscal and constitutional relationships. This article seeks to identify some of the key aspects of youth policy that emerged as part of more general health, education, labour market and welfare policy at the national level between 1983 and 2008.

European youth policy

H. Williamson

Youth and Policy, no. 100, 2008, p. 65-73

This article briefly presents some of the key issues that have emerged as part of the debate about youth policy at the European Union level. These include the relationship between youth work and education, the definition of 'youth' in the light of delayed transition to independent living, policy implementation problems, the relationship of youth work to religion and the military, delivering services to minority groups, the value of non-formal education, and funding regimes.

The search for youth policy in the United States

J.A. Walker and D.A. Blyth

Youth and Policy, no. 100, 2008, p. 75-89

The United States has no comprehensive youth policy. In the absence of a shared vision widely embraced at federal, state and local levels, there is a disconnected patchwork of policies that frustrates efforts to guide and co-ordinate investment in service development for young people. The United States has a multiplicity of programmes, special interest advocates and system silos that make wise use of public resources difficult if not impossible. In this article the authors seek to:

1) identify the role that an integrated youth policy could play in promoting positive youth development; 2) review recent efforts to forge new youth policy initiatives and reasons for failure; 3) explore how youth matters are handled in the absence of an articulated youth policy framework; 4) examine efforts to move a state-level youth policy framework forward around non-formal learning outside of school hours; and 5) offer observations on what it will take to succeed.

Youth work and youth policy in the Republic of Ireland 1983-2008: 'still haven't found what we're looking for . ?'

M. Devlin

Youth and Policy, no. 100, 2008, p. 41-54

In 1983 the Costello Committee was appointed to prepare recommendations for a national youth policy in the Republic of Ireland. This article presents and overview of progress since. Youth work in Ireland now has a statutory basis in the shape of the Youth Work Acts of 1997 and 2001. Vocational Education Committees (VECs) operating at county and city level have responsibility for ensuring the provision of youth work programmes and services in their area. This involves providing assistance, including financial assistance, to voluntary youth work organisations, drawing up three-yearly Youth Work Development Plans, drafting annual youth work budgets and reporting on youth work services to the Minister for Education. In keeping with the principle of statutory-voluntary partnership, each VEC is required to establish and be advised by a Youth Work Committee and Voluntary Youth Council. At the national level, the government is supported by the National Youth Work Advisory Committee established under the 1997 Act.

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