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Bridges and ladders: stories from the ‘coalface’ to the ‘ivory tower’ and back

The TF Talk focuses on the themes of recognition and quality in youth work aiming to support capacity building and know-how of youth work and youth workers. Youth work is as much a way of being with young people as it is a way of doing with young people. How we, as youth workers 'attend to' young people? How we create space for them to come to know whatever it is that they need to know as a basis for agency and action - whether that's about themselves (their feelings, their aspirations, their past, their future) or about the world more generally (their hopes, their fears, their place, their connections, their role). Relationships are key to youth work and key to relationship is conversation. Youth workers being able to listen to what's being said as much as what's not being said, to be able to invite young people to reflect, to explore, to examine, to think about themselves (perhaps differently) in the world, to create and curate their present and future. In that context the artistry of youth work - it's know-how if you will - relates to the youth worker's capacity to be act with respect, to be authentic, to relate with integrity and 'model' what it is to be human with all that encompasses in ways that enable and empowers young people to make and take their place in world. The TF Talk will feed into these themes by focusing on the tools and ‘know-how’ (based on ideas of respect, authenticity, integrity and empowerment) needed to negotiate and navigate the possibilities and tensions of collaborating wholeheartedly in, between and across the Youth Work and Higher Education fields to promote youth work as a transformative practice.