Models of Working with Youth

Models of Working with Youth

Three Broad Models of Working with Youths

NAME OF MODEL Main organizing principle of working with youth.  

Main Goal



Questions asked Examples:
Social Justice
  • Activism
  • Solidarity
  • Praxis


  • Structural Redistribution of power and resources.
  • Youth have agency, collective power and special insight.
  • Rights based
  • How do youth experience social problems, community and marginalization?
  • What barriers exist to active citizenship? How can these barriers be eliminated using the power of youth collective action?
  • Whose power/resources should be challenged, engaged with or redistributed?


  • Direct Action
  • Collective action
  • Collective community building
  • Book not Bars campaign
  • Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, No One is Illegal.
Client Centered Social Work
  • Empowerment.
  • Gaining influence over events and outcomes on a case by case basis.
  • Expert based but can still be horizontal in nature.
  • Helping based.
  • What individual barriers or strengths do individual youth experience?
  • How can social service workers share insight and knowledge to help youth? What referrals can be made to other social service organizations?
  • Counselling
  • Psycho-social education
  • Application of Human development models




Community Development
  • Youth friendly Economic and social development.
  • Youth engagement and participation in building strong communities on a case by case basis or in small groups.
  • Expert based but horizontal.
  • Programming, economic or service based.
  • What programs, resources, would be useful to youth?
  • Are there appropriate social resources for youth?
  • Where and how can youth be meaningful engaged and consulted in the status quo social structural arrangement?


  • Mayor Youth Councils
  • Youth comprised boards on social service agencies




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