Models of Working with Youth

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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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