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Youth Work and Social Networking

The final research report into Youth Work and Social Media is now available.

Social Networking Sites (SNS) plays an increasingly important role in the lives of many young people and presents them with both opportunities and risks. Many of the reasons young people may encounter risks through SNS have roots outside of the technology, in issues of young people's personal and social development. Young people need support to develop the appropriate skills and resilience to navigate online social networking risks and opportunities. Peer groups need chances to negotiate and develop shared understandings of safe and reasonable online behaviour patterns.

Youth Work can play a key role in supporting young people to navigate the risks and exploit the opportunities of online social networking. Youth work can provide space for young people to reflect upon their online activity, and to develop their ‘media literacy’. Proactive youth work engagement with

SNS offers an alternative to information campaigns (which have limited demonstrable behaviour change impact); and to blanket blocking of SNS sites (which can risk burying potential problems).

The final report is now available

Youth Work and Social Networking - Final ReportYouth Work and Social Networking - Final Report

The interim report and executive summaries are now available:

Youth Work and Social Networking - Executive Summary - Getting it right for young people (May 2008)Youth Work and Social Networking - Executive Summary (May 2008)

Youth Work and Social Networking Interim report (May 2008)Youth Work and Social Networking Interim report (May 2008)

This project is ongoing, and we are currently undertaking three action research projects to identify key practical learning about youth work responses. The final report will be available here in Summer 2008.

You can find out more and comment on this work on the YWSN project blog >>

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