News Archive


Posted on Friday, December 21, 2001

A research team, from the universities of Luton, Durham and Lincolnshire, is about to embark on a national study of detached and outreach youth work with socially excluded young people funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Project leader Professor John Pitts at the University of Luton said:

“In the last few years, as a result of new government initiatives in health, homelessness, crime and employment, outreach and detached youth work has mushroomed. We need to map these developments to establish whether the right young people are being reached and whether best practice can be generalised.”

In order to do this, the project team, Jean Spence and Tony Jeffs from Durham, David Crimmens from Lincolnshire and Fiona Factor, John Pitts, Carol Pugh and Penny Turner from Luton, will work closely with youth workers and senior representatives of key agencies and research centres.

The project will focus particularly upon the ways in which the work of outreach and detached youth workers fits with the government’s new Connexions employment, education and training initiative.

Professor Pitts went on:

“There is an urgent practical need for a better understanding of whether, and how, user-led approaches to detached and outreach work can articulate with target- or outcome-led initiatives like Connexions.

The project aims to clarify the role and contribution of detached/outreach work and to identify how mainstream agencies, in health, education, training and criminal justice may need to reconfigure their service to accommodate this contribution.

The project will use data held by relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies to map provision nationally. This will be followed by telephone interviews with 30 project heads. Ten projects will then be studied in depth. The research team will stage two residential weekends for project workers where skills methods and issues will be aired and analysed.

John Pitts said:

“The research team have all worked as practitioners in these fields and we are committed to it detached and outreach youth work. We think this project could offer youth workers a unique opportunity to demonstrate their effectiveness and we want to work in partnership with them.”


Professor John Pitts
0208 679 4552, [email protected]

Fiona Factor
01582 743072 [email protected]

Tony Jeffs
0191 3744730 [email protected]

Jean Spence
0191 3744730 [email protected]

David Crimmens
01482 440550 ext 4806 [email protected]

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