Hit by a barrier of silence

19th December 1997 at 00:00
One of the most revealing findings is that only one in 20 of those who attend youth groups say they would discuss personal issues with a youth worker.

But evidence from drop-in centres showed as many as eight out of 10 were prepared to talk over sensitive matters with leaders. The study also highlights a lack of guidance and counselling within mainstream youth work.

Fully qualified youth workers had less contact with young people than other voluntary leaders, the researchers say.

Their report concludes: "Given that older youths encounter a greater range of risks (such as those associated with the use of drugs and alcohol and involvement in illegal activities), this is a serious shortcoming of the service."

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