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How we got here

The Weaving of Research and Feedback

In 2014 P2P undertook research into existing local and international models to help define what the best model for a professional association in Aotearoa might look like.  The P2P Phase 1 Report is a summary of this work.

This was followed by a survey in 2015 to help understand the size and make-up of the youth work sector (work experience, qualifications, paid/unpaid, full-time/part-time) - the P2P Youth Work Workforce Research Report is a summary of this work.  From this survey we gathered information on what the sector felt were work experience equivalencies to qualifications.

Over 2015 Ara Taiohi also published Stepping Stone, which reported on the youth work cohort of its wider 2014 National Youth Sector Survey and compared it against the 2006 NYWNA Real Work Report – this gave valuable insight into the development of youth work over those 8 years, and existing challenges for the profession.

A report was commissioned to inform the development of bicultural processes within the association and out of those conversations came a commitment for Ara Taiohi to become a restorative organisation and put restorative practice at the heart of the dispute resolution process of the professional association.

Between the research, reports, survey and conversations with other professional associations the P2P then developed and proposed a membership structure, fees and process for a professional association for youth workers in 2016.

During this time Ara Taiohi applied for funding to take the proposal around the motu for consultation and feedback and ran a small survey to hear what people wanted to see within the consultation process.  When funding applications were unsuccessful we re-shaped how we would consult and developed a pilot process – the details of this were shaped by what people had asked for in the survey about consultation.

In September 2016 we launched a pilot professional association and called for founding members to join us and help shape what the final association would look like.  From September 2016 to February 2017 242 founding members joined. 

We had 242 amazing founding members join us over the course of the pilot. They contributed in multiple ways to the development of the association.  Here are some details on the make-up of our founding members

  • Good regional spread and spread across the contexts of youth work: 35% Auckland, 27% Wellington, 13 % Christchurch and representatives from every region except the West Coast; 58% working in a volunteer context, 16% in an Iwi context, 18% in a Rainbow context, 23% in a Pasifika context, 32% in a faith-based context, 8% in a disability context, 14% in an ethnic context and a good spread across all contexts identified in the COE
  • 62% Pākehā European, 18% Māori, 12% Pasifika
  • 69% were in paid employment, 29% were volunteers, 37% were in full-time employment and 15% were in part-time employment.  49% have been in youth work for over ten years
  • 165 indicated they would like to become a Champion and become a trainer or assessor of an area within the professional association (eg COE, Rainbow competency) 
  • 129 indicated interest in being part of a sub-committee of the association - the committees and working groups now driving the development and establishment of the association's process come from this pool.

In November 2016 - 90 founding members attended our Starfish Hui where they were equipped with information and resources to run focus groups back in their communities to gather feedback on the proposed membership structure and processes.  18 Starfish Focus Groups were run over the November – January period, which combined reached approximately 215 participants.

Three employers hui were run in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland over February-March 2017 with 78 people attending across the 3 hui. 

Based on the feedback gathered from the Starfish hui and focus groups an online survey was developed and circulated widely in March 2017 - to gather specific feedback on the proposed structure.  131 people completed the survey - 30% of the 242 founding members contributed.

Feedback from over 500 participants from the Starfish Hui sessions, Starfish Focus Groups, employers hui and the online survey have been combined and analysed to inform changes to the membership structure.  The main themes from all the feedback were:

  • Lower the years’ of experience necessary for entry
  • More recognition of lower level qualifications
  • More consistency of qualification recognition
  • Equalise the years across the different categories
  • Simplify the membership structure
  • Recognise competencies over everything else
  • Clear external accountability for members
  • Inclusivity for all (including volunteers)
  • Add a membership category for organisations
  • Staircasing support
  • Need for flexibility and clarity
  • To include practice requirements such as supervision, competency based training (eg COE, bicultural practice) and ongoing professional development in membership as soon as possible.

Results from the online survey showed overall good support for what was proposed with:

  • 58% strongly agreeing or agreeing with the proposed membership structure (27% were neutral, 12% disagreed and 3% disagreed)
  • 44% strongly agreeing or agreeing with the proposed fees (35% were neutral, 19% disagreed and 3% strongly disagreed)
  • 73% strongly agreeing or agreeing with the proposed application process (19% were neutral, 7% disagreed and 1% strongly disagreed)

Read a summary of the online survey here.

Feedback from the youth work community has changed and enhanced the membership structure significantly.  We have:

  • Simplified down to two categories of personal membership – Member and Accredited Member (practising and non-practising)
  • Added a category for organisational partner membership and will be working with organisations interested in developing this after launch
  • Put demonstrating the nine core competencies out front as a requirement for membership and made the years’ experience and qualifications indicators to support the progression to Accredited Member status
  • Lowered the years’ experience, included lower levels of qualifications and equalised the years across the categories in the indicators for determination of Accredited Members status
  • We have made the experience and qualifications indicators (rather than requirements) flexible to allow for people’s circumstances to be different – but made the requirement to demonstrate the competencies firm

Find out more about Korowai Tupu membership.

Suggestions for the name were gathered through the Starfish Focus Groups and the online survey - 36 name suggestions and suggestions of the values a name would need to embody were gathered.  A sub-group of representatives from P2P and Ngā Kaihoe met to work through the list.  Through our process many of the suggestions were woven together into one.  The suggested name went through a process with our Kaihautū and was circulated to the Māori founding members for input.

Name: Korowai Tupu

Full name: Korowai Tupu o Ara Taiohi: Te Tōpūtanga  o Ngā Kaimahi Whanaketanga

Conceptual meaning: Cloak of growth

Full name translation: Korowai Tupu o Ara Taiohi: The Professional Association of Youth Workers in Aotearoa

Key words translated:

Korowai = cloak (connects to Ara Taiohi strategic framework)
Tupu = (noun) growth, development, seedling; (verb) prosper, originate, increase; (modifier) real, genuine, ancestral
Tōpūtanga   = Association, collective, grouping, organisation. Could be used to describe what kind of group we are but not who.
Kaimahi = Worker
Whanaketanga = Youth development (connects to use in COE)
Aotearoa = used when working internationally.

Read more about the Name.