Our vision is to see a world that recognises the expertise of youth workers in supportive environments that builds positive youth development of young people.
The Ara Taiohi Board established the Pathway to Professionalisation of Youth Work Working Group: Raising the Standards of Youth Work in Aotearoa (P2P) in 2012 to support the development of a professional association for youth work. The group’s purpose is to promote and build the professional status and expertise of paid and volunteer youth workers. The P2P is working on two key streams of work: making Code of Ethics training accessible to all youth workers across New Zealand and establishing a professional association for youth workers. Accountability of the working group sits with the Ara Taiohi Board that is voted on by the youth sector.
The current P2P group members are: Simon Mareko and Jane Zintl as co-chairs, Stephen Bell, John Harrington, Stewart Irwin and Lisa Hann.
- Jane delivers Christchurch Youth Work training and is a supervisor and Strengths Coach
- Simon is a Youth Worker at Evolve Wellington Youth Service and a Board Member of Ara Taiohi
- Stephen is the CEO of Auckland Youthline and a Board Member of Ara Taiohi
- John is the Manager of the Canterbury Youth Workers Collective
- Lisa is a Workplace Advisor for Careerforce and a supervisor
- Stew is the Corps Leader for the Salvation Army Petone
- Captured the history of youth work in Aotearoa in a living document.
- Undertook research and information gathering to define the best model for a professional association within the existing Ara Taiohi structure.
- Identified the size and make up of the youth work sector (potential and current).
- Strengthened relationships with youth work networks in Northland and Auckland. Read John's reflections on his time up north
- Established a Code of Ethics Champions programme to increase access to COE training nationwide.
- Developed a pilot professional association for input from founding members
Values of Working Group
- We work from a relational frame, with strength based interactions and intentions. We respect difference and the ability for robust discussion. Working in good faith and cooperation for the wider vision.
- Our actions are transparent and accountable. We behave with integrity, authenticity and collective responsibility.
- We work with clarity and purpose. Aiming to be flexible and find the best way forward in our actions.
- Our work is inclusive, and driven by a diverse youth work sector. We work with care and consideration for others.
- Develop a scope of work and timeline covering the feasibility of establishing a professional association for youth work.
- Effective engagement with youth work networks and other significant stakeholders.
- Improve the capability of the delivery of the Code of Ethics training.
- Promote professional development and the tertiary training pathway for youth work.
- Provide feedback on the Strategic Plan approved by the Board to the Board.
The Pathway to Professionalisation Working Group is aware that effective engagement is vital to ensure cohesion and investment from and to the sector.