Three young men and two young women talk and laugh as they walk the street

Empathy in Youth Work

“Empathy is vital in understanding the needs and issues facing young people, and it is important to recognise the potential they have.” Sociologists Steven MacLennan, Keith Muir & Susan Thoms review the important elements of working with youth, focusing on a shared common purpose.

It is essential to acknowledge the injustice that youth may have experienced while working towards goals. At the same time tasks should be mutually negotiated rather than imposed,working to the individual’s strengths and interests. This is good management practice in all fields as research shows that people are most productive when they feel listened to and validated.

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