Topic:  Building youth resilience: From policy to practice, and the impact of professionalism – Dr Cate Curtis, University of Waikato, New Zealand 

Resources: You can download Cate’s slides.

Session Summary: The area of youth risk and youth resilience has been a topic of increasing attention over recent years, partially as a corollary of supposedly increasing anti-social behaviour. In New Zealand significant public monies are invested in programmes and research into risk and the development of resilience, most often with the aim of reducing youth crime. However, policies and programmes reflect competing social values rather than issues of risk and resilience per se, such that the outcomes used to assess risk and resilience in one context may represent only those characteristics that serve that context. The notion of risk is additionally problematic due to its basis on decontextualised criteria for normality.  In the prevailing approach to youth behaviour the language of risk has replaced need as the key principle of social policy formation and intervention. This paper addresses these issues, and how policy translates into practice, with particular attention to the unintended consequences of policy decisions based on moral panics and inadequate definitions of risk and resilience.

Biography: Cate Curtis is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Prior to academic life, she worked in various roles in NGOs, including as a youth worker, and this work prompted her current academic career. Research interests include conceptualisations of risk and resilience, especially as they pertain to young women.

Most interested: Academics, practitioners, students, community workers and public sector workers.

This session took place on Wednesday 16 April 2014.

The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research!

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