Reflective practice in youth justice

Authored by: Wayne Taylor

Youth Justice Handbook

Print publication date:  October  2009
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9781843927174
eBook ISBN: 9781315820064
Adobe ISBN: 9781317821755


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This chapter considers how a ‘reflective’ approach to youth justice practice might help practitioners in resolving some, if not all, of the dilemmas arising from an ambivalent political and occupational climate. It asks how practitioners might legitimately exercise discretionary judgement within the constraints of professional accountability by examining the key components and principles of ‘reflective practice’ (Schön 1983, 1987, 1991). Beginning with a brief overview of reflective practice within the wider ‘helping professions’, it explores the value of this approach to professional development in youth justice. Following this, the chapter continues by drawing on the work of Eadie and Canton (2002) to delineate the ways in which reflective practice might – or might not – operate as a positive force within youth justice, given the specific challenges of this multidisciplinary and multi-agency sector. It aims to look at the way the process of critical reflection impacts on the day-to-day work of the practitioner, developing and shaping their professional competencies.

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