Source: (2006) Youth Justice Vol.2 No. 3 pp.151-163

This paper examines some emerging evidence in relation to the impact of recent organizational changes in the delivery of youth justice services, and the implementation of National Standards for youth justice, on occupational culture in work with young offenders. It considers the potential conflict between traditional child centred youth justice practice and the new priorities set for Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, and draws attention to the possibility of a divergence in philosophy and practice between Wales and England. The paper highlights the uneasy philosophical differences that co-exist within YOT’s and it explorers the respective perceptions of qualified practitioners and social work students on placement, concerning the state of current practice. Finally, the implications for those involved in the education and training of social work students are briefly considered.