Cross-community youth work in North Belfast : funding and youth leader personal networks

Smith, Stephanie (2014) Cross-community youth work in North Belfast : funding and youth leader personal networks. Children and Youth Services Review, 38. pp. 29-35. ISSN 0190-7409 (In Press)

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Abstract

In North Belfast, young people overwhelmingly live, socialize and attend schools along sectarian lines, much the result of the regions' recent social, political and armed conflict. Cross-community youth work, a recurring activity in community development circles, is aimed at overcoming such social disadvantages among young people from the two predominant communities (Catholic/Nationalist/Republican and Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist). This article critically explores the relationship between a North Belfast adult cross-community youth leaders' professional personal network size and the amount of funding they apply for, receive and share with their peers. Findings reveal a significant relationship between personal network size and the amount of funding cross-community youth leaders (1) applied for and the amount they (2) received. However, no association was found between a respondent's personal network size and the amount of funding (3) shared with other cross-community youth initiatives. Implications for both the current state and the future of cross-community youth work are discussed.