Welcome to TAG: The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work (TAG:PALYCW). The Association represents youth and community work educators, academics and researchers across the UK, with international links to youth and community work education in countries such as the Republic of Ireland, Australia and across Europe.
The Association has its roots in the emergence of youth and community work as a distinct profession in the UK and we often refer to ourselves as TAG, in recognition of the former 'Training Agencies Group' that enabled the development of many youth and community work education programmes in the UK dating back to the 1970's. TAG was superseded by The Professional Association in 2010 but recognition of TAG is retained in the legal title of the Association and is used interchangeably by members.
The purpose of the Association is to support research, education and training in youth and community work with a particular concern for higher education, and we represent in excess of 200 educators at over 50 institutions and agencies across the UK. As researchers, educators and academics we draw from different perspectives and approaches across the UK youth and community work sector, but the thing that unites us is the belief in youth and community work as a distinctive way of working with young people and communities.
We welcome new interest in the Association and are seeking to diversify our membership to include representation from educators that are working in further education colleges, with training providers or as independent agents. Please take some time to explore the benefits of membership through this website, sign up for one the Association's conferences or our member's events, and connect with fellow educators across the UK.
I'm Jane Melvin and I took up the role as Chair of the Association in Sept 2014. I am Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton and responsible for the BA (Hons) in Youth Work. I'm currently completing a Professional Doctorate in Education, my research interest is 'youth work in digital spaces'.
I've been involved with the TAG:PALYCW since 2011 when the University of Brighton hosted the Association's 2011 Annual Conference. At that time I was daunted by the prospect of working alongside some of the 'celebrities' of the youth and community work world, however, the experience has been both stimulating and supportive, and where I've made a plethora of new friends and contacts. I therefore encourage you to get involved with the Association and draw on the wealth of resource and opportunity that is made possible through membership.
As an Association we aim to support members through our conference activity but recognise the increasing need to use our collective influence at national events or with national bodies. Our activity includes national consultations aimed at retaining youth work as a specific discipline, working with national bodies to quality assure routes of qualification, and support for member colleagues in their institutions. If you require support or would like to get more involved then please let us know.