This book, now available in paperback, explores the development of youth policy and youth work in Ireland from the mid-nineeenth century to the present day. Based on original research, funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS), it looks at the social construction of youth, the emergence of the early youth movements and the nature and scope of contemporary youth work. Key issues include: the shift from mainstream to targeted provision, the professionalisation of the sector and the increased partnership between the state and voluntary sector. A second major theme is the treatment of young people in industrial and reformatory schools, with particular reference to the findings of the Ryan Report on child abuse (2009). This is the only book which combines an exploration of the history and current scope of youth work and youth policy, and which is based on comprehensive original research. It will be essential reading for lecturers and students in youth work, social sciences, social history and related fields.