Brian Johnston, Director, Candle Youth Services, Dublin (provider of training placements, court ordered supervision and youth work services)
Fasten your seatbelts; this is one heck of a read. As a practitioner in the field of youth work and psychotherapy for more years than I care to remember, I believe that this book is definitely essential reading for anyone working with troubled young people. The pages are full of the wisdom, insight and compassion that can only come from years of frontline work, personal reflection and indeed sleepless nights. Jonny Matthew knows what he is talking about....but more than that, this book is a genuine testimony to the power and transformative impact of empathy and the presence of 'one good adult' in the life of a young person. The honesty, humour and at times vulnerability of the author will challenge you to inquire into your own work practice, your attitudes and values. Allow yourself to embody the richness and sensitivity of this powerful book and you too will experience nurturing, support and renewed energy for your work.
Ann Bell, Development Director Wales, Adoption UK
Working with Troubled Children and Teenagers will be a fantastic resource for those people who are doing just that for very low wages in thousands of settings every day. Easy to read and written in a chatty style, the book feels like having a conversation with someone who has spent their life working with young people who are in hard places. Jonny has and still is doing that work, and in this book he has distilled the things he has learnt about the importance of good relationship based work, into short, easily understood messages. If this book gets into the hands of the people at the coal face it will make a huge difference to the lives of troubled youngsters. I'd like to see it become a compulsory text for youth workers, teaching assistants, support workers and anyone else working directly with children and young people.
Sheila Taylor MBE, Chief Executive of National Working Group on Child Sexual Exploitation (NWG)
Jonny's huge wealth of understanding and his work with young people through Youth Justice projects clearly comes through. He's presents all his experience and knowledge in a way that is so accessible to frontline practitioners. Each time we engage with him it becomes ever more clear that we need his compassion and understanding of our trouble young people communicating to a much wider audience.