Before joining the Social Policy Department in 1987, I was a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. As a sociologist I specialised in the study of youth and, initially, this involved me in researching aspects of school-to-work transitions and youth (un)employment. I moved disciplines very deliberately in order to confront more directly, as teacher and researcher, practical issues of policy in the areas of education, training and employment and support for young people. I now teach options on Children, Young People and Social Policy and The Social Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence. I hope I am able to use the analytical and theoretical skills of the sociologist in the study of contemporary policy making. The development of youth policy in the UK has gather pace since 1997 and tracking and evaluating these developments has been at the forefront of both my research and teaching.