In your overall approach to your work with young people, you will be taking on different characters at different times. Being able to identify these, and take on the most appropriate character at any given time, is an important part of working professionally. However, this is not simply a process of assessing the situation and then selecting the most appropriate character to deal with it. Working with people at any age is far less precise and technical than this; it involves referring to our instincts and feelings about the situation, and engaging with the values that we bring to the role. So, the individual actions we use and the characters we deploy can only be fully understood when placed in a framework of values and purposes. We have chosen to call this a ‘philosophy’, that is a set of understandings about the nature and purposes of the work which informs all our actions. The statements below illustrate some of the assumptions that might be made about young people and the interventions in their lives that would therefore be useful. While we describe these as characterisations, they are also caricatures. Most people's frameworks of values and purposes will be more complex and draw on a range of ideas and assumptions.