This article explores social pedagogic practices that are embedded, but arguably unrecognised, within a variety of support worker roles. I will argue that the work done within intersubjective relationships formed with marginalised youth is best understood as social pedagogy and not, as support workers themselves typically insist, youth mentoring. Through the exploration of this relationship dynamic it becomes possible to ‘open-up’ objectivist professional roles to ‘make room’ for a mode of engagement that connects with marginalised youth at an intersubjective level. Support workers often establish this dialectical mode of engagement anyway, but lacking a structured discourse with which to articulate their pedagogic strategies, they fall back on the concept of mentoring as a best fit model. If this thesis is accepted, there are two significant implications. Firstly, an integration of social pedagogic concepts within this new practice space has the potential to improve outcomes for marginalised youth and, secondly, an exploration of the work done within similar relationship dynamics could potentially answer the question ‘what is social pedagogy?’. Beyond this, there is value in exploring the apparent nexus that exists between the fields of youth mentoring and social pedagogy, as much could be gained by elucidating their shared conceptual links.