Youth Work Definition
In the Youth Work Act, 2001, youth work is defined as:
A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young persons through their voluntary participation, and which is complementary to their formal academic or vocational education and training.
Under the Education and Training Board Act, ETBs have been given the responsibility to:
“Support the provision, coordination, administration and assessment of youth work services in its functional area and provide such information as may be requested by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to such support.”
(Education and Training Boards Act 2013, Section 10 (1) (j))
Youth Work Services are provided on the ETBs behalf by a number of voluntary youth organisations.
The definition in the youth work act, 2001 articulates that youth work:
- Is educational and elective, structured and systematic
- Complements the formal education system.
In practice, youth work includes universal and targeted youth work.
Benefits of youth work for young people
Seven potent mechanisms: communication skills, confidence and agency, planning and problem solving, relationships, creativity and imagination, emotional intelligence.
Kerry Education and Training Board Capacity
Examples of ETB Youth Work Functions in practice
Administration of funding lines and projects, e.g.:
- Special Projects to Assist Disadvantaged Youth (SPY Projects)
- Youth Information Centres
- Local Youth Club Grant Scheme
- Youth Employability Initiative / Youth Capital Fund (Type 1 & 2)
Quality assurance programmes:
National Quality Standards Framework:
For projects in receipt of Youth Affairs Unit funding with paid staff.
National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups:
- Supporting the implementation of standards with groups affiliated to national organisations
Developmental work, for example:
- Youth Mental Health Initiatives
- Promoting inclusion in youth work
- Provision of advice and support to local youth initiatives and projects.
Main funding source & reporting to:
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
- Better Outcomes Brighter Futures
- National Youth Strategy
- Value for Money and Policy Review of Youth Programmes.