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; and provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.” (Youth Work Act, 2001)
Youth Work Act 2001
The Youth Work Act, 2001 was enacted in December 2001. The purpose of the Act is to provide a legal framework for the provision of youth work programmes and services by the Minister, the Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and by National and Regional Youth Organisations.
National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007
The National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 was published in August 2003 and provided a blueprint for the development of Youth Work in Ireland.
The Plan had four broad goals:
To facilitate young people and adults to participate more fully in, and to gain optimum benefit from, youth work programmes and services.
To enhance the contribution of youth work to social inclusion, social cohesion and citizenship in a rapidly changing national and global context.
To put in place an expanded and enhanced infrastructure for development, support and coordination at national and local level.
To put in place mechanisms for enhancing professionalism and ensuring quality standards in youth work.
National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 (PDF Format)
National Quality Standards Framework for Youth Work 2011
A National Quality Standards Framework for youth work (NQSF) was introduced in January 2011. This is primarily a support, development and assessment tool that provides services and organisations with the opportunity to articulate through a common language their youth work practice. The implementation of the NQSF is resulting in an improvement in good practice and better value for money and is assisting youth organisations and services in addressing the developmental needs of young people to an even greater extent and in a more cost effective manner.
Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures
Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures is the first overarching national policy framework for children and young people (aged 0-24 years), developed and led by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs on behalf of the Government. Almost all policy areas have a direct or indirect effect on children and young people’s lives. The purpose of this framework is to co-ordinate policy across Government to achieve better outcomes.
Download the report here
National Youth Strategy 2015-2020
The aim of the National Youth Strategy is to enable all young people to realise their maximum potential, by respecting their rights and hearing their voices, while protecting and supporting them as they transition from childhood to adulthood.