What is youth work?

Youth work has a value base which is grounded in respect for young people and in the principles of inclusion and equal opportunity. Through its voluntary relationship with young people it offers opportunities for learning that are:

Educative

Enabling young people to gain the skills, knowledge, understanding, attitudes and values needed for their own personal development and fulfilment and as a means of contributing to society as members of groups and communities, locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Expressive

Encouraging and enabling young people to express their understanding and knowledge and their ideas, opinions, emotions and aspirations through a broad range of creative and often challenging opportunities.

Participative

Encouraging and supporting young people to become partners in, and share responsibility for, the opportunities, learning processes and decision-making structures which affect their own and other people's lives and environments.

Inclusive

Enabling young people to develop knowledge, understanding and positive attitudes and behaviour in relation to: racial, social, and cultural identity and diversity; heritage; languages and the value of one's own and other languages; citizenship; respect for other people’s choices.

Empowering

Equipping young people with the understanding and skills to enable them to exercise their rights including: recognising that all young people have rights and that this implies respecting the rights of others; supporting young people to carry out their responsibilities as citizens and members of their communities; encouraging young people to engage with the personal, social and political issues which affect their lives and the lives of others and to develop qualities of leadership.