What is youth work?

"Youth work is an extra-curricular field of work, in that it involves specific leisure activities and is based on non-formal and informal learning processes and on voluntary participation. It promotes young people’s development in a multi-faceted manner, enabling them to become active outside their families, formal education, and work. Youth work activities and processes are self-managed, co-managed or managed under the guidance of educational staff (either full-time or voluntary youth workers and youth leaders) and can develop and change in line with various dynamics. Youth work is organised and delivered in different ways (e.g., by youth-led organisations, youth organisations and informal groups, and by youth services and public authorities) and is shaped at the local, regional, national and European level."

This definition of youth work can be found in the ETS Competence Model for Youth Workers to Work Internationally and it nicely reflects and emphasises on the variety and richness of youth work practice, as well as on the broad field that encompasses them. Youth work can find its place from youth work programmes in youth clubs to project-based youth work. From street-based to school-based youth work. From outreach youth work to local youth offices. 

In 2015, the Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the youth field published a very informative video “What is youth work today?”

These challenges were tackled during the convention and suggesitons have been made in the Declaration of the 2nd Youth Work Convention.  

Source of this video: European Union and Council of Europe Partnership in the field of Youth. This is third-party video, not produced by MOOC team, therefore automatic captions might not be correct. Full transcript of this video is available here.

For further reading, you can check:

For further reading, you can check:

    1. ETS Competence Model for Youth Workers to Work Internationally
    2. Council of Europe 2017 Recommendation on Youth Work
    3. Youth Work in the Spotlight - Guide to Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member States on youth work
    4. Council conclusions on the role of youth work in the context of migration and refugee matters
    5. Council of Europe Youth work Portfolio: Youth Work Essentials

    With the support and the contribution of:

    With the support and the contribution of: