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Youth work is value based and its core principles are that it needs…

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to be actively inclusive and offer equal opportunities to all young people.

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This core principle relates to the fact that all young people should have access to local quality youth work. All young people having access does not, however, mean that all youth work activities should be open to all young people. There will always be a need for targeted youth work in order to reach certain groups and/or to handle specific issues. Young people will always organise themselves on the basis of ideas and interests that, in practise, exclude other groups.
What this core principle states is that if some groups, e.g. girls or young migrants, are not reached there has to be outreached youth work that actively invites them and offers them the same opportunities as the majority benefits from.

It also means that youth work that directs itself to all young people, for example an open youth centre, must secure that it does not discriminate any group of young people. Besides obvious rules for admission, etc., this also means that it has to see to that there are no forms of in-direct discrimination through the way activities are initiated, organised, marketed and carried out. All young people must, in this case, feel invited and confident that they will have a fair and respectful treatment when taking part.


Guiding questions

To what degree does our local youth work meet this bullet point?

Are there sides/aspects of it that are not reached?
Are there differences related to different activities?
Are there differences related to different groups of young people?
Are there differences related to different youth work providers?
Are there other differences? Related to what?

Specific questions
  • Are there groups of young people that we do not reach?
    • How can we find out where and how to find these young people and to start to work more actively to reach them?
  • Do we offer the same possibilities and space to all young people that we work with, or do we make more or less conscious priorities?
  • Are we mainly focusing on the young people that happens to take part in our activities, more or less forgetting about those that we do not automatically reach?
    • Are we satisfied with this? And if not, how do we change it?
  • Are our activities designed and marked in a way that in practice exclude certain groups, e.g. are they gender stereotype and send the message that they are mainly directed towards boys?
    • How should we analyse our activities from this perspective?


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Good practices & tools

  • engage.ch – How to improve active Youth Citizenship & Participation

Learn more

  • City Incubator = Helping make the ideas of youth happen

Learn more

  • Guidelines: How to implement open youthwork in municipalities and cities (in German)

Learn more

Future steps

What different steps do we need to take in order to meet this bullet point?

Do we miss any knowledge that we need?
Do we need to take contact with stakeholders not present in our discussions?
Do we need to develop new competences, methods, work processes or organisational structures?
Can we find good practices or tools that might help us to improve this?
Do we have positive experiences from other areas of youth work that we can use also in this case?
Are there other organisations that we can contact and learn from regarding this?
Do we need to take other measures?
Do we have to revise our perspectives and/or priorities regarding youth work?

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