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Youth workers need…

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to be aware of and able to articulate the role and mission of the youth workers, and not to lend themselves to aims and activities that fall outside the realm of the core principles.

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If youth work is to be better recognised, youth workers must be able not only to describe what they do, but also, and even more important, to articulate why they are doing it, their aims, as well as their role and the core principles that guide their actions.
This is important in relation to young people as well as in relation to the political level and other stakeholders. The surrounding society and all stakeholders concerned need to know and understand what to expect from youth work and why it is carried out in the way it is.

Being able to clearly express these things also make it easier for youth workers and youth work providers to act with integrity, not having to engage in activities that does not comply with the core principles and the best interests of young people.


  • Some of the skills needed for doing this, mentioned in the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio are “communication, networking, co-operation, partnership building, democratic leadership, advocacy, public speaking, presentation.”
    Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio

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
  • When we talk about youth work, do we talk about what we do, the activities, or why we do them and what they bring to young people and society?
  • Are there groups that we need to address that we don’t address today regarding the role and mission of youth work?
    • What channels and methods would be appropriate for this?
  • How can we develop our ability to do constructive advocacy for youth work?
    • What kind of ‘evidence’ or facts do we need to support our argumentation?
  • Are we, due to lack of convincing counter arguments, running activities that does not really comply with the core principles?
  • Are we informing about youth work?
    • If yes, are we then informing only about activities as such, and not about their outcomes?


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Good practices & tools

  • Ethics for youth workers

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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