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

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to have a holistic perspective on young people and meet them where they are, as capable individuals and primary resources in their own lives and for society as a whole.

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Personal development must always start from where you are and be guided by a reflective awareness of where you want to go, what kind of change you want to achieve. Youth work has a great potential to stimulate young people’s reflection on both where they are and where they want to go. It is when the young person feels that he/she owns the process and that it is for his/her own good, and not mainly in the interest of others, that real and sustainable change is most likely to take place. So, youth work dealing with problems or difficulties, should therefore have a constructive approach, focus on possible solutions and build its actions on the will and strength of those young people participating.

Youth work is often described or labelled as a preventive practice, but the heart and soul of youth work is promotion. It is through promoting young people that youth work creates added value for both young people and society. This will surely have a preventive effect.



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
  • How can we further develop our ability to identify and promote the different strengths and capacities of the young people that we work with?
  • How do we open up for and support young people to be active resources in society, contributing with their knowledge and experiences to its further development?
  • Are we sometimes trying to ‘manage’ young people instead of meeting them as resources for change?
    • How can we avoid this in the future?
  • Do we sometimes see youth work more as a way to handle and prevent problems, than as basis for young people’s contributions to both personal and societal development?
    • Are we sometimes letting our will to answer to problems, such as unemployment or drug abuse, put us in a top-down position in relation to the young people concerned?


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Good practices & tools

  • Regional government and cities together for youth

Learn more 

  • “Who’s Included?” A Local Organisation Embedding Inclusivity in Youth Mobility. The experience of Limerick Youth Service

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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