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Youth workers need…

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to see the need for, and seek ways to engage young people in all stages of the youth work process.

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Thinking that things are done faster, smother and better if you do them yourself is quite common, and at the same time it is one of the worst traps that a youth worker could fall into. In order to avoid this youth workers must understand why it is crucial that young people are engaged in all stages of the youth work process, and how damaging it is when short term “efficiency” is put before young people’s participation and learning.
This is also why youth workers must be able to help young people to gain the knowledge and skills they need in order to participate, instead of carrying out different tasks by themselves.


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 do we secure that our focus remains on the process of participation and learning, and don’t take over in order to ‘get things done’?
  • How do we strengthen our capacity to provide young people with the knowledge and skills they need in order to carry out activities by themselves?
  • How can we initiate projects or activities that actually relies on the contributions of young people?
  • Do we think it is more rewarding, in terms of political recognition and funding, to focus on the product, e.g. activities, than to work with the participatory process?
    • If so, is this true and how can we change it?
  • Do we think it is easier and/or more rewarding to arrange activities that attract young people than to try to stimulate young people to engage and take responsibility?
    • Do we think that activities produced by youth workers are more attractive than activities produced by young people?


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Good practices & tools

  • Turku Rock Academy

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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