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Youth Work

Volunteering opportunities in youth work


This page is a one-‘start’-shop for anyone interested in volunteering in youth work. It brings together information on where you can find volunteering opportunities, what a prospective volunteer can expect and what will be expected of you, as well as support, advice, research and a wealth of free downloadable resources!

Youth Work Act 2001


In December 2001, The Youth Work Act became Law. It confers certain responsibilities onto the Minister for Education and Science, namely to develop and co-ordinate youth work programmes and services including co-ordination with education and other programmes.

The purpose of this act is to provide a statutory framework for the provision of youth work programmes and services by the Minister, VECs and by the National and Regional Youth Organisations.

National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007

This plan sets out a strategy for the first five-year plan for the development of youth work in Ireland and is the first sustained examination of current youth services and their relationship with other aspects of youth policy and provision.

It explores the challenges facing the youth work sector, depicts a vision of youth work in Ireland and sets goals and actions for the development of youth work from 2003-2007.

What is youth work?

Youth work has been enhancing the lives of young people and adults in Ireland for more than 100 years. It was given formal statutory recognition in the Youth Work Act 2001, which defines youth work as:

A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young people through their voluntary involvement, and which is complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training and provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.

National Quality Standards Framework for Youth Work

The National Quality Standards Framework for Youth Work was launched in 2010.

NQSF establishes a single, standardised framework that will act as an overarching structure to ensure and enhance quality service provision.

Ways and Means of Working with Older Teens Conference

“Ways and Means of Working with Older Teens” was NYCI’s annual thematic conference which took place in 2009.

The conference examined the social context and the role of youth organisations; seeking to identify opportunities and develop positive, creative and innovative ways of working with and providing supports for older teens.

Interculturalism in Youthwork

NYCI seeks to promote and encourage an intercultural and anti-racist approach as a sustainable feature of youth work in Ireland. We aim to promote equality of opportunity, interaction, understanding, respect and integration between different cultures, ethnic and religious groups as we see difference as something positive that can enrich a society.

The following objectives are included in NYCI's current strategic plan.

NYCI Annual Conference 2010 - Dealers in Happiness

NYCI's 2010 Annual Conference for the youth sector is “Dealers in Happiness”, took place in November. It examined the role of Youth Workers in promoting positive mental health in young people.