Youth Work in Europe

Youth work around Europe is run by countless organisations, public or private, and by a wide range of people. It is exceptionally diverse, taking a wide range of activity forms. In some countries it is run by paid professionals, while in others it is run by volunteer youth workers. While in some countries there is an existing legal frame work norming the profession, financing and how activities and youth organisations are run, in some countries this legal frameworks are only partly or not at all available.

The diversity under which youth work in Europe come today is one of its great strength – as a diverse and locally adapting practice supporting young people – but also one of its current weaknesses – since it is so varied and hard to define, how can youth workers find it hard to mobilise together at European level.

There are several definitions of youth work today (see links below) but the best way to understand youth work in Europe today is to consider it as a value based practice. In this way, youth work is work done with young people based on the values of: respect, dialogue approach, relation work (trust), inclusive approach, positive approach, tailor-made intervention, flexibility, voluntary based, non-formal and informal learning methodology, resource perspective (building on the young person’s potential), youth advocacy.

More on youth work in Europe, today:

from the Council of Europe

from the European Commission

from the European Confederation of Youth Clubs