Youth workers have such an important role in society and in education of youth. However very little has been done to improve the working conditions and the environment in which they work; Not fulfilling the potential that youth work has, weakens the potential in dealing with some of the major challenges Europe is facing, such as migration, youth unemployment, social exclusion and violent extremism.
Recognizing the importance of youth work and acting according to the Convention and the Council of Europe’s recommendations, the German grass-roots youth organization “NaturKultur” developed and facilitated a process of assessment and dialogue with youth workers across Europe.
The process was intended to assess their needs and detect the most common challenges they face. The outcome of this process is a document called “Whitepaper on Youthwork”, that describes the areas of support needed by/for youth workers across Europe.
The process was consisted of the following steps:
- Open dialogue about the needs of youth workers, January – November 2017
- Training and networking seminar “Recognition of Youth work”, May 2018
- Survey to assess the needs and opinions of youth workers, August 2018
- Dissemination and Advocacy of the Whitepaper
Some of the topics that were debated and concluded in the process were:
- Definition and scope of Youth Work
- Youth work as a professional occupation
- Lack of support system in crisis situation for youth workers
- Safety and security of youth workers needs to be addressed (insurance, salary etc.)
- Wider consultation process for the Erasmus+ priorities with youth workers
- Youth workers and youth organizations need support for basic organizational capacity
Read the conclusions and recommendation in the “White paper”, which you can download here