MC900439824The following values and principles distinguish, and are at the core of youth work:

  • Young people choose to be involved, because they want to relax, meet friends and to have fun,
  • The work starts from where young people are, operating from their own personal and social space,
  • It seeks to go beyond where young people start, to widen horizons, promote participation and invite social commitment, in particular by encouraging them to be critical and creative in their responses to their experience and the world around them,
  • It takes place because young people are young people treating them with respect, valuing each individual and their differences, and promotes acceptance and understanding of others,
  • It respects and values individual differences by supporting and strengthening young people’s belief in themselves, and their capacity to grow and to change,
  • It recognises, respects and is actively responsive to the wider networks of peers, communities, families and cultures which are important to young people, and through these networks seeks to help young people to achieve stronger relationships and collective identities, through the promotion of inclusivity,
  • It works with other agencies that contribute to young people’s social, educational and personal development,
  • It is concerned with how young people feel, and not just with what they know and can do,
  • It is concerned with facilitating and empowering the voice of young people, enabling them to influence the environment in which they live,
  • It recognises the young person as a partner in a learning process, complementing formal education, promoting their access to learning opportunities which enable them to fulfil their potential,
  • It safeguards the welfare of young people, and provides them with a safe environment in which to explore their values, beliefs, ideas and issues.

Reference sources

These values and principles have been developed with reference to documents, which include:

  • PAULO NOS for Youth Work 2002,
  • Transforming Youth Work – Resourcing Excellent Youth Services 2002,
  • Youth Work Values – The National Youth Agency / DfES 2003,
  • National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 – DES 2003,
  • Statement on the nature and purpose of Youth Work – YouthLink Scotland 2005,
  • Education and Inspection Act 2006,
  • Equipping, The Education Division of the Archbishops’ Council 2006,
  • The Youth Work Curriculum Statement for Wales 2007,
  • Moving Forward : A National Youth Work Strategy (Scotland) 2007,
  • Strategy for the Delivery of Youth Work in Northern Ireland 2005 – 2008.next