Youth worker is a lifestyle
Background of the project
“European youth workers unite to empower youth and youth field – Youth worker is a lifestyle” is a project of 9 partners inspired by the Declaration of 3d European Youth Work Convention. The project supports the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda. During the third European Youth Work Convention, the participating youth workers from the EU and COE member states and other stakeholders strongly recognized the need for an international network of youth workers. Network as the main tool to give youth workers a voice and support peer learning, and quality developments in the youth sector across Europe. Final declaration of the conventions’ call to action – create a European Network of Youth Workers Associations.
The consortium of partners was established on the basis of a common memorandum of 12 organizations signed during 3d EYWC.
Partners realized that there is a need to strengthen youth work and youth workers associations to have a strong voice for youth workers on all levels of governance. As well as the need to have space for peer-learning and discussion to speed up digital transformation in the youth field, ensure that environmental topics are addressed, and quality of youth work is developed. It seemed to be crucial for youth work and youth work policy development to have a strong social partner as a European Network of youth workers to respond to these needs.
To move towards establishing the Association, partners agreed to have a structured project, which enables them to go deeper into the different topics and discussions, as well as involve more stakeholders.
With the support of Erasmus+ (Estonian National Agency), the project started in November 2021 and lasts till November 2024.
Aims and objectives
Project aims are:
- to increasequality, innovation, and recognition of youth work;
- to establish a strategic partnership between participating countries to strengthen youth workers’ engagement in policymaking and professional consolidation and improve cooperation between youth workers in Europe (both EU and COE countries) in general;
- to establish an innovative and green, modern managed umbrella organization for the field and to support the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda – horizontal.
These aims lead to the objectives to be achieved:
- explore problems and best practices for political, professional, and learning-outcome recognition of youth work and enforce strategic communication of youth field to improve recognition;
- increase quality and innovation of youth work via improved peer learning, advocacy, training development, cooperation, between youth workers in Europe (both EU and COE countries); establishing stronger links between policy, research, and practice;
- prepare, establish, and implement a European network/association of youth workers, based on green and innovative management and communication approaches. As well as analyze needs and possibilities for using (green and digital) tools for peer learning, advocacy, internal and external communication, management of the network, practice sharing between members of the network;
- build the capacity of the network and its’ members, including development training packages and other necessary services to support national associations of youth workers and youth work quality development.
Project implemented by the group of 9 partners.
Estonian Association of Youth Workers is the coordinating partner.
Other partners are:
Republic of Serbia
Main intellectual outputs
1. Mapping of the best practices for the recognition of youth work
Country analysis on the political, professional, learning outcomes, and social recognition of the youth worker profession including regulations, benefits, and vacation.
The report is planned to be finalized in March 2023.
Responsible partner: Sojuz Za Mladinska Rabota Skopje, The Republic of North Macedonia. The main findings of the Report will be available here.
2. Research report of a study on the state of play of associations of Youth Work in Europe
The research aims to fill the gap in information on youth workers’ associations in Europe, including information about the situation, practice, and problems of the associations. The research will continue at some point and deepen the work done by the EU/COE partnership in 2017 and 2019 (youth workers’ career path and education). We renew the information about existing and planned to be established, youth workers associations to update the knowledge and map contacts for results dissemination and future cooperation. We use Youth Wiki information as input as well. The innovative approach is that research goes deeper into the life of the organizations, describing the main goals, strategies, worries, and expectations for recognition, support, and international cooperation.
The report is planned to be finalized in June 2023.
Responsible partner: Estonian Association of Youth Workers, Estonia. The main findings of the Report will be available here.
3. Training program for YW associations starting their activity
Partners will work together on developing of MOOC that will be the first edition of an open course for establishing youth work associations. This type of training is a new form, allowing a large number of participants to benefit from it. The online course will give the opportunity for youth workers across Europe to attend the course and gain starting knowledge and skills on the topic. Moreover, after the project, the course will remain an open source, planned to be used as one of the supporting mechanisms of the future European network.
The report is planned to be finalized in April 2024.
Responsible partner: Nacionalna Asocijacija Prakticara/ki Omladinskog Rada-Napor, The Republic of Serbia. The main findings of the Report will be available here.
4. Establishing of European Youth Workers Association
In the frame of this result, all necessary documents for establishing and starting the organization will be produced. E.g. statutory documents, membership, and other policies including ESG and tools will be drafted. Materials will be available for the wider publics a) to involve new partners and organizations to the Network, and b) to be used for other projects which focus on the establishment of an (international) organization.
The result is planned to be finalized in September 2023.
Responsible partner: NINFEA National Informal and Non-Formal Education Association, Italy. Main documents will be available here.
The project involves some learning and training activities, as well as dissemination events available for participants from partner organizations and other stakeholders.
Information about activities appear in order of occurrence.
Looking at Different Youth Work Practices across Europe and Benefits for recognition of youth workers