Youth Services Lead with Traveller Support Pack Following State Recognition

Press Release

Youth Work Ireland
March 28 2017

Youth Services Lead with Traveller Support Pack Following State Recognition

Youth Work Ireland, and a number of partners, are today launching a support pack for those working with young travellers. The pack provides a toolkit for youth workers to facilitate greater engagement with young travellers and research to assist youth workers and volunteers understand the needs of one of the most marginalised groups of young people in Ireland. The STATUS toolkit involves youth organisations reviewing their current practice and agreeing simple strategic actions which will ensure better outcomes for Travellers in their personal lives and in society at large. The toolkit provides a step by step guide facilitating and creating  organisational best practice in the engagement, participation and retention of Traveller youth in Mainstream youth services. The STATUS Toolkit was developed by a Key Action 1 Erasmus+ Project led by Youth Work Ireland in partnership with Involve, Youth Action Northern Ireland, An Muna Tober (now Bryson Intercultrual) and Leargas who fund the project through the ERASMUS+ programme.

“It is fitting that this Toolkit is now being published immediately following the Irish State’s formal recognition of Irish Travellers as an indigenous ethnic minority.  We in the Irish Youth Work Sector have been calling for such recognition of many years and we therefore warmly welcome the recent announcement by the Government. Our colleagues in Northern Ireland have supported us in this call. Youth Services across the island have played an important role in making links to young Travellers.  We are also aware that we can and must do better. The purpose of the STATUS Toolkit is to provide a Quality Assurance Framework whereby youth work organisations can engage in a process of self-evaluation and agree a Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) to support their youth work practice to be more inclusive of members of the Traveller community” said Patrick Burke, CEO of Youth Work Ireland

“Youth Work Ireland has been responding to understanding barriers young Travellers face in accessing youth work services as evidenced by the “Nexus” research company as well as developing practical tools for youth work services to enhance and improve services for young Travellers. While youth services operate many Traveller projects they still see the need to improve their accessibility and ensure they have strong policies and procedures to ensure this. Travellers are one of the most discriminated against groups in Irish society and this has huge impact on young Travellers. The social and economic exclusion young Travellers face leads to huge issues and problems for them. Youth projects need to develop specific strategies and outreach to ensure they can continue to work with this key group.” added Mr. Burke ENDS

STATUS Toolkit - Supporting Travellers Advance through Universal Services.

Contact:               Michael Mc Loughlin 087 6677499
                                Gina Halpin 087 682 8045