On Feburary 2nd Youth Work Ireland hosted young people and youth workers in National Office to help will explore youth work with LGBT+ young people and share experiences of practice.
As with all Youth Work Ireland symposia, the event has the purpose of surfacing and sharing evidence from practice learning that participants can apply when they return to their own work environmentsThe event aimed at providing participants with practical information they can use to develop services for LGBT+ young people. It also gave space to some big picture discussion on how the LGBT+ youth strategy may impact on work with young people. We were delighted on the day to hear from expert speakers who discussed how youth work practice can support young LGBT+ people, how the issue of Trans young people is emering as a key area of youth work. The event also sought to begin identifying issues critical to the youth work sector in relation to the LGBT+ Youth Strategy
Our speakers on the day included - Moninne from Belong To who set the scene for the event by discussing current issues in service provision, policy and the lives of LGBT+ young people. Sinead from BreakOUT in Donegal Youth Service told us of her experience in supporting LGBT+ young people in Donegal and shared critical issues that have emerged in her practice. Vanessa from Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) gave an inspiring input that helped participants increase awareness, understanding and inclusion of trans issues in their work with young people, and where to go for supports for Trans young people. Gareth from KDYS related his experience of applying his knowledge and experience as a community youth worker to a new LGBT+ Youth Project in Kerry.
Our Chair for the event Meaghan from Kildare Youth Service and Youth Work Ireland National Youth Action Group, provided a young person’s perspective of LGBT+ issues in Ireland and spoke about her work placement in YANI's Out & About group.
In the afternoon session delegates where asked to reflect, discuss and answer the following questions -
1. What can traditional Youth Services do to support LGBT+ Young People?
2. What is youth work's role in supporting LGBT+ young people in and around schools?
3. How can we make sure LGBT+ groups are identifed as a group requiring support in the ETB plan, in terms of data, evidence and funding streams?
4. Is there anything you want the new LGBT+ Youth Strategy to address?
We are working on an edition of Scene Magazine which will include all speakers inputs, plus discussion findings from the event. Videos from the event can be viewed on Youth Work Ireland's Facebook page, click here>>
For more information on Youth Work Ireland's LGBT+ youth groups please click here>>