Positive Sexual Health

Throughout 2018 and 2019 Youth Work Ireland will be working on the theme of Positive Sexual Health. This topic was chosen from a consensus process with young people and youth workers in 2017, which included regional and  national workshops, a survey of over 1,000 young people, an online campaign and finally a vote at our national conference in October.

Learning and Sharing Workshops on Positive Sexual Health

These workshops offer young people and youth workers the opportunity to get involved in the Positive Sexual Health Campaign and learn more about consent, staying safe and wellbeing.

Dublin – Tuesday April 16th – Youth Work Ireland’s National Office - Book Now

Limerick – Thursday April 18th - Northside Youth Space, Limerick - Book Now

The events are a chance for everyone to join in the discussion, offer their expertise and have their voices heard. The Positive Sexual Health campaign is being led by a group of young people – the Sex Talk Team, who will lead and shape these events, providing a youth led and youth focused day. Youth worker Caroline Stott Clare Youth Service will lead the session for youth workers.

Why Young People should attend:

  • Learn more about consent and how to stay safe.
  • Have your voice heard on how sex education should be taught in Ireland.
  • Educate decision makers on the needs of young people in relation to sex education and health.
  • Be part of a campaign to change how we talk about sex.

Why Youth Workers should attend:

  • Help to develop a new European programme on sexual health.
  • Help young people understand ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in relation to consent.
  • Develop your professional knowledge and skills around sexual health, focusing on consent, wellbeing and safety.
  • Respond to young people’s needs around sexual health information.

Download flyer>>


National Media Campaign on Positive Sexual Health

Our work on Positive Sexual Health has already received extensive media coverage, with features in national and local newspapers and radios shows.

Irish Youths Turning to Pornography for Sex Education, Irish Times, Carl O'Brien, April 2018

Young people know more about sex than their parents, Irish Examiner, Caroline O'Doherty, April 2018

Fifth of young people say pornography is informative, The Times (Irish Edition), Michael McHugh, April 2018

"I only learnt about sex when I started to look things up online" Irish students feel that advice from schools on sex education and relationships fall short, Irish Time, Carl O'Brien, April 2018

'Useful' porn, 'distorted' images, and talking about consent after trial that gripped nation: Young people have their say on sex, The Journal.ie, April 2018

Report finds young people using internet for sex education, Breaking News.ie, April 2018

Radio Interviews 

Talking About Sexual Health - Toolkit for Youth Workers

Opening safe conversation with young people about their sexual health is an important part of a youth worker's role. To ensure youth workers and volunteers are supported to have these conversations with confidence and effectiveness, Youth Work Ireland is adapting a proven tool for supporting good practice in this area. This tool will be developed into a poster, online toolkit and resource for youth workers to facilitate conversations with young people about sexual Health. This resource tool will be available in Spring 2019, find out more>>

YES: Youth Empowerment in SRE (Sexual & Reproductive Education)

The YES project is a Europe-wide initiative to provide young people with empowering sexual health & reproductive education in community settings. Collaborating with European Youth Information experts ECYC (European Confederation of Youth Clubs) and LOGO Jugendmanagement (Austria) we will work over the next two years to develop the capacity of youth organisations and provide them with resources to deliver SRE to young people in community settings, find out more>>

National Survey on Sexual Health Issues

In March 2018 we conducted an online survey with over 1000 young people aged 14-24 in Ireland to examine their opinions and attitudes towards healthy sexual relationships, consent and inappropriate sexual behaviour. The survey findings show that young people are not turning to their parents or teachers for information about positive and healthy sexual relationships. Instead they are turning to social media, the internet and worryingly, pornography. The survey found that 42% of respondents said that they do not feel confident that good help and supports are available in their locality for someone who experienced inappropriate sexual behaviour. Interestingly the survey highlighted the positive role of youth workers in the provision of advice and support on healthy sexual relationships. Full survey results can be found here>>

Consultation with Young People on Positive Sexual Health

During Youth Work Ireland Week young people across 37 youth groups took part in workshop consultation to identify the topics, in relation to Positive Sexual Health they want to learn more about, be heard on and change. The consultation pack guides youth workers though a workshop setting with young people on the issue of positive sexual relationships and health. The aim of the pack was to identify specific issues in relation to sexual health young people wanted to know and learm about.

The results from this consultation identified the areas of health & safety, sex education & laws around sex as being the issues young people want to learn more about, be heard on and change.

Download the Facillitator's Pack 

Additional Preparation Guidelines and Supports for Youth Workers Delivering this Consultation>>

Parental Information Letter>>

Consent Form>>


Additional Resources & Guidance 

Information on the Main Sexual Health Issues for Youth Workers>>

Resources, Publications & Support Agencies>>

Policy Guidelines>>

Literature Review on Sexual Health Education>>


See Also