Youth Work Ireland’s Oireachtas Briefing

Youth Work Ireland’s Oireachtas Briefing took place on April 17th. This annual event is a great opportunity for us as a national federation to communicate the extent and value of youth work that is taking place across local communities everyday. The event saw young people, youth workers and volunteers meet with Oireachtas members for an informal briefing. Each year, as an organisation, we put three key asks to decision makers. Our asks for 2024 were as follows:

Support for Young People in Rural and Remote Areas
Youth clubs are a major pillar in sustaining rural life and need greater support. Support for the infrastructure of youth clubs should be supported by all local development actors and local authorities in all parts of their work such as planning, community services, development plans, and all other areas. Rural transport is also a key.

  • Youth Club Development Staff should be funded in all areas.
  • Local link transport services should ensure good linkage with youth facilities at appropriate times.

Ensure Youth Services are at the Heart of Local Authority Integration Work.
We welcome the appointment of Local Authority Integration Teams which we see as necessary every day in supporting international protection applicants and their children. In developing their work young people and the youth sector must be central. Youth Services have been working at the coalface with young people in the international protection system since its inception and have developed good models of practice and linkages.

  • There should be a dedicated space for youth services in Local Authority.
  • The accommodation needs of young people must be an absolute priority, the current model presents major risks.

Equality for Youth Workers
Youth Workers need to be treated equally with others they work alongside after the WRC Recommendation on S.39, S.10 and S.56 workers. We need to attract and maintain quality staff to work with young people. A two-tier system will make youth work a less attractive career and erode the quality of the services we offer to young people. We must have equal treatment for equal work.

  • Funding needs to be provided to ensure Youth Workers are covered by the WRC recommendation.
  • As part of the new Action Plan for Youth Services a proper model for funding youth services and their staff must be developed