Many young people do not have a safe place where they have a sense of belonging, where they have people who believe in them, or a place where they can form positive relationships with adults. Youth Work Ireland, through the clubs and projects run from out Member Youth Services, offers young people from every background a place to go, a listening ear, and support if they need it.
We have over 400 clubs in communities all over Ireland. The local youth club is often the heart of the community where young people, youth leaders, adult volunteers, and staff come together to be part of something important. The youth club encourages participation and fosters a sense of belonging for young people, as well as training and support for volunteers.
Youth Work Ireland Club-Based Volunteer Led Youth Work
This document was developed in response to the need identified by members for a governance document supporting youth work that is delivered by volunteer led youth clubs and groups. It was realized that there must be a document capturing the relationships within Youth work Ireland that support effective governance and compliance with statutory requirements in relation to Voluntary Clubs and Groups. This document identifies the systems and structures, the roles and responsibilities through which we underpin the practice and delivery of our club work.
Youth Work Ireland's insurance scheme provides an insurance facility for affiliated members. The scheme enables a youth club to provide a variety of activities which cater to the needs and wants of young people while ensuring their welfare and safety during the activities. The insurance scheme also indemnifes the youth club leaders and members in respect of their legal liability for accidents to persons or damage to their property and the policy caters for legal liability for accidents or injuries which leaders or members suffer as well as members of the general public.
Our Insurance Booklet provides more details of the Youth Work Ireland’s Insurance Scheme and includes information on the covers which apply to your club, the activities which are catered for, and indeed those which are not automatically catered for. In addition you will find Health & Safety Information which may be of use to you.
Youth Cafés are safe, alcohol-free places where young people can meet friends, have fun, and take part in a wide range of activities. Youth cafés are for young people and run by young people. The young people are supported to set up their youth café by the regional service. There is a number of youth cafés run by Youth Work Ireland services. The informality of the Youth Café offers young people a space to develop relationships outside the school and family structures, while also staying in a safe environment. Youth Cafes also offer the young people who run them, a set of skills that they would not receive anywhere else, such as entrepreneurship, leadership and management. Youth Cafés are an increasingly popular service for young people and are met with a growing demand. Investment will provide dedicated supports and training to multiply the numbers of these cost effective and much needed services throughout Ireland.
Open and informal environments encourage open conversation about health issues for young people. Youth Work Ireland membership services offer targeted health promotion initiatives such as anti-smoking awareness, let’s talk about sex, mental health awareness, counselling services, drug education and addiction supports. A number of our programmes have own awards for their positive impact. Investment will allow us to ensure that the best of these programmes are available nationally.
With the rise in the nuclear family, isolation and a lack of extended family means there is a need for extra family support. Youth Work Ireland member services are part of the fabric of the community, which allows them to identify and support families experiencing difficulties before these difficulties can become overwhelming. Our members offer support in the form of counselling, education, mental health supports and events in the community to bring families together.
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A National Quality Standards Framework for youth work (NQSF) was introduced in January 2011. This was primarily a development and assessment tool that provided services and organisations with the opportunity to articulate through a common language their youth work practice. The implementation of the NQSF resulted in an improvement in good practice and better value for money and assisted youth organisations and services in addressing the developmental needs of young people to an even greater extent and in a more cost effective manner.
This was followed in 2011, with the NQSFVLYG, which is a set of national standards for local volunteer-led youth groups and clubs. These national standards have been developed and refined in consultation with young people, volunteers, youth organisations, the National Youth Work Advisory Committee, the Irish Vocational Education Association and VEC Youth Officers. The Standards present an opportunity for youth groups to demonstrate their commitment to good practice and to the delivery of quality programmes and activities which meet the needs and expectations of its young members. As well as being a benchmark for progress, the NQSVLYG provides a fundamental building block upon which practice can be developed on an ongoing basis. These Quality Standards are a "living document" which will evolve and be reviewed and informed by the process as the Standards are implemented in clubs and groups.