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Policies and Legislation


National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007


Background:

The National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 was published in August 2003 and  provided a blueprint for the development of Youth Work in Ireland. 
The Plan had four broad goals:

  1. To facilitate young people and adults to participate more fully in, and to gain optimum benefit from, youth work programmes and services.
  2. To enhance the contribution of youth work to social inclusion, social cohesion and citizenship in a rapidly changing national and global context.
  3. To put in place an expanded and enhanced infrastructure for development, support and coordination at national and local level.
  4. To put in place mechanisms for enhancing professionalism and ensuring quality standards in youth work.


The National Youth Work Development Plan contained a wide range of provisions relating to the development of youth work. Some of the main principles underpinning the Plan were that it should:


A number of priority action areas have been addressed including the development of a Child Protection training and awareness programme for the youth work sector, the development and expansion of the Special Projects for Youth Scheme and the development of quality standards for youth work  (Quality Standards Initiatives).

In addition, a North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for youth work for the professional endorsement of youth work training was established in October 2005. The role of the Committee is the professional endorsement of courses and programmes of education and training in youth work provided by Higher Education Institutions.


Current position:


The Department is currently developing an overarching Children's and Young People's Policy Framework. It is anticipated that the Children's and Young People's Policy Framework will be available in 2012.  While work has commenced on the development of the Youth Policy Framework, substantive progress will take place in the second half of 2013, post EU Presidency.
Youth policy developments at European level during Ireland's Presidency of the EU Council of Youth Ministers in 2013 will inform Ireland's national policy for young people. 

It is intended that the National Youth Work Development Plan 2003 – 2007 will be reviewed as part of the development of the new Youth Policy Framework.

National Youth Work Development Plan 2003-2007 (PDF Format)


For further information on the Plan, contact:


Youth Affairs Unit
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Road
Dublin 4
Tel: 01 6473000
Email: youthaffairs@dcya.gov.ie

 

Code of Good Practice Child Protection for the Youth Work Sector


The Code of Good Practice for the Youth Work Sector was published in September 2002 and revised in May 2003 (following the publication in 1999 of Children First, National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children). 
The Code which was prepared with the youth work sector specifically in mind aims to assist and give direction and guidance to youth workers and youth work organisations/groups in protecting the children and young people under their care and in dealing with allegations or suspicions of child abuse.


Building on these guidelines, a Child Protection Training Programme has been developed for the sector and awareness of child protection procedures and responsibilities have been raised at various levels within youth work organisations.
A national Child Protection Unit, financially resourced by the Youth Affairs Section, was established in January 2005 and is hosted in the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI). www.childprotection.ie


Current position:


An expert working group has reviewed the existing child protection guidelines (last revised in 2003) in light of the experience of the youth work sector and developments such as the introduction of Garda Vetting procedures for new staff and volunteers and with the publication of Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (DCYA, 2011).
It is expected that revised guidelines for the youth work sector will be published shortly by the Child Protection Unit of the NYCI.
Click here to view the current Code of Good Practice.



For further information on the Code, contact:


Youth Affairs Unit
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Road
Dublin 4
Tel: 01 6473000
Email: youthaffairs@dcya.gov.ie

 

Principal Features of the Youth Work Act, 2001


Background:


The Youth Work Act, 2001 was enacted in December 2001. This Act was developed following an extensive consultation process and provides a legal framework to support the provision of youth work programmes and services. It details the functions of the Minister, the Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and national/regional youth work organisations in this regard.
Sections 2-7, 16, 17, 18 and 24 of the Act have been commenced.


Sections 2-7 are procedural. Sections 17 and 18 provide for the establishment of a National Youth Work Advisory Committee (NYWAC). Section 24 prescribes the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) as the first Prescribed National Youth Work Organisation for the three-year period after the commencement of that provision i.e. 22nd April 2002 to 21st April 2005 inclusive. The NYCI was prescribed for a further three years from 22nd April 2005 and again for a further three year period (April 2008 - April 2011).


Purpose:


The purpose of the Act is to provide a legal framework for the provision of youth work programmes and services by the Minister, the Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and by National and Regional Youth Organisations.


Current position:

National Youth Work Advisory CommitteeThe first  National Youth Work Advisory Committee (NYWAC)  under the terms of Sections 17 and 18 of the Youth Work Act, 2001 was appointed by the Minister for Education and Science in April 2007. The tenure of the most recent Advisory Committee ceased on 21st April 2012.

Minister Fitzgerald is in the process of appointing a new NYWAC for one-year based on the provisions of the Youth Work Act, 2001. The tenure of this Committee will be for one year from the date of appointment.  It is intended that terms of reference and a work plan will be developed for the Advisory Committee in line with the Minister’s priorities for youth work policy. Nominations to the Committee have been sought from the National Youth Council of Ireland, the Irish Vocational Education Association and the Ministers of the relevant Government departments.

Youth Work Act, 2001The Department is currently developing an overarching Children's and Young People's Policy Framework. It is anticipated that the Children's and Young People's Policy Framework will be available in 2012.  It is intended that a more detailed Youth Policy Framework will be completed in the light of the wider Children's and Young People's Policy Framework and in particular in the light of the recent public consultation as well as the expert and youth services providers' input.  Youth policy developments at European level during Ireland's Presidency of the EU Council of Youth Ministers in 2013 will inform Ireland's national policy for young people.  

It is intended that the Youth Work Act, 2001 will be reviewed in the context of the development of the Youth Policy Framework.


For further information on the Act, contact:


Youth Affairs Unit
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Road
Dublin 4
Tel: 01 647 3000
Email: youthaffairs@dcya.gov.ie 

 

 

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