Quality Standards Initiatives
National Quality Standards Framework for Youth Work
A National Quality Standards Framework for youth work (NQSF) was introduced in January 2011. This is primarily a support, development and assessment tool that provides services and organisations with the opportunity to articulate through a common language their youth work practice. The implementation of the NQSF is resulting in an improvement in good practice and better value for money and is assisting youth organisations and services in addressing the developmental needs of young people to an even greater extent and in a more cost effective manner.
The rationale for the development of the NQSF initiative is to:
Provide a support and development tool to organisations and projects;
Establish standards in the practice and provision of youth work;
Provide an enhanced evidence base for youth work;
Ensure resources are used effectively in the youth work sector;
Provide a basis for whole-organisational assessment.
The NQSF applies to all staff-led youth work organisations, services, projects and programmes which are funded under the following DCYA schemes:
Youth Service Grant Scheme;
Special Projects for Youth;
Young People’s Facilities and Services Funds 1 and 2;
Youth Information Centres.
Support and guidance for local youth work services is being provided by the local VEC (Youth/Liaison) Officer. National youth work organisations are being supported by the NQSF Unit of the City of Dublin Youth Service Board.
If you have any queries on the attached please contact:
Youth Affairs Unit
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Road
Tel: 01 647 3218
The Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) supports over 1,600 volunteer-led youth groups, of which over 70% are affiliated to a National Youth Organisation. These groups, which include youth activity and youth work groups, provide a wide range of recreational and developmental programmes and activities for young people. The Department is committed to supporting these groups in providing the best possible opportunities for young people to develop and progress and views the introduction of National Quality Standards for Youth Groups as an important step in assuring quality in youth group settings.
In 2011, the Department introduced a set of standards for staff-led youth work projects and services - the National Quality Standards Framework for youth work (NQSF). These standards are helping to ensure the provision and on going development of quality youth work opportunities for young people. As a natural progression to the NQSF, the Department has finalised 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 National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups provide 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.
The Standards were launched on 4 March 2013.
Interactive Online Resource
An interactive online resource, or Route Map, has been developed for the Department for Children and Youth Affairs (by the Centre for Effective Services) to support the implementation of the National Quality Standards Initiatives. The Route Map for the National Quality Standards Initiatives for Youth Work and Youth Activities is an innovative resource which makes available an array of web-based information which is international in scope.
The resources have been selected based on their quality and capacity to inform and support youth work and youth activities, with all materials assessed based on a set of inclusion criteria. The materials come from a wide range of reliable sources, including government departments, national and international youth organisations, academic institutions, independent research and policy agencies.
The Route Map is also accompanied by a more detailed table of resources which houses over 100 quality materials to support staff-led youth groups and over 30 resources to support volunteer-led youth activities.
To access this resource click on the image above.