Youth Services

Youth Services

WHAT IS YOUTH WORK?

Under the Youth Work Act, 2001, youth work is defined as:

“A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young persons through their voluntary participation, and which is
(a) complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and
(b) provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.”

This normally includes groups such as the following:

  • Youth clubs, etc.
  • Special interest groups
  • Foróige Clubs
  • Scouts and Guides
  • Youth work services
  • Youth work projects
  • Girls’ Friendly Society
  • Boys’ / Girls’ Brigade

ETB’s YOUTH WORK FUNCTIONS

Under the Education and Training Boards Act, 2013, the function of the ETB in relation to youth work is to:

“Support the provision, coordination, administration and assessment of youth work services in its functional area and provide such information as may be requested by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to such support, and assess whether the manner in which it performs its functions is economical, efficient and effective.”

The Youth Work section of Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB is primarily funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).

MAIN ACTIVITIES

  • Administer funding to youth work services on behalf of various government departments.
  • Carry out quality assurance programmes with youth work services (National Quality Standards Framework) and with volunteer-led youth groups (National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups).
  • Administer the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme and other similar schemes, which provide small grants for volunteer-led youth groups. In Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, the ETB provides support each year to around 100 volunteer-led and operated youth groups, with approximately 5,000 members.
  • Provide training and development programmes for youth workers.
  • Promote the integration and coordination of youth work services with other services through participation in Children and Young People’s Services Committees, School Completion Programme and other networks.
  • Promote the integration and coordination of youth work services with other services through participation in Children and Young People’s Services Committees, School Completion Programme and other networks.
  • Report to government departments on projects and services funded through the ETB, including validating annual reports and funding applications.
  • Promote initiatives that aim to increase the involvement of young people of all backgrounds in youth work.
  • Contribute to the development of youth work at a national level by working with Education & Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and other bodies.

LOCAL YOUTH CLUB GRANT SCHEME

This grant scheme is normally announced around April each year.  Please check back on our website for details of the next round of the grant scheme, or get in touch with the ETB Youth Officer (see contact details below).

The Local Youth Club Grant Scheme (LYCGS) supports volunteer-led youth club/group activities at a local level. The Scheme, which provides grant aid towards the costs of running clubs/groups, is part-funded by the proceeds of the National Lottery. Funding for the Scheme is provided by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and is administered locally by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) on behalf of DCYA. ETBs advertise the Scheme locally on an annual basis, outlining the purpose of the grant and the eligibility criteria.

The Scheme supports voluntary youth club/group activities for young people; with priority given to clubs/groups catering for young people aged 10–21. The primary focus of the Scheme is to assist local volunteer-led youth clubs/groups that provide a programme of youth work activities for young people. In addition, other clubs/groups that work with young people, but are not specifically providing youth work, are also entitled to apply for funding under the Scheme.

In 2017, DCYA incorporated the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups into the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme. These national quality standards were developed to support and enhance voluntary work with young people. The three National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups are:

Standard 1: Safety and well-being – Programmes, practices and people ensure and promote the safety, support and well-being of young people.

Standard 2: Young person-centred – Programmes, practices and people ensure and promote the voluntary participation, inclusion and voice of young people.

Standard 3: Developmental and educational – Programmes, practices and people ensure and promote the development, achievement and progression of young people.

Throughout the club/group year, volunteers progress actions relating to the Standards that will improve the running of the club/group and the experience of the young people attending the club/group. Where a club/group requires support with progressing the Standards, it can request this from the national youth organisation to which it is affiliated. A youth club/group that is not affiliated to a national youth organisation can request support from the ETB.

QUALITY STANDARDS IN YOUTH WORK

The ETB is responsible Carry out quality assurance programmes with youth work services (National Quality Standards Framework) and with volunteer-led youth groups (National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups).  Please see below for more information on these quality standards.

National Quality Standards Framework

A National Quality Standards Framework for youth work was introduced in January 2011.  This framework applies to all staff-led youth work organisations, services, projects and programmes which are funded under the DCYA’s Targeted Youth Funding Scheme (TYFS) and Youth Information Centres.
The primary function of the NQSF is as a support and development tool for youth work services funded by the DCYA.  Its aim is to assist youth work organisations to identify strengths and areas for development in their services and to benchmark progress accordingly.  Having done so, services take a structured and developmental approach to the assessment of youth work provision, examining its level, impact and efficacy.  The role of the ETB is to facilitate and oversee this process with DCYA-funded youth work services in its operational area.

National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups

Through the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the ETB directly supports around 100 youth groups in Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, catering for approximately 5,000 young people.  These groups provide a wide range of recreational and developmental programmes and activities for young people.
As a natural progression to the NQSF for staff-led projects, the Department has rolled out a set of National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups. Developed in consultation with partners in the youth work sector, these quality standards are aimed at local youth groups and clubs. They present an opportunity for youth groups to demonstrate their commitment to best practice and to the delivery of quality programmes and activities, which meet the needs and expectations of their young members. All youth groups funded through the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme are required to engage in the standards process.
Youth groups affiliated to national youth organisations should consult with the Regional Youth / Development Officer of their parent organisation in relation to the standards. ETB Youth Officers will provide similar support and guidance to youth groups not affiliated to a national youth organisation / other locally active groups.

Contact Information – Sligo / Leitrim

Youth Officer: Trevor Sweetman

Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB
Quay Street
Sligo
F91 XH96

Tel: 071 91 38307
Mobile: 087 7678327
Email: trevorsweetman@msletb.ie

Contact Information – Mayo

Youth Officer: Breda Ruane

Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB
Castlebar FET Centre
Lucan Street, Castlebar
Co Mayo, F23 FW70

Tel: 094 92 50730
Mobile: 087 7738312
Email: bredaruane@msletb.ie