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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.8 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 24 December 2023
  1. Fortcoming policy developments

Social developments seem to further enlarge and deepen the existing socio-economic and socio-cultural fault lines. Year after year, the number of children and young people growing up in poverty is increasing. In terms of poverty and evolutions in the area of migration, our cities have become super diverse over the past decades. The group of 'people with disabilities' has not increased in numerical terms, but the focus has shifted from the 'people with disabilities' group to the 'people with a disability' group. for these "invisible citizens" has been enlarged.

In fact, diversity is on the rise, and the diversity present is on the rise, that is more prominent in the foreground. With regard to the youth work policy, a double problem definition is put forward. There is an under-representation of certain target groups in youth work. Research from the Youth Research Platform (JOP) shows that girls, young people with a lower level of education, and young people with a lower level of education are less represented. Among the 12 to 17year old we see that young people from general tracks participate in youth work up to twice as much as young people from the vocational tracks.

A priority around youth work development is how youth work can deal with the growing diversity in our society. A sticking point is the overregulation which is the result of the multitude of administrative procedures and regulations, there is little room for bottom-up initiatives and innovation in youth work.


  1. Ongoing debates