10.5 Youth workers
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The status of youth worker applies to any person active in organising and delivering youth work projects (including volunteers).
Youth associations are independents and are free to put in place their own appointment policy. However, there are some particularities regarding the status of youth workers in decrees for subsidised youth centres.
In the framework of their recognition, youth centres must introduce a request for the approval of the qualification of their “animator coordinator” (main youth worker who’s responsible for the coordination of the youth centre). This request must be done within 18 months after the designation of this animator coordinator. Main standards and criteria analysed by the Inspection of culture and the Youth Department are the knowledge related to the youth centre, its audience, the non-formal education methods, the consistency of the youth centre’s educational project (methods, actions, objectives of the youth centre), team management competences, etc.
Education, training and skills recognition
There are no specific paths in initial education leading to a qualification as youth worker. But, many trainings for continuous professional development are provided.
The ministerial circular organising the support of training programmes related to animation, socio-cultural and socio-artistic action (circulaire ministérielle du 1er septembre 2009 organisant le soutien des programmes de formation des cadres de l’animation et de l’action socioculturelles et socio-artistiques) is the legal framework regarding the training in youth work in the French-speaking Community.
The Youth Department within the General Administration of Culture implements this circular.
The circular organises the funding of training organisations. These ones organise the training of workers in the youth sector (youth organisations, youth centres, holidays centres).
Training organisations offer training programmes, learning tools to support youth workers.
Mobility of youth workers
The International Youth Office offers mobility at international level through the Erasmus + programme.
There are many opportunities at local and regional level such as seminars, training, etc. directly organised by youth association. The youth sector is very active regarding network activities.
The objectives are professional development, exchanges of good practices, capacity building of youth workers, innovation, etc.