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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth Work

Last update: 10 December 2021

In the German-speaking Community, youth work enjoys a high status. The legal basis for the design and structuring of youth work is the Decree for the Promotion of Youth Work. This decree defines both the concept of youth work and its focus.

Article 2 of the decree states that

youth work takes place in extracurricular settings and in the context of special leisure activities and is based on processes of non-formal and informal learning and on voluntary participation. Youth work promotes the individual, social and cultural development of young people through appropriate offerings, taking into account their interests and needs.

Art. 5 §2 continues:

The focal points of youth work are:

1. socio-political and social education as the promotion of interest in socio-political participation, the ability to critically assess socio-political processes and the willingness to actively participate in shaping socio-political processes;

2. cultural youth work as the promotion of creativity and cultural forms of expression;

3. leisure-oriented youth work as a contribution to holistic development through sports, games and exercise;

4. media work as the promotion of media competence for the critical and conscious use of the media;

5. intercultural youth work to promote intercultural competence and identity identification;

6. gender-differentiated work with girls and boys in order to promote equal opportunities and to overcoming gender stereotypes;

7. inter-community and international youth work to promote intra-Belgian and international understanding, peacekeeping and European identity.

The decree also specifies the subsidies due to responsible bodies for youth work. This has the considerable advantage for the youth work sector of financial planning security. In this context, the so-called performance contracts, which are also anchored in the decree, are worth mentioning, as they define and contractually stipulate the conditions for subsidies to the responsible bodies for youth work agencies. Thus, a quality control mechanism exists at the same time.