10.2 Administration and governance of youth work
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As stated in Chapter 1.2 - National Youth Law, youth work is the main pillar that forms the basis of the decree of the 6 December 2011 for the Promotion of Youth Work (Dekret vom 6. Dezember 2011 zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit), and thus the youth policy in the German-speaking Community of Belgium. The decree defines the main actors involved in the administration and governance of youth work:
- the Government and the Minister for Youth,
- the Department of Youth and Culture in the Ministry,
- the municipalities
Main non-public actors :
- youth organisations,
- youth information centres (Jugendinfo),
- open youth work,
- the Youth Office (Jugendbüro),
- the Youth Council (Rat der deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ).
Youth policy is administrated centrally by the Department of Culture and Youth in the Ministry of the German-speaking community, which acts under the authority of the Government and the Minister for Youth. There are several cooperation agreements with municipalities, who contribute financially to the promotion of youth work and are also involved in the decision-making process, mainly concerning open youth work and youth information on local level.
As participation is a defining criterion for youth policy in the German-speaking Community, all the above-mentioned actors are involved directly (meaning they take an active part in shaping youth policy as expert consultants, e.g. the Youth Office and the Youth Council) or indirectly (meaning they are regularly consulted on youth matters and can be consulted from time to time, e.g. youth organisations, youth information centres and open youth work) in policy-making.
Since youth work is related to several youth policy fields (education, social inclusion, volunteering…), cross-sectoral cooperation is established between departments at the ministry at project level. There is no established cooperation on governmental level.
As an example for cross-sectoral cooperation in the German-speaking Community, the Strategic Plan on Youth (Jugendstrategieplan) is led by a cross-sectorial steering group, in which all cabinets of the government, the youth ministry, the Youth Council, the youth information centres and the Youth Office of the German-speaking Community gather to elaborate the youth strategy plan and the intended actions.
There is also cooperation with for instance organisations coming from the social sector, like the Youth Help Service (Jugendhilfedienst, JHD).