10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work
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There is no existing system of quality assurance applying to youth work.
Since 2019, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has been implementing a project for development and introduction of quality standards for provision of youth services in Bulgaria funded under the Human Resources Operational Program. The main objective of the project is to improve the accessibility, efficiency and quality of youth services through the development, introduction and approbation of quality standards, among others, for the following services: mobile youth work and digital youth work. The project came to an end, however, the quality standards for provision of youth services were not approbated. The draft standards for quality of youth services, including mobile youth work and digital youth work, are available here.
Research and evidence supporting youth work
In October 2022, a national representative qualitative survey among young people at the age of 15 to 19 years on food and other product consumption habits, NEETs issues and youth organisations was assigned by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In terms of youth work, the study covers topics like youth participation, access to youth organisations and youth workers.
There is no especially dedicated budget for youth work researches.
The National Working Group for Youth Work mentioned in section 10.3 involves participants from public authorities, youth centres, national representative youth organisations, National Youth Forum, academic society, civic organisations dealing with youth work and youth work researchers. The main tasks of the working group are to draft a definition of “youth work” and framework of roadmap of the current state of youth work/ design of study indicators, educational programs for qualification and professionalization of youth work and career development of youth workers, and development of code of ethics and implementation mechanisms, which are described in more details in section 10.8 Current debates and reforms.
“Smart” youth work: youth work in digital world
One of the strategic objectives of the National Youth Strategy 2021-2030 is to develop and establish youth work at national level by introducing mechanism for recognition and development of youth work and its dissemination and encouraging innovative approaches in youth work. Promoting the use of digital tools in youth work is a measure for the achievement of this objective.