10.5 Youth workers
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The definititon of youth worker exists in the Закон за малдежта и спорта (National Yout Act). Youth worker is an adult person who has passed special training for work with young people and/or who has acquired professional experience to work with young people and to implement youth activities. Youth worker supports the youth organizations’ work such as analyzing, planning, organizing, monitoring and evaluating the youth policy based on individual approach and assessment of specific needs of the young people.The national and the municipal youth programs include activities in support of the development and specialized training of the youth worker.
The possibilities for youth workers to take advantage of mobility opportunities in the Europenian Union are managered by the National Agency for Erasmus +. The educational opportunities and trainings available to youth workers are trough educational instituions and trough non formal education. The educational institutions that provide education for youth workers set their educational standards for the knowledge, skills and competences which their students are expected to have after completion of the course. For example: - Master’s degree programme in socio-pedagogical work with youth, offered by the The University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”; Bachelor and Master’s degree programmes in non-formal education offered by the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”; • Master’s degree programme in youth activities and sport, offered by the National Sport Academy “Vasil Levski”.
• In the academic 2016/2017, the Faculty in Pedagogy of the VTU “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” opened a Master’s Program in Youth Work. • The non-formal education opportunity for youth workers is also available by the National youth Forum. Национална младежка академия (National youth academy) is deviding in different thematic groups and gives the opportunity to the young people participating to develop different type of qualities.
The Veliko Tarnovo University “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” is among the first educational institutions in Bulgaria to offer a qualification program for a new profession – Youth Worker. In the academic 2016/2017, the Faculty in Pedagogy of the VTU “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” opened a Master’s Program in Youth Work. There are not training for continuous professional development, either directly organised or funded by public authorities, available to youth workers – volunteers and/or professionals – to reinforce and expand their competences. There is no official legal procedure for the validation of skills and competences gained by youth workers through non-formal and informal learning.
There are not existing national policies/programmes/initiatives offering the possibility for youth workers to take part in exchange opportunities, cooperation and networking at local, regional, national and international level. Information should refer exclusively to programmes that are funded (at least for 50 %) by the top-level, implemented on a large scale.