10.5 Youth workers
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The status of youth worker is not recognized in the national legislation and there are no specific standards and criteria for youth workers.
There are no specific educational paths for youth workers in Croatia and there is no youth worker qualification. Youth workers in Croatia have diverse backgrounds but they are predominantly coming from education, social work and other social and humanities fields. Apart from their original fields of study, they acquire their youth work competences by the “learning by doing” principle as well as by undergoing non-formal training in the field of youth work. There are no procedures for the validation of skills and competences gained by youth workers through non-formal and informal learning.
In 2018 the Institute for Social Research in Zagreb and the University of Rijeka embarked on a joint project of creating the life-long learning educational programme Young People in Contemporary Society, the first of its kind in the Western Balkans region. One semester-long programme, accredited with 30 ECTS credits is designed as a certified programme for the professional development of those already working with young people in civil society organisations or in other institutions relevant for carrying out the measures and activities outlined within the national youth programme, as well as for those considering a career in the youth work field.
There are no existing national programmes offering youth workers mobility opportunities, with the exception of the Erasmus+ programme. In 2019 youth work organizations from Croatia carried out 24 EU-wide youth worker mobility projects (training courses and job shadowing) with a total of 664 mobilities.