10.7 Raising awareness about youth work
On this page
On this page
All main actors in youth sector - youth work institutions, youth organizations, youth workers and local municipalities - are disseminating information regarding youth work. Hence there is a diversity of channels and information actions on different levels.
On national level, together with the Ministry of Education and Research, its Youth and Talent Department with the main responsibility, and the Education and Youth Board are focusing to provide key information on youth work and youth policy. Starting from 2021, a national initiative called Education Portal (Haridusportaal) also provides information on youth work (its mission and main formats; services; youth information; youth monitoring; recognition of youth work etc). Education and Youth Board also manages the youth information portal Teeviit which represents a modern channel with diverse sets of topics and formats like articles, podcasts, challenges etc for youth, available both in Estonian and Russian languages.
As youth work is the task of a local municipality by law in Estonia, most have information regarding youth work on their websites. In some cases, the youth work is organized through a subordinate establishment that offers information on youth work possibilities. For example, Tartu city has created an institution called Tartu Youth Work Centre (Tartu Noorsootöö Keskus) coordinating youth work services and respective information. Some regions have their own youth websites that offer youth work information, e.g. Youth Information Portal of Valga County called TANKLA. Some regions are cooperating to provide youth information through a portal called INFOHUNT. Open youth centers have a major role in disseminating information on youth work possibilities and do it through websites, social media, and direct contacts with young people.
National Youth Information
Youth information provides young people with information regarding life, supporting their independence, increasing their knowledge of different opportunities and choices to organize their lives better, and increases their meaningful participation in the society. Youth information in Estonia is targeted to young people aged 7-26 years old and is based on the needs and interests of young people.
The youth information service is provided by youth work institutions and workers of the youth sector.
The leading youth information developer in Estonia is the Education and Youth Board that has the role of developing youth information at the national level, and also representing Estonia in the network of ERYICA (European Youth Information and Counselling Agency).
Starting from 2021, a national initiative called Education Portal (Haridusportaal) also provides information on youth work (its mission and main formats; services; youth information; youth monitoring; recognition of youth work etc). Education and Youth Board also manages the youth information portal Teeviit which represents a modern channel with diverse sets of topics and formats like articles, podcasts, challenges etc for youth, available both in Estonian and Russian languages.
A national development group for youth information has been created in order to advance the systematic and quality approach to youth information at national level. The development group involves representatives of the Estonian Youth Workers Association, Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres, the Department of Youth Programs of the Agency of Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps of the Education and Youth Board), Estonian National Youth Council, Ministry of Education and Research, Youth Council of Viimsi, youth delegates of ERYICA and ERYICA trainer. The work of the development group is coordinated by the youth department of the Education and Youth Board.
National Youth Work Week
The Education and Youth Board organizes the national Youth Work Week annually since 2011 (up to 31 July 2020 it was organized by its predecessor Estonian Youth Work Centre). The national Youth Work Week aims at raising awareness on the youth sector and diversity of youth work opportunities offered all over Estonia, hence promoting also the occupation of youth worker consequently.
Each year, there is a certain topic set as a key focus for activities run during the week. In 2021, the topic is „Doing good for myself“ inviting to acknowledge the importance of mental health and wellbeing, especially in relation to digital era. Youth Work Week is targeted at a very diverse community of people, including young people, professional communities, youth workers, local municipalities, parents etc.
International Youth Day
The International Youth Day has been celebrated in Estonia since 2003. Through it, different activities areorganized for young people in order to promote youth work and possibilities available for self-development for young people. Similar to national Youth Work Week, a specific topic is being set for each year, based on the priorities and focus topics as accounced by UNESCO. In Estonia, the Education and Youth Board organizes the International Youth Day through different activities, campaigns, etc (including social media).
Developing and Communicating the Impact of Youth Work across Europe
2016-2018, the Estonian Youth Work Centre (starting from 01.08.2020 being reorganised together with some other institutions in the fields of education and youth and operating as Education and Youth Board) with the Estonian Youth Workers Association and the Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres participated in the Erasmus+ project “Developing and Communicating the Impact of Youth Work across Europe” in cooperation with Finland, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The project was piloted in open youth centers using transformative evaluation based on storytelling. The main results showed that young people participating in open youth work had four key changes – broadening of the spectrum of experiences, new friends, development of pro-social behavior, and improvement of social and communication skills.
The pilot has been followed up by a further project on a national level, with local municipalities participating to assess the impact and aiming at collecting up to 400 stories from young people to illustrate and highlight thechanges that occur as a result of participating in open youth work. The project is now funded by the Education and Youth Board and implemented by the Estonian Youth Workers Association and the Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres.
Thorough monitoring and analyzing system for youth work quality and impact
The Youth Work Programme 2019-2022 (Noortevaldkonna programm 2019-2022) includes an activity 4.2. called “Improvement of youth work quality and promoting youth work impact” with a sub-activity “Improvement of youth work impact and visibility of results of youth work”, aiming at raising awareness of youth work impact and results. As part of it, a thorough monitoring and analyzing system for youth work quality and impact is developed and managed. The programme is funded by the European Social Fund. A diverse set of tools like Youth Monitoring Dashboard (Noorteseire juhtimislaud), blog, podcasts, seminars etc are being developed. More information about the systematic approach developed at national level with regards to youth monitoring, incl. its core principles and main tools can be found in the national Education Portal.