10.3 Support to youth work
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As researcher Tomi Kiilakoski describes in the Finnish Youth Research Society & Youth Research Network's publication Youth Work Education in Finland, in Finland the state is seen to have a positive role in supporting youth work; it is not seen as interfering with the work. The state finances youth work research, provides both formal and non-formal learning, legislates and governs youth work activities, allocates resources to grassroots youth work, takes part in professional networks and has several structures for developing youth work activities and training youth workers, as Kiilakoski describes. (See more about Youth Act in Youth Wiki/Finland 1.2 National youth law). The Ministry of Education and Culture is also responsible for drafting the National Youth Work and Policy Programme, more about the programme 2020-2023 see Youth Wiki/Finland 1.3 National Youth Strategy.
The Ministry of Education and Culture annually allocates government funding to the national youth organisations, municipal youth work, statutory bodies, and other actors doing youth work. The Ministry has additional appropriations for measures that address topical issues, such as young people's social empowerment, international projects, and new forms of youth work and youth culture. In 2021, the state is putting approximately 70 300 million euro into youth work. For more information, see Youth Wiki/Finland 1.7 Funding youth policy and 5.6 Supporting youth organisations.
The most important framework for cooperation amongst all youth work stakeholders is the National Youth Work and Youth Policy Programme, which is a statutory, cross-sectoral programme adopted by the Finnish Government every four years. Since the end of 2017 there has also been a network of Youth Work Centres of Expertise established to support the implementation of the objectives set out in the programme by promoting competence, expertise, communications and networking in the youth sector in accordance with the Youth Act, see more about Youth Work Centres of Expertise in Youth Wiki/Finland 1.4 Youth policy decision-making.