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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


10. Youth Work

Youth work in Hungary fits the discontinuous traditions of youth policy. Its contemporary understanding and infrastructure were created by Mobilitás National Youth Service a long time ago. Since 2013, most of the methodological support and knowledge base of youth work can be found in the Elisabeth Youth Foundation Nonprofit Ltd. [(Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap), hereinafter referred to as Elisabeth Youth Fund or EYF], which is the legal successor of the New Generation Centre since 2020. Since 2003 different forms of formal youth worker education have been in existence, but the prestige and recognition of the youth profession are still incomparable to other fields of education.

There is no official definition of youth work in Hungary. The National Youth Strategy (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia) refers to youth work as one of the youth services that play a key role in the development of youth. In recent government documents, youth work (following the changes in the name of the education programme) is often understood in the context of community coordination.

Nowadays, youth work in Hungary appears to have three pillars, three organisational modes. Specific 'grassroots' youth communities can be identified at the local (small scale) level. There are numerous NGOs and civil organisations (including the scouting movement and other religious youth organisations) active in the field. These are typically project-funded by the central government or (mostly) by EU grants. And finally, exists the public infrastructure, mainly connected to the Elisabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap) which serves as the methodological background to youth work or related to the mandatory youth activities of the municipal governments.

There is no standalone national strategy for youth work. Still, the National Youth Strategy does have a subchapter that calls for better recognition of youth work, development of the set of criteria of local governmental youth work and the strengthening of the educational objectives of youth work.

The current youth worker education is on BA level; however, the name of the programme does not contain youth work. The Youth Community Coordination specialisation of the Community Coordination BA (Közösségszervezés BA) programme serves as the formal educational background to youth work.