10. Youth Work
Youth work in Hungary fits into the discontinuous traditions of youth policy. Its current understanding and infrastructure were created a long time ago by Mobilitás National Youth Service. 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]. Since 2003, there have been various forms of formal training for youth workers, but the prestige and recognition of the youth profession is still not comparable to other fields of education.
In Hungary, there is no official definition of youth work. 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 more recent Government documents, youth work is often understood in the context of municipal coordination (after the change of the name of the education programme), but the EU terminology of youth work appears more and more frequently in policy discourses, following the strategic documents.
Nowadays, youth work in Hungary seems 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, the public infrastructure exists, mainly connected to the EYF (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 independent national strategy for youth work. Nevertheless, the National Youth Strategy contains a subchapter calling for better recognition of youth work, the 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.