4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion
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No legal framework exists at the top-level that applies to the prevention of social exclusion through youth work. General legal framework on youth exists at the top-level which describes general terms such as the management of youth affairs, the operation of the Icelandic Youth Fund, working conditions in youth work, support of municipalities and research on youth affairs.
There are, however, certain characteristics reflected in the work of youth centres supported by local authorities that support the prevention of social exclusion of groups of young people perhaps more at risk of social exclusion.
No work programmes aiming for the prevention of social exclusion amongst young people is organised or funded directly by the top-level government. However, the Icelandic government allocates funds to the Icelandic Youth Fund which supports youth work.
Reykjavík Youth Center has a diverse range of activities for young people with disabilities. Among them are after-school activities (16-20 years) as well as work with various clubs and groups. In addition the youth centre celebrates the Art Without Borders festival every spring, which is an art festival emphasizing on diversity.
Fjölsmiðjan is an institution which provides young people with the opportunity to train for the labour marked or continued studies. These are mainly young people who have been marginalized for some reason and are looking to get back on track.
According to the Act No 70/2007 youth workers should be of legal age and are obliged to have the proper education, training, or experience to do their work (https://www.menntamalaraduneyti.is/media/MRN-pdf/youth_act70_2007.pdf). The Department of Education at the University of Iceland offers a variety of applicable courses for people wishing to enter the youth-work profession. Faculty of Sport, Leisure Studies and Social Education offers leisure studies, sports and health sciences and social education at both undergraduate and graduate level. All these subject are ideal for students who wish to obtain professional qualifications in youth-work. The Icelandic Government funds the Icelandic Youth Fund, whose purpose is to support innovative projects aimed at and for young people.
No public documents indicate that there are sources of funding made available for youth work particularly for social inclusion. Youth centres are funded by their local authority, while the top-level government funds the Icelandic Youth Fund. However, these bodies are relatively independent, i.e. youth centres are independent in choosing what projects they want to emphasize and the Icelandic Youth Fund selects projects for funding based on the merit of the application and other relevant factors. These sources might fund some projects on youth work for social inclusion, but not entirely.
No public documents indicate that specific quality assurance exists with regards to inclusive youth work programmes in Iceland.