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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.6 Supporting youth organisations

Last update: 16 April 2022
On this page
  1. Legal/policy framework for the functioning and development of youth organisations
  2. Public financial support
  3. Initiatives to increase the diversity of participants

Legal/policy framework for the functioning and development of youth organisations

The top-level policy framework for youth organisations in Ireland is the National Youth Strategy, 2015-2020. This is the most recent policy framework for young people and youth organisations, however it is expected that a more updated Strategy will be proposed in 2021.

The National Youth Strategy focuses on youth policy commitments. It is one of three strategies developed under Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, the National Policy Framework for children and young people aged 0-24 years.

Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures captures all children and youth policy commitments across Government departments and agencies in relation to five outcome areas and six key transformational goals.

The six transformative goals are:

  • Support parents
  • Earlier intervention and prevention
  • Listen to and involve children and young people
  • Ensure quality services
  • Strengthen transitions
  • Cross-government and interagency collaboration and coordination. 

The main principles central to the National Youth Strategy and its implementation are:

  • Young people and those who support them
  • Young people are valued in their own right, and recognised as integral to society
  • Young people are acknowledged as key drivers in achieving their cognitive, emotional, social, economic and cultural development
  • Parents, families, other significant adults and communities are recognised as playing a critical role in the development and progression of young people
  • Professionals and volunteers working with young people
  • Professionals and volunteers who work with young people are respected, valued and appropriately supported in their work
  • Those providing services for young people act in the best interests of young people, and respect and uphold young people’s rights.

Policies and practices

An equality perspective is integrated into all policy and practice.

Service development and delivery

Government and other stakeholders work collaboratively, with vertical and horizontal communication and cooperation, to achieve more effective services and supports for young people.

Services for young people are open, accessible, resourced and provide additional support in response to certain needs.

Services for young people are quality assured, outcomes focused and informed by evidence.


Public financial support

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) provides public financial support to youth organisations. It administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities.

In December 2019 the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (now DCEDIY) launched a new targeted youth funding scheme entitled, UBU - Your Place Your Space.

UBU - Your Place, Your Space brings together four already existing, overlapping schemes with a value of over 38.5 million. The scheme aims to provide services that support young people to develop the personal and social skills required to improve their life chances. These include services covering health, education, employment and social connectedness. The scheme targets young people who are marginalised, disadvantaged, or vulnerable.

UBU Resilience and Effectiveness Initiative

On the 3rd of June 2021, the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth launched a new initiative to support youth services working with disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable young people under the UBU Your Place Your Space scheme. The initiative will help to support smaller youth services to increase their youth work provision and to benefit organisations that have been facing cost pressures.

The funding is support UBU- Your Place, Your Space services to deliver a more efficient service to young people. A total of €800,000 has been set aside for this initiative that will be operated through the Education and Training Boards.


Initiatives to increase the diversity of participants

Young people aged 10-24 years who are described in the National Youth Strategy as marginalised, disadvantaged, or vulnerable will be the primary target group for services available through UBU Your Place Your Space.

Young people experiencing economic, social and cultural disadvantage includes:

  • young people who live in communities with high concentrations of families/individuals who are dependent on social welfare or have low incomes
  • experience intergenerational unemployment
  • have high levels of addiction
  • come from one parent families.

It also includes young people who come from situations of family breakdown and low educational attainment, including young people who live in communities with a deprivation score of below minus ten

Marginalised young people whose specific circumstances limit their opportunities including, but not limited to:

  • young carers
  • Travellers
  • Roma
  • immigrants
  • young people with disabilities
  • young people with mental health issues
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI+) young people
  • Young people who are vulnerable or at risk of not flourishing including, but not limited to:

               - young people in or leaving care;

               - young people experiencing or involved in substance misuse; and

               - young people with little or no formal structure in their lives, for example young people not in education, training or employment.