10.3 Support to youth work
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The main objectives of youth work are described in the 2019 order No. A1-614 of Social Security Minister and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania on ‘The Approval of the Description of the Procedure for Work with Street Youth, the Procedure for Mobile Work with Youth, the Description of Open Work with Youth’.
The main principles of youth work include:
• Understanding - perceives a young person as an emerging personality, is able to empathize with his or her experiences, experiences, and perceives the young person's environment and engages with it in his or her activities;
• Respect - understands and respects the young person and the decisions of the young person that do not harm the young person and those around him / her;
• Exemplarity - is aware of the influence a young person exerts on his or her actions and example and behaves accordingly, taking into account the needs and maturity of the young person;
• Confidentiality and justice - in the performance of their functions, they shall observe the principle of confidentiality, unless this is contrary to law or regulation;
• Professionalism - clearly defines his / her role in working with young people, respectful and constructive relationships with young people, colleagues and others in the young person's environment.
Youth work can take place in institutions and organizations in different fields, work themes are defined according to the needs of young people, so youth work is based on the principles of non-formal education, but not on an integral basis.
To sum up, youth work is an activity designed to enable young people to engage in personal, professional and social activities and to develop and develop their competencies. In simple terms, youth work is the process of educating young people according to their needs, in order to enable young people to work. Youth work is based on the principles of non-formal education, but not all forms of youth work and all target groups are suitable and / or necessary for non-formal education. Youth work is an integral part of youth policy but can also be implemented in other public policies.
The youth work providers are identified and defined and principles of youth workers’ profession are described in the 2013 order No. A1-208 of Social Security Minister and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania on ‘The Approval of the Youth Workers' Job Description’ In Lithuania. In the 2013 description of the activities of youth workers, a youth worker is defined as an adult person who works with young people in their free time, who strives for the personal and social development of young people both through individual work with different people and when working with groups, and who has the necessary competencies for this work. Youth policy experts describe youth workers as those who work in the youth field having a relevant education in social work, social education, psychology or education related qualification. For example, youth workers who work in municipal educational, cultural, sport, social institutions and can be referred to as teachers (leading a school circle), social educators, cultural workers etc.
The domains to which youth work pertains and the principles of youth work in open youth centres are described in the 2012 order No. A1-570 of Social Security Minister and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania on ‘Description of Open Youth Centres’. The main forms of youth work are: 1) Open Youth Work is a form of youth work based on the principles of youth work and applied in open youth centers and spaces; 2) Mobile youth work - youth work when moving to a residential area where there is no youth work infrastructure, taking into account the individual needs of young people living in the area; and 3) Working with youth on the street - working with young people not in an institutional setting but directly in informal youth gatherings (public spaces, streets, parks, cafes, sports fields, clubs etc. The Description of differences between the main forms of youth work is provided by the Department of Youth Affairs.
These groups in the youth population are identified as primary targets of youth work: 1) young people out of the family, 2) young people out of school; and 3) young people out of work.
The main sources of public funding include national budget allocations and grant programmes. Youth work providers have to satisfy certain conditions and requirements to benefit from public funding, and the funding framework identifies the type of activities and/or specific target groups to be supported each year. For example the conditions of funding application for 2019 are described in the 2018 order No. 2V-175 (1.4) of Social Security Minister and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania on ‘The Approval of the Terms and Conditions for the 2019 Mobile and Youth Street Work Projects Funding and the Selection Committee Composition’.
Implementation of youth work is outsourced to municipalities. According to the Law of Local Governance organizations of pre-school education, non-formal education for children and adults, organizations of children and youth services are the autonomous function of the municipality. The municipalities are responsible for implementing and coordinating the activities of these organisations. The municipalities have also established the following structures for implementing youth work policy measures: Councils for youth affairs at the municipal level are established on the principle of parity involving the representatives of municipal institutions and youth organizations by the decision of Municipal Councils. Regional youth councils can delegate representatives of youth organizations to municipal councils for youth affairs. Different committees of Municipal Council, as well as departments, institutions of Municipality Administration (educational institutions, psychological services, institutions of non-formal education (music and art schools, sports centers, youth centers, cultural centers, museums, libraries, etc.) formulate and implement youth policy in municipalities. A coordinator of youth affairs assists the municipal institutions to formulate and implement a municipal youth policy. A coordinator of youth affairs serves as a mediator between the politicians of municipality, schools, NGOs, community organizations, social services, employment agencies, educators, volunteers, youth leaders etc. and youth. A coordinator of youth affairs supervises and initiates measures, necessary for performance of youth policy including policy measures on youth work. They provide institutions and persons with information on the implementation of youth policy in the municipality, cooperates with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, the Department of Youth Affairs, and other institutions, youth organisations, non-formal youth groups, as well as take part in developing cooperation with the municipalities of foreign countries in the field of youth work.