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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

Last update: 15 March 2024
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  1. Policy legal framework
  2. Funding
  3. Cooperation


Policy legal framework

As described in section 10.2 municipalities are expected to deliver youth work in accordance to national priorities in the area of children and youth. The Government’s 2015 plan on child and youth policy initiatives and the national annual budget describe government priorities in the field of children and youth. In the area of youth work the Government encourages cooperation between municipalities, city boroughs and the voluntary sector in in the creation and development of inclusive youth work efforts (meeting places, activities, clubs etc) at the local level. The importance of youth work is acknowledged in other policy documents such as White Paper No. 19 (2018-2019) on Public Health [Folkehelsemeldinga — Gode liv i eit trygt samfunn] and White Paper No. 8 (2018–2019) The Power of Culture – Cultural Policy for the Future [Kulturens kraft. Kulturpolitikk for framtida].

The ‘Recreation Declaration’ [Fritidserklæringen] is a collaborative effort between municipalities, the voluntary sector and top-level authorities  to ensure that all children, regardless of their parents' social and financial situation, have the opportunity to participate regularly in at least one organized leisure/recreational activity with other children.


Top-level support for local efforts is made available through several national grants, mainly administered by the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, from which municipalities, city boroughs and voluntary organisations can apply for funding. The size of these grants is adjusted in the national annual budget.

Municipalities are also at the liberty to allocate funds from their own annual budgets.

The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is the Norwegian National Agency for Erasmus+: Youth in Action in Norway and administers project grants to informal youth groups, NGOs, foundations, municipalities and in some cases commercial actors for courses and training activities to increase the skills of youth workers. The projects require, with few exceptions, international partnerships. In the allocation of funds priority is given to projects that demonstrate grassroots efforts.


The Government encourages cooperation between municipalities, city boroughs and the voluntary sector at the local level. At the national level the Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs organizes an biannual youth conference that promotes cooperation between diverse stakeholders such as voluntary organisations, municipalities, youth councils, youth workers and practitioners in the youth field, researchers and experts as well as private organisations and social enterprises. At the conference a NOK 250 000 prize is awarded to the “youth municipality of the year” for outstanding work in the area of youth, including youth participation, youth friendly welfare services and youth work. This is an opportunity to showcase and incentivise concerted efforts for youth at the municipal level. In 2023 the price was awarded to Kvam municipality in the county of Vestland, for actively facilitating that young people are involved in being heard and influencing their own municipality.