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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth Work

Last update: 12 January 2021

From 1990, Poland witnessed the growing activity of civic organizations, including youth organizations and further growing professionalization of the sector. At the same time the state initiative in youth policy was diminishing with time. The last Youth Strategy of Poland closed formally in 2012, but in practice much earlier, and the draft strategy Active Youth from 2014 was never enacted.

Additional turning point in youth work development was Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004, and access to the European funding for youth projects. This promoted further within youth organizations and – to limited extent also within policy attempts - the perspective of youth-centered pedagogy: treating young people as partners, agents, and co-authors, not recipients of services. Still, it remains a marginal approach. It as well allowed Polish youth workers to cooperate internationally and become mobile, what results in transfer of knowledge from abroad.

Nowadays, in Poland there exist a very diversified scene of youth work providers (from state institutions to youth initiatives, mass-youth organizations, school-based youth work, non-governmental organisations). There are no national policy initiatives that would be directed strategically at youth work sector as a whole, and youth policy is fragmented and scattered in between different ministries with little policy debate on concept and value of different ways of doing youth work.