In Portugal, youth work doesn’t have an independent legal definition, although it is one of the most fundamental and acknowledge pillars of the youth sector in the country. Youth and youth work fall under the competence of the Ministry of Education, namely the State Secretary of Youth and Sports and the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth (IPDJ) is responsible for leading the main mechanism for the area.
Youth work is present in the public sector, both on the level of the IPDJ and other public institutes, on the level of municipalities and vastly promoted by the nonprofit sector, by civil society organizations who work for or with youth.
The professional profile of the youth professional (Técnico de Juventude) was defined in 2015, but the sector is very diverse in terms of qualification. Youth being transversal to a wide range of areas, professionals who work with and for youth in the different fields have different profiles and approaches.