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There is no stand alone National Strategy on Youth Work in Romania. Youth work has rather been coupled to creating new opportunities for learning – especially within learning structures developed with the support of the non-formal education methodologies in the National Youth Strategy.
National Youth Strategy states as one of the main areas of intervention the ‘Employment and Entrepreneurship’. Under this pillar as action line is also highlighted the fact that the main actors – including the youth workers, the career counselors or the trainers are to be recognized and offered support being a significant resource in supporting young people.
Within the National Youth Strategy, the role of the youth worker would rather reside with offering support to groups of young people when going through the transition from school to the labour market, to those ones dealing with social exclusion or to boosting up youth participation. These activities are to be organised either by the national and local authorities with responsibilities in the field of youth or by the non-governmental organizations working with and for young people.
In terms of providers of youth work, according to the existent occupational standard, the youth work services could be provided by the NGOs, the Youth Centers and Leisure Time Centers, The state institutions – namely by the District Councils on Youth and Sport or by the Students’ Cultural Centers.
Additionally, a non-exhaustive list of activities that are delivered and could be assimilated to the youth work services (activities identified through looking at the Occupational Standard for Youth Workers; the National Youth Law and the National youth Strategy):
- Collecting information through the direct interaction with young people
- Offering support for the personal and professional development of young people
- Organizing activities for young people – educational, leisure time or information campaigns, etc
- Facilitating their nonformal learning process
- Facilitating the interaction of young people and NGOs
- Creating the framework for young people to volunteer or to get socially and civically involved
- Mediating between young people and groups of young people and the authorities.
Furthermore, in 2020 the Ministry of Youth and Sports launched the strategy for the development of the infrastructure dedicated to youth work and youth tourism (the infrastructure for youth camps).
In terms of funding, no specific funding line has been identified for youth work activities and youth workers. Indirectly, funding could be assimilated to the support that is being offered to youth NGOs and students’ NGOs by the funding opportunities of the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
However, essential support for youth work development in Romania came from the EU funding available. National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Vocational Training has been doing extensive work on training youth workers and youth NGOs in Romania on grants’ application writing, on working with young people using non-formal education methodologies or on working with young people with fewer opportunities. For this purpose, a set of national trainings are delivered nationally and locally and the youth NGOs are active in applying for funding that could support their international learning mobility activities within Erasmus + programme.
More than that, a great achievement for youth work in Romania has been the projects that were funded by the European Social Fund: ‘Constructing ‘the youth worker’ institution for a better insertion of young people in the society’, project that led to having young workers trained and officially recognized by profession in Romania and ‘Sustainable policies and standards in working with young people in Romania’, project that led to a public policy document in standardizing the youth work activitiesin Romania.
The only cooperation initiatives that were identified and could have relevance for youth work are:
- The consultation of the National Council For Youth (NCFY) established in 2020 as the advisory structure of the Ministry of Youth and Sports with youth associations, including 50 representatives of youth civil society organisations,.
- The main events organised by the National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Vocational Training events dedicated to social inclusion, non-formal education, visibility and dissemination events, etc. events when representatives of young NGOs, public services, local and national authorities with responsibilities in the field of young and representative of non-affiliated youth are part of the events.
- A training programme on digital youth work organised in 2020 in cooperation with the National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Vocational Training
- The joint action of the Youth and Camps Department of the Ministry of Youth and Sport and Covasna Youth and Sport County’s Department of supporting the initiative group that aims to set up the Youth Workers’ Professional Association in Romania, initiative started in June 2019 but no public updates of the activity are currently available.
Otherwise a notable initiative comes from the non-governmental organizations through setting up the experts’ group on creating the standards on youth work within the project ‘Sustainable policies and standards in working with young people in Romania’.