10. Youth work
Youth work has a long history in the Republic of Serbia, but its meaning and understanding has been changing in different historical settings. It has evolved from scarce humanitarian care activities at the end of the 19th century to a recognised profession in more recent times, with institutional mechanisms for youth activities established in the first decade of the 21st century.
The main governing body that provides overall support to youth work is the Ministry of Tourism and Youth, with its Youth Council. Another major actor in the professionalisation of the youth sector in Serbia is the National Association of Youth Workers (NAPOR). Additional support to youth work is provided by the Provincial Youth Council, local youth councils and local youth offices, seen as the main drivers of youth work at the local level. For more information, see Chapters 10.2 Administration and governance of youth work and 10.3 Support to youth work.
Youth work in Serbia is mainly practised within youth organisations or associations. The main funder of youth work activities is the Government of the Republic of Serbia, specifically the Ministry of Tourism and Youth, whereas local authority offices may allocate their budget funds for financing the needs and interests of young people, but they are not legally obliged to do so. More information on funding is available in Chapter 10.3 Support to youth work.
Youth worker became recognised as a profession in Serbia in 2019, but formal education leading to a youth worker qualification does not exist yet and most training is provided through non-formal education conducted by NGOs. For more information, see Chapters 10.5 Youth workers and 10.6 Recognition and validation of skills acquired through youth work.