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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth Work

Last update: 23 March 2022

History of Slovak youth work is linked to the national liberation movement in 19th century, when many associations started working regularly with children and young people (10.1). There is currently one document regulating youth work – the Act on Youth Work Support (10.3). The Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Youth for the Years 2021 - 2028 (hereinafter the “Strategy”) defines the key areas, objectives, measures and indicators aimed at improving the lives of young people. It builds on and identifies with the EU 's Youth Strategy for 2019-2027. 

State care for education, youth and sports is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter MESRS). The state delegates some tasks to municipalities and cities and then provides financial and other material resources. MESRS transfers the establishment of schools and school facilities to municipalities. School facilities also include leisure centres that are directly active in the field of youth work.

The term youth work as it is understood in some Western European countries (especially the United Kingdom) was not introduced by law until 2008 (when the Act on Youth Work Support was established). Until then, the term youth work meant any activities with this target group, in some cases the public to this day perceives under this term the school activities (10.1).

There are three positions in youth work: young leader (volunteer aged 15-18), youth leader (volunteer older than 18) and youth worker (employed professional) (10.5).

MESRS confirms quality of youth work programmes by formal accreditation connected with official certificates for participants, but Youthpass (Erasmus +) is popular tool for presenting acquired competencies through mobility activities as well (10.6 ).

Declaration on the Recognition of Non-Formal Education has been signed by more than 100 employers, institutions and official stakeholders and became the leading initiative to raise awareness of youth work value in Slovakia (10.7). 

The debate on the quality of youth work in Slovakia has been going on for some time and some foundations have been laid. However, setting uniform, complex criteria is still not finalized. IUVENTA- Slovak Youth Institute collects and promotes various researches and surveys on youth, youth policy and youth work (10.4 ).

Youth work in Slovakia is mainly implemented by non-governmental organizations in which most of the youth workers are volunteers. Youth work in Slovakia is funded through the grant scheme of MESRS, funds from municipal resources, funds from the resources of higher territorial units, donations and contributions from legal entities and individuals, advertising revenues, business income, European Union funds and other resources.