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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.1 General context

Last update: 28 March 2024
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  1. Historical developments
  2. Definition or undertanding of Youth Work

Historical developments

Youth work is not a deep-seated civil sector in Turkey. Its development goes hand in hand with the overall growth of civil society organisations in 1990s. In addition, European Union candidacy process can be said to accelarate the growth of youth work in Turkey. The youth work conducted by the State had been intermingled with the sports until the foundation of Ministry of Youth and Sports in 2011. Thenceforth youth work has come to be treated as a separate policy area. From the very beginning civil youth sector in Turkey to a large extent focused on the activities targetting youth participation and youth advocacy, on the other hand public youth work with its organisational and budgetary capabilities has tended to cover the activities aimed at youth empowerment. The three components of youth work (empowerment, participation, advocacy) have been tackled in the natural course of things in a non-systematic way until the adoption of National Youth and Sports Policy Document in 2013.  

Definition or undertanding of Youth Work

Within National Youth and Sports Policy Document, youth work has been divided into 13 policy fields and elaborated separetely. Even so within this document the scope, content and definition of youth work and youth worker have not been specified. The "youth work" concept has remained in general use as representing the work for the benefit of young people in terms of  empowerment, participation and advocacy. Equally, youth worker without being specified in a legal document has come into use as denoting youth experts, youth leaders and workers in the civil youth sector apart from public youth sector. In this prespect, youth work denotes a broad term covering a wide variety of activities of a social, cultural, educational, environmental or political nature targetting the good of young people. Youth workers can be either paid or volunteers. Their working procedures can rest on formal as well as informal learning processes.

Even though there is not an unified and overall competency-based framework for youth workers, there exist competency descriptors for different occupations subsumed under the “youth worker” working in public youth sector. (youth and sports experts, youth leaders).