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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work

Last update: 27 January 2021


On this page
1.Quality assurance
2.    Research and evidence supporting Youth Work
3.    Participative youth work
4.    ‘Smart’ youth work: youth work in the digital world


Quality assurance

The Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales provides a robust, independent, external assessment of the quality and performance of organisations that deliver youth work.

The Quality Mark can be used for self-assessment, to plan for improvement and to gain the nationally recognised Quality Mark. It consists of two distinct elements:

  1. Quality Standards for Youth Work - a set of Indicators and Quality Standards that organisations can use to self-assess the quality and impact of their work with young people and develop plans for improvement.
  2. A Quality Mark - a nationally recognised quality mark that organisations can apply for by developing a self-assessment and portfolio of evidence which is externally assessed.

The Quality Mark consists of:

●      three levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold

●      four Quality Standards within each level

●      quality standards comprising three associated indicators.

The Quality Mark is suitable for any organisation that delivers youth work.

Research and evidence supporting Youth Work 

The National Assembly for Wales’ Children, Young People and Education Committee conducts research on a variety of youth services, including youth work

The  Youth Work Strategy for Wales lists two reports by the Committee whose findings and recommendations have informed the development of the new strategy.

●      Mind over Matter: A report on the step change needed in emotional and mental health support for children and young people in Wales;

●      What type of youth service does Wales want? Report of the inquiry into Youth Work.

Furthermore, the 2019 report was built off of the findings and recommendations of theReview of the Impact of the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2014-2018. This report was developed by Wrexham Glyndwr University in conjunction with Cardiff Metropolitan University and Susanne Rauprich OBE.

This research applied survey research as a means of collecting appropriate data for their findings and analysis and as a result were able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of theNational Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2014-18 and identify opportunities for improvement as well as threats to the overall strategy. 

Participative youth work

The 2019 Youth Work Strategy for Wales was developed through direct engagement with young people and seeks to continue to foster the participation of young people in decision and policy making through its first pillar titled ‘Young people are thriving’.

Specifically, it states the goal of having young people ‘participate in the development of these opportunities and the decisions which affect them, and be given access to procedures which enable them to question and challenge decision-makers; there should be meaningful partnerships with young people to make this a reality.’

For more information about youth participation in general policy making, please see the article ‘Young people’s participation in policy-making

‘Smart’ youth work: youth work in the digital world

In the section on ‘Young people are thriving’ in the  Youth Work Strategy for Wales, the Welsh government makes the commitment to ‘explore how young people access, create and interpret information to support their decision-making and engage in youth work opportunities and experiences, and how digital tools can optimise our approaches.’

Furthermore, in 2018, Promo Cymru announced that it had received funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to develop a best practice model in digital youth work. The organisation plans to work with young people to develop digital youth work and digital youth information and examine how to further digitally enhance traditional youth work in order to support lifelong health, learning and active citizenship.