Youth work programmes targeting socio-economically disadvantaged young people (September 2021)
Youth work is a key tool for the empowerment of young people. As recognised by the EU Youth Strategy, youth work is the bridge into education, training or work, and has a unique potential to reach out to the most vulnerable young people in society and address their individual needs.
Youth work as a driver of social inclusion can thus be understood as actions in which young people at risk of marginalisation or social exclusion take part voluntarily and that are designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning.
In about two thirds of countries, top-level public authorities either directly organise or fund youth work programmes that target groups of young people suffering from social and economic disadvantages, such as young people not in employment, education and training (NEETs), the long-term unemployed and those who are homeless.
The majority of these countries support youth work programmes that are specifically dedicated to these groups. Others back general programmes that include activities targeting young people living in conditions of socio-economical disadvantage.
In the last third of countries, youth work programmes addressing the social inclusion of young people might exist, but they are not directly implemented of financed by public authorities at the national level.