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[Department of Children and Youth Affairs] Review of youth homeless strategy. (05 Feb 2015)


Youth Affairs

The overall aim of the Youth Affairs Unit (YAU) is to support and promote non-formal education and developmental opportunities for young people through which they can enhance their personal and social skills and competencies.  Particular regard is had to the youth work needs of young people between the ages of 10 and 21, and to those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.

Specifically the YAU work:

    To develop youth policies and strategies that enable and enhance young people’s personal and social development
    To support the youth sector in providing effective youth work and associated  opportunities for young people and to consolidate and enhance existing provision of youth services and initiatives
    To monitor and assess the youth work structures, supports and services so as to ensure both quality of service and value for money
    To support the alignment of youth policies and services with other Departmental policies and services and the broader policy and services field to help ensure an integrated and coordinated approach to the needs of young people
    To liaise with EU/Council of Europe on youth policy and the implementation of EU programmes for youth.    

The above aims seek to provide greater definition and direction to the youth work and youth services. Youth work can be described as being educational and elective, structured and systematic. Youth work operates in various settings spanning the non-formal education through to informal education yet alongside formal education and engages young people from ten to twenty-four years of age, representing a significant period in both development and duration. It is also predicated on the voluntary participation of young people.

In addition, youth work can act as a support to young people, who may be both engaged and external to the formal education system, and as a point of contact and referral to other youth related services. 

National Youth Strategy
Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures, The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People was launched in April, 2014. It is the first overarching National Policy Framework which spans the ages 0 -24.

The National Youth Strategy is being developed under this overarching National Policy Framework and is overseen by a National Youth Strategy Task Group. A Project Team, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, is in place to develop the National Youth Strategy.

This will be a universal strategy for all young people aged 10 to 24 years, spanning the period 2015 – 2020. Within this universal strategy, priority will be been given to the needs of young people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, the poorest outcomes.

Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures was informed by over 1,000 written submissions and bilateral discussions with Government departments and state agencies.  It was also informed by consultation with over 60,000 children and young people under the age of 18. This will be taken into consideration in the development of the National Youth Strategy.
We are now having a more focussed consultation and engagement with stakeholders, including young people.

Consultation with Young People
Online survey:
Target Group: While the National Youth Strategy spans the ages of 10 – 24 and the online survey is open to all in this age group, we are particularly keen to engage those aged 15 – 24 and those whose voices are seldom heard.
 There are two ways for young people to engage in this process:

Consultation with Stakeholders
National consultation events with stakeholders took place on 27 and 29 January 2015.  Participants included the youth sector, Education and Training Boards, teachers, parents, Carer’s Association, Probation Service, Irish Youth Justice Service, Government departments, Business sector, University sector, Student Unions and young people aged 18 and over.

The results of these consultations are being analysed at present and will be used in the first instance to inform the Young People’s consultation event on the 19th February 2015 and also to inform the National Youth Strategy, its priorities and its actions.

Presentations made at these events can be accessed here:
1.    Direct participation in an online survey by individual young people.

2.    Some young people may find it difficult to engage directly with the above and may need assistance to participate in the consultation. Those working with young people may wish to have a small group discussion with young people is based on the survey. A guidance note for facilitators can be accessed here.

On completion of the small group discussion the facilitator can upload the results online here.

Duration of Online Consultation
The online consultation will remain open until 16th February, 2015

Young people’s event on Thursday 19th February 2015, Croke Park, Dublin (age 15 to 18)
The purpose of this event is to ensure that young people aged 15 – 18 years have the opportunity to engage and input into the development of the National Youth Strategy.
Young people will be facilitated to:
•    Identify key areas that are most important (top priorities)
•    Say why each of these priorities is important, based on their own knowledge and experience
•    Identify possible actions that may be taken to address these issues
•    Say who is the most appropriate person or organisation to deliver on these actions. 

For further information, please email   of contact Rachael Murphy (Email:, Tel: 0868246288) or Martina O’Brien Email: (, Tel: 01 4784122).

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