Youth Services

What is youth work?

The consensus definition as to what is youth work is described in the Youth Work Act 2001;

“a planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young persons through their voluntary participation, and which is (a) complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and (b) provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.”  (Section 3.)

Additionally, “young person” means “a person who has not attained the age of 25 years.”

“Youth work service” means “a service which, directly or indirectly, assists in the provision of youth work.” Section 2 (1).

“Youth work programme” means “a structured programme of youth work.”  Section 2 (1).

Youth work operates in various settings spanning non-formal education, community and centre-based provision. This flexibility of approach and emphasis on the interpersonal enables it to offer an educational process complementary to that provided through formal education. It particularly targets disadvantaged young people and those aged 10 to 21 years; a significant period in terms of both development and duration. Therefore as an approach, it is in a pivotal position to contribute to the educational and social welfare of young people. In addition, youth work often acts as the point of contact and referral to other youth-related services such as care, health, and welfare.

What we do.

Under the Education and Training Boards Act 2013, Longford and Westmeath ETB has been given the responsibility of supporting;

“the provision, coordination, administration and assessment of youth work services in its functional area and provid(ing) such information as may be requested by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to such support.”   (Section 10 (1) (j))

Monitoring and co-ordination of youth work programmes and services is mainly addressed through ongoing communication, consultation and relationship building with the local youth work personnel who strive to deliver high quality and professional services on a daily and weekly basis.  We also oversee the implementation of the National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) for Youth Services (professional projects) and the corresponding Quality Standards for volunteer-led youth groups on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).  The Youth Officer also represents the LWETB on a number of committees and fora throughout the region, reflecting LWETB’s commitment to working in association and collaboration with our statutory and voluntary sector partner agencies.

LWETB administers funding on behalf of the DCYA and the Department of Health to projects and services across counties Longford and Westmeath.  These services are provided by a number of voluntary youth organisations including Midland Regional Youth Services Ltd., Foróige, County Longford Youth Services and Athlone Community Taskforce.

All youth work duties and responsibilities are overseen by a sub-committee of LWETB which is responsible for co-ordination and strategic planning.

Funding Schemes
  • Local Youth Club Grant Scheme (LYCGS)
  • Special Projects to Assist Disadvantaged Youth (SPY)
  • Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund (YPFSF)
  • Youth Information Centre (YIC)
  • Midland Regional Drug and Alcohol Task Force (MRDATF)

For more details on these schemes, please select from the drop-down menu above, or contact:

Maria Fox
Youth Officer
Longford and Westmeath ETB
Marlinstown Business Park
Co Westmeath
Tel: 086 3839451



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