The Youth Work Act(2001) provides a legal framework for the provision of Youth Work programmes and services and gives statutory responsibility at national level to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and at local level to the VEC's for the development of youth work and its co-operation with other services to young people. The role of the Youth Officer is to co-ordinate these functions on behalf of the VEC.
DEFINITION OF YOUTH WORK
The Act defines Youth Work as:-
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-
- complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training;
- provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.
For the purpose of the act, a young person means a person who is under the age of 25 years. Particular regard is given to young people between the ages of 10 and 21 and to those who are socially or economically disadvantaged.