Youth Practitioner Symposia

The series of Youth Work Ireland and CDYSB youth work practice symposia began in 2013. The themes of each symposia were chosen in a direct response to readers of Scene Magazine and demonstrate the quality and importance of youth work, while also deepening the understanding of what works in supporting the development of young people and youth work in Ireland today.

Employment & Youth Work

This symposium focused on youth work’s contribution to youth employment and provided an opportunity for participants to discuss and hear from practitioners on this issue. While not youth work’s main role, youth work can and does enable young people to develop the core skills and competences that are valued in the labour market. The symposium provided an opportunity to discuss and debate the fit between more focused work and the broader purpose of youth work. It offered an opportunity to learn from those working in this area, and to consider the tools and approaches that are most likely to be effective.

Five National Outcomes

This symposium anticipated the National Youth Strategy and provided practitioners with a space to learn about and reflect on the challenges and opportunities that youth work has in contributing to the five national outcomes for children and young people under the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Policy Framework

Volunteers in Youth Work

The symposium looked at volunteers as partners in youth work and discussed how youth organisations can both support the progression of volunteers as drivers and deliverers of youth services, as well as examining the importance of volunteers in the youth sector.

Outcomes in Youth Work

This symposium focused on outcomes in youth work and provided a space for youth work practitioners to come together and hear their peers speak on this topic. It also provided a space to share and learn from each other.

Development Education

This symposium on Development Education and Global Justice Issues was held in conjunction with CDYSB and Irish Aid and focused on how youth workers could mainstream global justice issues into their practice. The event provided an engaging discussion into the objectives of youth work particularly those that connect to social change, active citizenship and developing social analysis.

Irish Youth Work 1916-2016

This event took place during the Dublin Centenary Celebrations in 2016 and provided an opportunity for people to reflect on the key changes in youth work that have taken place in Ireland over the last 100 years such as the purpose of youth work - Is it for making good, useful kids, or is it about creating opportunities for young people to become and create citizens? The relationship between voluntary organisations and the State; and The social control of young people: The ongoing moral panics, and the establishment of youth work in a newly created state.

Child Poverty

Poverty is a familiar issues to youth workers, as much of youth work is targeted at disadvantaged young people. However things have changed and the numbers of young people living in poverty have greatly increased. Through new research, more knowledge is available to us about exactly what is happening in the lives of young people experiencing poverty.

Mental Health

This event brought together practitioners, managers, academics, policy makers and young people to discuss what they felt was the role of youth work in supporting young people's mental health. They explored the task at hand and considered new ways of working and strategies that needed to be adopted to deal with the issue of mental health. .

Social Inclusion

This symposium focused on the theme of Social Inclusion, the event provided a space for practitioners to hear contributors and their collaborators speak on this topic, looking at the challenges for organisations, individuals and the sector of bringing social inclusion tools and practices into their work and asking the question “what now?”

Evidence in Youth Work

This event provided an opportunity for participants to discuss with and hear from practitioners on this issue. The day also provided an opportunity for participants to interact with the Working Group on Evidence in Youth Work and discuss their views on the challenges and opportunities in sharing, capturing and using our evidence as practitioners.