Youth Work Values

COG Youth Services Ltd considers its relationship with young people to be a unique one. It is a voluntary relationship, based on mutual respect and equality and as such provides a supportive environment for person growth and informed risk-taking.

Youth work is recognised as having a valuable and unique contribution to make the education of young people through the process of informal education.

a process enabling young people to acquire skills, develop knowledge and appreciate the values necessary to make well-informed choices and take control of their lives as they grow up; enabling them to explore their rights and responsibilities as individuals and as members of groups and communities
Addressing Inequality
establishing equality of opportunity by challenging prejudice through an Anti-Oppressive Practice approach; challenging barriers to opportunity which arise from race, gender,, disability, class, religion, age, sexual identity, diagnosed mental illness, etc within a framework of accountability and transparency (this list is not exhaustive)
young people are engaged in a developmental process that supports and encourages them to be full and active partners in the learning and decision-making processes of the Youth Service, as well as the many other structures that affect their lives and the communities of which they are part
a ‘young person centred approach’ that should be at the heart of all our work. Creating or facilitating opportunities for young people to explore and experience power and responsibility within realistic, open and clearly understood boundaries. A supportive environment of mutual trust and respect between worker and young people is vital to enabling true empowerment

Youth work is effective when:

  • the educational outcomes are clear
  • it is accessible to young people whoever they are
  • young people are involved in the planning and delivery of the programme
  • it allows young people to make choices about matters that affect their lives
  • needs to allow for multi-agency network approach


Youth Work Principles

Youth work is, by its nature and processes, an involvement in the lives of young people with the aim of encouraging change. Therefore, its is important that all our workers and any organisations, involved with us, have a real understanding of the basis upon which youth work is undertaken:

Young people choose to be involved, not least because they want to relax, meet friends and have fun
The work starts where young people are – with their view of the world and their interests
It aims to go beyond where young people start, by encouraging them to be critical and creative in their responses to their experience and the world around them and by supporting their exploration of new ideas, interests and creative ability
It takes place because young people are young people, not because they have been labelled or categorised as deviant
It recognises, respects and is actively responsive to the wider networks of peers, communities and cultures, which are important to young people
Through networking and the promotion of inclusivity, it seeks to help young people achieve stronger relationships and collective identities (to encourage a sense of connection with society and empower those who face discrimination to act together)
It is concerned with how young people feel and not just with what they know and can do
It is concerned with facilitating and empowering the voice of young people
It is concerned with ensuring young people can influence the environment in which they live
It respects and values individual differences by supporting and strengthening young people’s belief in their capacity to grow and change
It works with other agencies which contribute to young people’s social and personal development
it complements and supports school and college based education by encouraging and providing other opportunities for young people to achieve and fulfil their potential