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Interactive Online Resource

An interactive online resource, or Route Map,  has been developed for the Department for Children and Youth Affairs (by the Centre for Effective Services) to support the implementation of the National Quality Standards Initiatives. The Route Map for the National Quality Standards Initiatives for Youth Work and Youth Activities is an innovative resource which makes available an array of web-based information which is international in scope.

The resources have been selected based on their quality and capacity to inform and support youth work and youth activities, with all materials assessed based on a set of inclusion criteria. The materials come from a wide range of reliable sources, including government departments, national and international youth organisations, academic institutions, independent research and policy agencies.

The Route Map is also accompanied by a more detailed table of resources which houses over 100 quality materials to support staff-led youth groups and over 30 resources to support volunteer-led youth activities.


Quality Standards Training and Resource Development Task Group

To support the implementation of the National Quality Standards for youth work and youth activities, a Quality Standards Training and Resource Development Task Group has been established. The Task Group represents national youth organisations, the ETB sector, programmes and personnel involved in the provision of training and in the implementation of both the National Quality Standards Framework for Youth Work and the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups. Its aim is to ensure the provision of coordinated, relevant and quality training and to identify or develop resources to support the successful implementation of these standards throughout the youth work sector.
Work to Date
1.    Youth Work Training Bank
A national survey was undertaken to identify existing training and resources which relate to the Core Principles and Standards of the NQSF. This information has informed the development of a Youth Work Training Bank which will enable youth work staff, volunteers and managers identify relevant supports in implementing the NQSF. The Training Bank includes a culmination of sector wide training and is hosted by the National Youth Council of Ireland.
2.    NQSF Resource Manual
A Resource Manual on Planning, Needs Assessment and Evaluation has been developed which aims to provide guidance to those implementing the NQSF. The Resource is specifically designed to support Core Principle 1 the systematic needs assessment, Standard 3.3.1 Planning and 3.3.4 Monitoring and Assessment and combines a range of existing national and international materials available to the youth work sector.
3.    National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups

Following the launch of the NQSVlYG in March 2013, briefing sessions were developed and delivered to support VEC Youth Officers, Liaison Officers and National Organisations in implementing the NQSVlYG.
Aim of the NQSVlYG
•        Improve the quality of the programmes and activities provided
•        Improve the way programmes and activities are planned and delivered
•        Provide young people with the opportunity to have a say in the development and review of the club/group and its activities
When did they take effect?
•        The Standards were introduced to youth clubs and groups in 2013
•        They were implemented in 2013 on a phased basis with all youth clubs/groups being engaged (e.g. attended a briefing session and commenced the standards process)
•        Engaged clubs and groups participate on an annual basis

The Standards consist of:
3 Core Principles that structure and guide youth clubs/groups and their activities
1.   Young person-centred
2.   Safety and well-being
3.   Developmental/educational
2.    Standards and Indicators of achievement
•        There are 3 standards that need to be in place to support the 3 core principles. Standards are a set of statements of what should be in place to assist in ensuring quality.
•        Each standard has a number of ‘indicators of achievement’, which will help youth clubs/groups to chart their progress and show their achievement in reaching that standard. Indicators are practical and specific examples to indicate that standards are being met.
Who do they apply to?
•    All youth clubs and groups funded under the DCYA’s Local Youth Club Grant Scheme and related schemes operating in Dublin and Waterford cities
•    Youth clubs/groups that are not in receipt of funding from the DCYA are also encouraged to use them.
•    The NQSVYG is a developmental process. Engagement in the standards process is required in order to be eligible to apply for the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme.
Section 1: Completing the Process

Step 1:
•    Youth Clubs/Groups complete the Specific statement of purpose.  An opportunity for each youth club/group to state what it does, why it does it and who is it for.
•    Consider each of the 3 Core Principles, the 3 related Standards and prescribed indicators of achievement.
Step 2:
•    For each standard, agree what indicators are in place to support it and note
this on the form by ticking ‘in place’ . Give an example of how each indicator is being achieved.
Step 3:
•    If a standard or indicator is not in place (i.e. not being achieved), note this on the form by ticking ‘not in place’. Then identify areas to be developed to support these indicators. List specific actions and identify who will carry out the actions and when
Step 4:
•    Carry out the required actions.
Step 5:
•    Review the group’s progress during the year in achieving the standards and indicators, and record this on the form under ‘progress achieved’.
Step 6:
•    Submit the completed Annual Plan and Progress Report to the ETB Youth/Liaison Officer each year when applying for youth group funding. In the case of affiliated groups, the Regional Youth/Development Officer should comment briefly on the position of standards and progress achieved by the group during the previous year.
Section 2: Endorsement Process
•    Section 2 of the Annual Plan and Progress Report is completed by the YO/LO, who notes and endorses the group’s position in relation to each of the 3 Standards.
•    ETB Youth/Liaison Officer comments on ‘position of standards within the youth group’ and ‘progress achieved by the group’
•    The ETB Youth/Liaison Officer may do this
•       in discussion with the club/group’s leaders, or
•       in discussion with the Regional Youth/Development Officer of a parent organisation and/or
•       by way of a visit to the youth club/group.

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