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This research was carried out with youth workers delivering youth programmes throughout the COVID-19 global
pandemic. Respondents were employed as youth workers in the Peace IV Children & Young People’s programme, Peace4Youth. The Peace4Youth programme is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), and supported by the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth (RoI) and the Department for the Economy (NI).

The Peace4Youth programme

The Peace4Youth programme is a peace-building programme with three outcome areas – good relations, citizenship and personal development. Research was conducted with 43 youth workers through observation of staff meetings and semi-structured interviews, five youth workers took part in one-to-one interviews and two took part in a paired interview.

Impact of project

  • For all that changed in the practice of youth work during the COVID-19 restrictions, the core of the work remained the same.
  • Organisations that embed reflective and reflexive practice as part of the professional routine can build  adaptive responsive staff teams that are capable of moving quickly  and skilfully into and through flux environments.
  • This crisis period has demonstrated the role that youth work can contribute across the full multi-disciplinary spectrum and across a range of mental health, educational, recreational and social policy priorities set by government.
  • To sustain a healthy workforce, organisational policy and practice
    needs to reinforce the work of managers and teams, building a health-promoting organisational culture.

Full report