Youth work in contemporary Ireland is undergoing many changes. The introduction of the National Quality Standards Framework (2010) has seen a shift from process orientated work to outcomes based models. There are several ongoing debates in the current economic climate which sees the need to satisfy the funding agencies, whilst upholding the core values and principles of youth work. Youth work seems to be divided between ‘mainstream’ which is open access to all young people, (this type of youth work is generally found in the voluntary sector), and ‘targeted’ youth work, (which is funded by government initiatives) to tackle disadvantage and social exclusion of young people deemed to be ‘at risk’ or ‘disadvantaged’. Due to a relative lack of literature exploring the viewpoints of young people on their continued engagement with youth work services, the research reported here explores the reasons given by ten young people for their continued engagement in a targeted youth work service. Findings from a focus group discussion agrees with other literature which suggests that multiple factors must co-exist to continue to engage young people. Key factors are the availability of a welcoming environment, the types of programmes on offer and relationships with both peers and the youth workers.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.