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Policy Information

Youth Affairs

Published: 13 March 2019
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs


The National Youth Strategy is one of three whole-of-Government strategies developed under the overarching National Policy Framework, Better Outcomes Brighter Futures.

The other two are the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-Making (2015) and a National Early Years Strategy (forthcoming).


There are a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities.

The funding schemes support national and local youth work involving approximately 1,400 youth work staff in youth services and communities throughout the country.

Children First

The Children First Act 2015 was signed into law by the President on the 19th November 2015 and is being commenced on a phased basis.

It provides a legal basis for elements of the Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children introduced in 2011.

The Act provides a number of key child protections.

Read more

A National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF)

A National Quality Standards Framework (NQSF) for Youth Work was introduced in January 2011. This is used as a support tool to assess standards of youth work and evaluate development and improvement.

The NQSF is currently under review in the hope of further improving its support.

The NQSF applies to all staff-led youth work organisations, services, projects and programmes which are funded under the following schemes:

  • Youth Service Grant Scheme
  • special projects for youth
  • Young People’s Facilities and Services Funds 1 and 2
  • youth information centres

Support and guidance for local youth work services is being provided by the local ETB (Youth/Liaison) Officer.

The support services for the NQSF with National Youth Organisations are now delivered directly by the department.

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