Effective Youth Services (OFSTED)

  • Young people are involved in planning, executing and evaluating the activities
  • Opportunities for accreditation are supported and encouraged
  • There is a sense of fun and enjoyment in the work
  • There are opportunities for young people to work independently, use their initiative and acquire a sense of responsibility towards themselves and their community
  • There is a wide range of activities, including recreational, artistic and creative, sporting and intellectual
  • Activities are inclusive and encourage regular, high levels of participation


Youth Work Practice

  • Sessions are well prepared and planned within the framework of an overall service curriculum
  • Experienced, skilled workers know their areas and the young people well
  • Workers make good use of specialist staff and partnership working
  • Good relationships are based on mutual respect, with boundaries set and observed
  • Thoroughly evaluated sessions are linked to good forward planning
  • There is strong support and guidance from service managers
  • Resources and accommodation are sufficient and of good quality


Project Work is effective when:

  • There is a disciplined focus on methodology and assessment
  • Focus on specific topic or targeted group of young people
  • Programmes are based on identified needs of the young people involved
  • Young people are involved in determining and reviewing the programmed
  • Young people can articulate the benefits of involvement in the project
  • Leading to some form of accreditation
  • Workers are well qualified and experienced in the activities used in the project, and specialists are used appropriately


Centre Based Work works best when:

  • Workers are imaginative and ambitious
  • Planned work goes beyond providing routine, recreational activities
  • Gives young people a safe place where they can meet friends, relax, have fun and enjoy a    range of stimulating and challenging recreational and other activities
  • Young people’s needs are thoroughly identified and met and youth workers make efforts to measure the progress young people are making
  • Youth workers challenge as well as support young people
  • Youth workers ensure that young people have the opportunity to discuss issues that affect them
  • Young people are actively involved in running their centre and planning and evaluating the work
  • Young people are encouraged to gain accreditation


Detached Youth Work is effective when:

  • Effective systems to record evidence of young people’s achievement and measure their progress are in place
  • The best work is usually seen when youth workers have worked with the young people for some time to establish continuity and build up trust
  • Young people have gained knowledge, skills and confidence through their contact with youth workers
  • Youth workers establish boundaries with young people but remain flexible and allow themselves to be challenged
  • Youth workers give young people good advice and information, and act as advocates for them in the local community 
  • Young people play an active part in determining the content of the work


Information, Advice and Counselling work best when:

  • Young people can describe how the workers have helped them to acquire knowledge, skills and confidence
  • Workers have built trusting relationships with young people over a period of time
  • Workers use open-ended questions effectively
  • Workers have good understanding of young people’s needs
  • Workers check that young people understand the information given and any agreements made
  • Workers keep appropriate records of all interventions



  • Youth Service Curriculum: do workers understand and use it?
  • Does it inform work plans (long term and session planning)?
  • Are there written plans for all units?
  • Is youth work recorded effectively?
  • Does the service have accurate data about the young people with whom it works?
  • Are recorded and accredited outcomes recorded and monitored?
  • Is young people’s [progress assessed?
  • Is youth work practice observed?
  • Is young people’s feedback and evaluation of programmes recorded and acted upon?
  • Can workers and young people articulate the benefits of youth work programme.

Learning South West, Regional Youth work Unit – Helping Youth Work Work

Help us improve this content

Please use this form to report issues with the content of this page. If you wish to contact somebody about the service provided, please use the contact details found in the 'Contact Us' section of this page.

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

Your rating: 

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (2 votes)
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.