Report - The Impact of Community-based Universal Youth Work in Scotland

Date: 4th December 2018
Category: Best interests of the child
Author: Youthlink Scotland


YouthLink Scotland, University of Edinburgh and Plymouth MARJON University have published a research report exploring The Impact of Community-based Universal Youth Work in Scotland. The research sought to explore the impact of community-based universal youth work in Scotland and how such impact has been achieved.

The report findings reveal that youth work “positively impacts upon young people’s confidence and friendship” whilst also providing young people with opportunities to develop skills, leadership qualities and relationships. It is highlighted that these outcomes are achieved by:

·         Youth workers being recognised by young people as trusted adults, who are invested in long term relationships with young people. 

·         Youth work taking place in safe, fun and inclusive environments.

·         Providing young people with access to new experiences and opportunities to participate in educational and leisure activities. 

Work on the research study began in March 2017, after three youth work organisations were selected to become participants in the study.  Youth workers were trained to become Participant Researchers and thereafter gathered the stories of 129 young people. The stories were contextualised by the Participant Researchers who added a youth worker commentary to each story. The data was analysed by the Youth Work Managers from the three participating organisations alongside members of the research team from the University of Edinburgh and YouthLink Scotland. 

Read the report here.