The Education Authority has a statutory responsibility to deliver youth services in Northern Ireland. It does so through the provision of youth centres, outdoor learning centres, as well as through outreach work, school-based programmes and specialist programmes, particularly focussed on enhancing the inclusion and participation of young people. A significant proportion of youth work programmes take place in voluntary sector youth centres and projects, supported by grants from EA.
The Area Plans below describe the policy and local context for the service and summarise a needs assessment of the area. The Action Plan reflects DE policy and targets, and articulates how the needs of the area will be addressed over the next 18 months. Structured formal planning takes place throughout the service in order to effectively allocate available resources in response to policy priorities, DE targets and an objective assessment of needs.
EA Youth Service has developed two strands to ensure the delivery of quality provision for young people; these are local services and regional services.
Local services provide a universal service to all young people, based on policy directives including Priorities for Youth, Community Relations Equality and Diversity (CRED) and Shared Education whilst aiming to provide a targeted service based on key priorities within an assessment of need.
Regional services support the delivery of local services and funding for Regional Voluntary Youth Organisations which support affiliated member organisations.
Local services are managed by a Senior Youth Officer (SYO) who manages the strategic development of the youth service in their Division. The SYO oversees the implementation of the Area Plan, monitors and moderates provision, and receives reports from local delivery partners and EA youth workers. There are nine Divisions:
- Antrim & Newtownabbey; Mid & East Antrim
- Ards & N.Down; Lisburn & Castlereagh
- Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon
- Causeway Coast & Glens
- Derry City & Strabane
- Fermanagh & Omagh; Mid Ulster
- Newry, Mourne and Down
- North & East Belfast
- South & West Belfast
The annual Action Plans will be reviewed in March 2019, and a new Assessment of Need and Area Plan developed for 2020 -2023 in March 2020.