The Youth@Play project is built on recognition that play is the most effective mechanism for engaging with children and young people aged up to 13 years within youth settings. The pilot Youth@Play programme clearly identified the need for playwork training, and its potential impact in raising the play offer in the participating youth settings. Youth work qualifications have typically focused on the 13+ age group so this programme sets out to enhance opportunities to develop additional knowledge towards a better understanding of playwork and play-based approaches. The Education Authority (EA) are investing in this programme, recognising that focused playwork training and support will help meet the needs of the growing number of younger members attending youth settings.
Following the success of the Youth@Play pilot, this current delivery funded by EA, will run from May 2022 to March 2023. Full and part-time workers and volunteers in both the statutory and voluntary sector across all council areas in Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to be involved.
The Youth@Play team in PlayBoard have developed, tested, and will deliver the OCN NI endorsed Playwork in a Youth Work Setting to youth workers across the youth sector – at Level 2 for part-time workers and volunteers, and at Level 3 for full-time staff. The training will give youth workers the capacity to better meet the play needs of members – particularly the younger ones.
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