Youth Services

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Under the Youth Work Act, 2001, youth work is defined as:“A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young persons through their voluntary participation, and which is –(a)    complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and(b)    provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.”
 This normally includes groups such as the following:

Youth clubs, etc Special interest groups
Foróige Clubs Scouts and Guides
Youth work services Youth work projects
Girls’ Friendly Society Boys’ / Girls’ Brigade



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Under the Education and Training Boards Act, 2013, the function of the ETB in relation to youth work is to:“Support the provision, coordination, administration and assessment of youth work services in its functional area and provide such information as may be requested by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to such support, and assess whether the manner in which it performs its functions is economical, efficient and effective.”
The Youth Affairs section of Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB is primarily funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).


  • Administer funding to youth work services on behalf of various government departments.
  • Administer the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, which provides small grants for volunteer-led youth groups. In Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, the ETB provides support each year to over 100 volunteer-led and operated youth groups, with over 5,000 members.
  • Provide training and development programmes for youth workers.
  • Develop youth mental health initiatives across the region to foster the mental health and wellbeing of young people.
  • Report to government departments on projects and services funded through the ETB, including validating annual reports and funding applications.
  • Promote initiatives that aim to increase the involvement of young people of all backgrounds in youth work.


Applications for the 2020 Local Youth Club Grant Scheme are now being accepted – closing date Tuesday, 7th April 2020
The Local Youth Club Grant Scheme (LYCGS) supports volunteer-led youth club/group activities at a local level. The Scheme, which provides grant aid towards the costs of running clubs/groups, is part-funded by the proceeds of the National Lottery. Funding for the Scheme is provided by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and is administered locally by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) on behalf of DCYA. ETBs advertise the Scheme locally on an annual basis, outlining the purpose of the grant and the eligibility criteria.
The Scheme supports voluntary youth club/group activities for young people; with priority given to clubs/groups catering for young people aged 10–21. The primary focus of the Scheme is to assist local volunteer-led youth clubs/groups that provide a programme of youth work activities for young people. In addition, other clubs/groups that work with young people, but are not specifically providing youth work, are also entitled to apply for funding under the Scheme.
In 2017, DCYA incorporated the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups into the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme. These national quality standards were developed to support and enhance voluntary work with young people. The three National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups are:Standard 1: Safety and well-being – Programmes, practices and people ensure and promote the safety, support and well-being of young people.Standard 2: Young person-centred – Programmes, practices and people ensure and promote the voluntary participation, inclusion and voice of young people.Standard 3: Developmental and educational – Programmes, practices and people ensure and promote the development, achievement and progression of young people
Throughout the club/group year, volunteers progress actions relating to the Standards that will improve the running of the club/group and the experience of the young people attending the club/group. Where a club/group requires support with progressing the Standards, it can request this from the national youth organisation to which it is affiliated. A youth club/group that is not affiliated to a national youth organisation can request support from the ETB (see contact details in Appendix 1 of the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme 2019 Application Form).
As part of the grant aid application process, the revised Local Youth Club Grant Scheme incorporating the National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups now requires youth clubs/groups to report on their work relating to the Standards. As the LYCGS Application Form is also the reporting template for the NQSVlYG, if you do not wish to apply for grant aid you should only complete Sections 1, 2 and 5 of the form. If you need any help in completing the form, please contact your national youth organisation (see details listed in Appendix 2 of the Application Form).
Click on the links below for more information and to access an application form.
2020 LYCGS Application Form
2020 LYCGS Guidance Note

Closing date:

Closing date: 5pm Tuesday, 7th April 2020

Late applications will not be accepted.

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The ETB is responsible Carry out quality assurance programmes with youth work services (National Quality Standards Framework) and with volunteer-led youth groups (National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups ).  Please see below for more information on these quality standards.


National Quality Standards Framework
A National Quality Standards Framework for youth work was introduced in January 2011.  This framework applies to all staff-led youth work organisations, services, projects and programmes which are funded under the following Department of Children and Youth Affairs schemes:
Youth Service Grant SchemeSpecial Projects for YouthYoung People’s Facilities and Services Funds 1 and 2;Youth Information Centres.
The primary function of the NQSF is as a support and development tool for youth work services funded by the DCYA.  Its aim is to assist youth work organisations to identify strengths and areas for development in their services and to benchmark progress accordingly.  Having done so, services take a structured and developmental approach to the assessment of youth work provision, examining its level, impact and efficacy.  The role of the ETB is to facilitate and oversee this process with DCYA-funded youth work services in its operational area.


National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups
Through the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme, funded by the Department of Children and Youth affairs, the ETB directly supports over 100 youth groups in Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, catering for more than 5,000 young people.  These groups provide a wide range of recreational and developmental programmes and activities for young people.
As a natural progression to the NQSF for staff-led projects, the Department has rolled out a set of National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups. Developed in consultation with partners in the youth work sector, these quality standards are aimed at local youth groups and clubs. They present an opportunity for youth groups to demonstrate their commitment to best practice and to the delivery of quality programmes and activities, which meet the needs and expectations of their young members.  Following initial briefing sessions in 2013, the standards were rolled out nationally and in this region during 2014.  All youth groups funded through the Local Youth Club Grant Scheme are required to engage in the standards process.
Youth groups affiliated to national youth organisations should consult with the Regional Youth / Development Officer of their parent organisation in relation to the standards.  ETB Youth Officers will provide similar support and guidance to youth groups not affiliated to a national youth organisation / other locally active groups.
Full guidance notes are available in the Volunteer Group Leaders’ Guide to National Quality Standards for Volunteer-led Youth Groups booklet.

Contact Information
Youth Officer  Youth Officer
(Sligo/Leitrim): Trevor Sweetman (Mayo):  Breda Ruane
Mayo, Sligo & Leitrim ETB
Quay Street

Castlebar Further Education and Training Centre
Lucan Street
Co Mayo

Tel: 071 91 38307
Mobile: 087 7678327
Tel: 094 92 50730
087 7738312