Digital Youth Work Research

In 2023, we carried out a survey of digital youth work to help us understand more about what’s happening, how youth work is building capacity for cyber resilience in Scotland, and how to support growth. We’re delighted to be able to share some of our key findings.

young people in digital makerspace

Key Findings from the Survey

Digital youth work includes both in-person an and online. It takes place in groups and one-to-one delivery.  The most common delivery method is in-person group sessions.

Overall, we discovered that:

  • Digital youth work takes place across Scotland, delivered by national youth organisations, local authorities and independent third sector organisations. 
  • Digital youth work projects contribute to the national youth work outcomes. The outcome most commonly identified as following from digital activities was “participating effectively in groups and teams”.
  • Digital projects introduce young people to cyber resilience and online safety. 27% of projects had this as a focus compared to only 4% of non-digital projects.
  • Digital youth work contributes to young people knowing when to share decision making with a trusted adult.
young people engaged in digital youth work

The results represent 71 survey responses from youth workers, representing work with approximately 11,500 young people. 


  • 70% of the youth work projects in our survey deliver activities for young people using digital technologies. 
  • 48% deliver activities focussed on specific technologies and 68% deliver activities to develop digital skills or knowledge. 


Youth worker helping young person online cropped

As well as the survey responses we carried out in depth interviews with five different organisations.  Download and read the case studies below.

The research is helping us to track the development of digital youth work in Scotland and the ways in which it contributes to young people’s safety and security online. It provides a baseline for future research. 

This work was funded by Scottish Government, commissioned by YouthLink Scotland and carried out by BrawData

Case Studies

Get more details

Digital Youth Work Survey Detail Slidedeck

Explore the the detailed data and results from the digital youth work survey.