The Impact of Universal Youth Work

Two females sitting on the grass.

In 2015, a critical review of the literature on Universal Youth Work conducted by the Edinburgh Youth Work Consortium and University of Edinburgh found that:

‘Universal youth work has the potential to contribute to a range of important outcomes and achievements for young people, in particular health and wellbeing, educational attainment and employment. [That said,] the youth work sector need to be more informed about the nature and purpose of their impact through ongoing longitudinal research.’

The review also concluded that there was a need for further research through engaging the youth work sector including young people themselves as active research partners. This series of studies, aims to add to the evidence base of the impact of community-based universal youth work and then digital youth work during COVID-19. Each study uses Dr Sue Cooper’s Transformative Evaluation methodology, to examine both the impact of universal youth work and how that impact has been achieved.

“This research report provides further evidence about the impact of youth work, contributing to
a growing body of evidence developing in the UK. We know that youth work makes a significant
contribution to the lives of young people. We need to see greater recognition of the benefits of
youth work as a form of informal education that should be available to all young people in Scotland.”
Dona Milne, Chair of the Scottish Youth Work Research Steering Group

If you are interested in hearing more about this study, contact Amy Calder.