Youth work

Youth work is the process of creating an environment where young people can engage in informal educational activities (Wikipedia).

Youth work is focused on five areas, including: a focus on young people; an emphasis on voluntary participation and relationship; friendly and informal atmospheres, and; acting with integrity (Smith, M. K. (2002))

Among the important element of youth work we can identify the following:

Focusing on young people.

- Emphasizing voluntary participation and relationship.
- Being friendly and informal.
- Being committed to association by youth and adults;
- Being concerned with the education and, more broadly, the welfare of young people.

Games play crucial role in youth work. Games reinforce learning by means of their ability to offer immediate feedback to learners. Quite often, games are used to break up a training session, to initiate a learning event, or to conclude a learning event. Games usage in youth work is mainly carried out because they help instructors maintain participant interest or make the training more enjoyable and fun.

In informal and non-formal learning games are commonly used to supplement traditional lecture-based or online delivery of information. The role of games is primarily to reinforce the understanding of presented material, to invoke deliberation or discussions or to add variety in training.


When to use games in youth work

Games can be used before traditional training methods (e.g. lecture, presentation) to create friendly atmosphere, to make participants get to know each other in a more informal way.

Games can be used during the training activity to: provide instruction in specific knowledge and skills acquirement; measure criterion performance; aid in formative and summary evaluations.

Games can also be used after traditional instruction to: assess the level of acquired knowledge; check whether the information has been conveyed properly and young people have understood it; provoke creativity and inspiration.