We are using cookies to give a better service experience. By using our services you agree to use cookies. Read more

All articles

Youth Work at Schools

location_on Rovaniemi, Finland

A plan for improving cooperation between school and youth work

This plan of action will bring school and youth services closer together. The aim is to foster a sense of community, enable participation, and facilitate early intervention.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

Web presence






March 2017
This model improves cooperation between schools and youth services and therefore it makes it possible to improve youth wellbeing as a whole.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Youth Work at Schools strides to support youth development at different stages of young people's lives. The ultimate goal is to give young people the feeling that they are not alone and that support is available to help them through whatever difficulties they are experiencing. Youth wellbeing is best supported when schools and youth work professionals work together towards a common goal.

Youth work aims to support youth development in various ways. While regular youth work is mostly conducted during young people's leisure time, Youth Work at Schools supports youth development at school. This regular youth work can be seen in youth spaces or various youth clubs.

This model aims to usher young people into active citizenship and simultaneously to increase wellbeing. Three approaches are crucial in achieving these goals:   

  • Fostering a sense of community. 

  • Improving participation, motivating and activating the students.

  • Preventative     work and early intervention.

Youth Work at Schools translates these approaches into practical methods you may employ at your school.

The school and department of youth work will define and document their selected methods and goals in a shared plan. The purpose of the plan is to improve the collaboration between the main actors in the education field – that is the school and the youth services. The successful implementation of this innovation requires commitment from various actors, including the management.

Youth Work at Schools is based on a model originating from Rovaniemi where youth workers collaborate closely with the schools. Youth Work at Schools forms a section of the youth work conducted in the area. Therefore youth workers can be found in schools in addition to more traditional youth spaces.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


Bringing youth work into schools will facilitate multiprofessional cooperation which in turn will benefit the teachers, the youth workers as well as the students themselves.


Detecting youth problems earlier and addressing them during these sessions.


All over the world there are students who would benefit from the specialist support of a youth work team. If a youth worker is unavailable in your area, cooperation with third sector parties is also possible.

Implementation steps

Define the needs at your school
Identify what type of youth work could benefit your students. Your goals can stem from topics varying from school motivation, participation, preventative youth work or young people's leisure activities.

Examples of practical plans of action focusing on different issues:

Fostering a sense of community:

YS recess

The YS recess is a recess period run by youth services. The YS's are mostly conducted during the longest recess of the day. The goal is to improve school satisfaction among the students by organizing activities they actually enjoy. The resources available define how often the YS's are held and what activities are organized. The school and youth workers determine these parameters in their plan.

Focused small group work

Small group work may be implemented according to the school's needs and the youth workers' resources. Teachers should define the goals for every group before assembling it. Remember, you can form different types of groups. When successful, these small groups will leave the students with a feeling of belonging which will in turn improve school satisfaction.

Improving participation, motivating and activating:

Peer counsellors and training

Peer counsellor activities are conducted under the supervision of a teacher aided by a youth worker. The peer counsellors aim to improve relations between the students and assist new students.

Preventative work and early intervention:


SuSe comes from the Finnish words meaning “smooth sailing into the 7th grade.” It is a theme day built on methods from experiential learning. The SuSe day aims to foster relationships by grouping the 12–13-year-olds beginning junior high school in various ways.

Social media package

The goal for this activity package is to prevent issues related to social media such as cyber bullying. It also starts a dialogue with the intention to inspire the young people to think about their actions online and act in a respectful and responsible way. This package may be tailored to suit the needs of any age group or even parents in a themed parent-teacher conference.

How to get started
In order to begin a fruitful relationship between your school and youth services you should consider what your common goals are and what type of activities are possible within the resources available.

Successful cooperation requires commitment and motivation from both parties, as well as full support from the school’s management.

Appoint a contact teacher who will divide responsibilities with the contact person from youth services.

How to create a joint plan
Read other plans and create your own, keeping in mind the needs of everyone involved.

Write down goals, methods, timelines and appoint contact persons. The plan may be applied to a single school or to the whole municipality, as was the case in Rovaniemi.

Case Rovaniemi:

Youth workers collected information on the implementation of youth work conducted at schools across the municipality. These case studies were reviewed and the ones whose implementation aligned with the current project's goals were chosen as examples.

Youth workers created a plan of action defining goals, methods, contact persons and follow-up measures. The framework was approved by principals and the education and culture services to be implemented in the whole municipality.

The implementation
Act according to the plan of action and assess regularly the implementation and its impact. Modify the model accordingly.
Assessing the plan during and after the implementation
Assess the implementation regularly both from the side of the staff as well as the students. Modify the framework accordingly.

Spread of the innovation

loading map...