A promise from the nation for young people to be safe and secure in the modern world

About the Youth Covenant

In shaping a positive agenda we, as a nation, need to address their lives as young people in the present, as well as being an investment for the future in the face of societal, technological and economic challenges.

“Youth” is the adolescent developmental phase between childhood and adulthood that brings significant physical and emotional changes. It requires particular skills to support young people at an important time for making significant life choices, to safely explore risky impulses, form new relationships and take on new challenges. Adolescence starts around the beginning of puberty and finishes in the late teens, but with critical stages of transition from 8 years old and as young adults typically up to 25 years in particular for vulnerable or marginalised young people.

Make your pledge to support young people through the Youth Covenant


A high-level strategy for young people to support their place and sense of belonging as a nation and across communities: what we want for and expect from young people.

  • A ‘covenant’ to guide expectations, support and services for young people
  • With special consideration for vulnerable young people who may suffer abuse, neglect, exploitation, or homelessness, and for whom the state acts as corporate parent

Youth work and the Youth Covenant

The Youth Covenant is underpinned by the values and contribution of youth work. Where youth work is a form of education which provides a safe place to develop so-called ‘soft skills’ and a social network, to improve young people’s well-being and personal and social development including:

  • Life skills (family and relationships; physical and mental health; digital and social media)
  • Economic (engaged in education and employment; financial literacy; social mobility)
  • Social integration (community and decision-making; social action; anti-social behaviour)

Therefore youth work needs to be (and be seen to be) transformational, harnessing skills of young people not fulfilled by formal education

  • Where youth work provides a safe place to be creative
  • Providing and developing a social network and friendships
  • With a trusted adult (who knows what is needed)

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