Youth Restart

Youth Restart [Update 1/4/21]

The Minister of Education, Mr Peter Weir announced on the 25th March 2021 that Youth Services can begin a phased return to face to face provision from the 1st April 2021. To help facilitate this process we have provided updated support and guidance materials below:

Frequently Asked Questions - Youth Restart 1st April 2021


Youth work staff are returning to their provisions for the delivery of services based on agreed action plans in line with phase one of delivery. Staff meetings held in person should not exceed more than six people at one time.

Staff training held in person should not exceed 6 people at one time and if possible should be held on online platforms.

FAQ’s for Generic Youth Work

Face masks are mandatory unless medically exempt. When interacting outdoors it is compulsory for children and young people and staff to wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up points outside. When participating in activities outside face coverings must be worn when the two meter distancing rule cannot be upheld.

Staff may only accommodate 50% of the building capacity (this excludes outdoors). For example, if a building accommodates 80 people at full capacity then you may permit 40 people indoors at any given time.

Staff may permit a number of small groups in different rooms of the building with a maximum of 15 young people (not including staff) per group of which the total number of young people does exceed 50% capacity of the building. Access routes which provide entry into the immediate group space should be used by the group where entrances exist, to avoid cross group contact.

When organising activities with children and young people in outdoor spaces the maximum group size remains the same – 15 children and young people (not including staff). Where the two meter social distancing rule cannot be maintained, face coverings must be worn unless medically exempt.

The consummation of food within a group is prohibited unless it is for a medical reason, for example diabetes. If this is the case, hand sanitiser must be used before and after consummation.

Personal and group hygiene is paramount. Hand sanitiser should be made placed in each meeting room and communal area within the building. Those within a building should wash their hands frequently and often. Recommended at least every 30 minutes.

FAQ’s for Targeted Youth Work

When delivering targeted youth work, the group cannot exceed 10 children or young people. Targeted group work if delivered within a youth centre or provision where there is also generic youth work being delivered, in total must not exceed 50% of the buildings capacity. These numbers do not include staff.

FAQ’s for Detached Youth Work

Following the announcement on 25th March 2021, the NI executive agreed that detached and outreach youth work could commence with immediate effect. Groups funded by the EA youth service for the delivery of detached and outreach work can now commence with their agreed programmes and interventions.

The Education Authority will lead and coordinate agile and bespoke interventions based on assessed need and risk associated with children and young people. The EA Youth service will invite funded youth providers as appropriate to be part of this response. It is up to the voluntary sector management committee to determine whether or not the youth organisation should be part of this programme. i.e. it is not mandatory. All voluntary sector groups who ought to be part of agile bespoke interventions will need to complete associated training to be part of this programme.

Provided below are the following documents:

  • Best Practice Guide for Staff on a Safe Return to Restarting Youth Service which provides detailed guidance on managing and supporting youth staff returning to the workplace
  • Welcoming Youth – Supporting the Restarting of Youth Services which provides guidance and support to young people returning to youth services
  • Coping with Change – Personal Development Programme which provides an outline of a programme along with resources to support the return of young people to youth services.

As you are aware restrictions imposed by COVID-19 can change and we will endeavour to update these documents in line with any updated guidance from the NI Executive or PHA.

Preparing Youth Facilities for Youth Restart

Watch the video below to see how we are preparing Youth Facilities for Youth Restart:

Risk Assessment Resources

Registration Resources & Sample Forms