Investigating the Relationship between youth work and volunteer management in faith based contexts in NI

This research project was conducted to examine the relationship between youth work and volunteer management in the faith-based sector of Northern Ireland. The research was undertaken as both the youth work and volunteer management sectors are becoming increasingly professionalised and quality based therefore determining a relationship between the factors could positively affect the quality of the other. Research was carried out through quantitative questionnaires with participants in ten faith-based youth organisations throughout Northern Ireland and qualitatively in the form of semi-structured interviews with participants in a position of leadership within five of the organisations. Results have shown that overall; a relationship exists between the quality of youth work and volunteer management, though not directly proportional. The findings have also highlighted good quality practice in a number of areas including child protection, diversity and equality. Conversely a number of concerns have also been raised, particularly concerning pastoral care and personal and professional development. Nonetheless, it is possible to conclude that a relationship exists between the quality of youth work and the quality of volunteer management in this study.

Jayne Stewart

Jayne studied with CYM Ireland and graduated with a BA Honours degree in Youth & Community Work and Practical Theology in 2013.