Youth work is a career involving working for and with young people in a variety of fun and rewarding ways. The key thing that differentiates youth workers from other community service workers is that young people are their primary concern. Youth work is holistic, which means it takes into account the whole person and acknowledges the social and cultural environments within which young people live.
If you work with young people (12-25 year olds), you will often face ethical dilemmas: situations where you have to decide the right thing to do. The Code is a framework to help you think through those dilemmas. It won’t tell you exactly what to do, because each situation is different. But it will help you work out why you think something is right or wrong, and what you ought to do.
The Code is based on human rights: things that all Victorians—including young people—can expect to enjoy, such as your right to freedom of expression or right to take part in public life. The Code was first developed by YACVic in 2007, after consultation with the Victorian youth sector.
The Code includes a set of youth work principles and ethical practice responsibilities. It supports, but does not replace your legal responsibilities. Any person, group or organisation that works with young people can choose to use the Code.
Download the Code of Ethical Practice for the Victorian Youth Sector (PDF)
A guide to the Code