Models of Practice
Youth Service Support

Youth Service Support

The Youth Service Support Worker is responsible for three principle strands of work.

Volunteer Recruitment & Training, ensures a high quality supply of volunteers to support the work of the youth project. The second strand of work engages with and supports existing clubs and youth groups in Rialto through needs analysis, Also based on needs analysis and the identification of gaps, the third strand facilitates and supports the development of new, innovative youth services that respond to changing conditions in the community.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project


We believe in equality of opportunity for children and young people. We believe in the uniqueness, dignity and equal worth of young people and in their right to access opportunities that enhance their lives. Young people should be treated equally.


We believe in challenging and making a long-term commitment to transforming unjust social conditions through a pragmatic interface with the real politics of change. We are committed to social justice around questions of access to education.


We aim to promote leadership qualities in young people and volunteers. We emphasise accountability and responsible governance. We value peer educators and role models in our work. We encourage the development of young people’s leadership capacity at local, regional and international levels.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project

I feel really privileged to be given the opportunity to work with young people by Rialto Youth Project. I love it most of the time.
Ger Healy, Volunteer

A rewarding experience which has given me great satisfaction through volunteering in Rialto.
Maoliosa Quinn, Volunteer

Definition of Youth Service Support

In Volunteer Recruitment initial contact with potential volunteers is made by the Youth Service Support worker. It’s an important step towards ensuring that the community has enough volunteer support to carry out its many programmes. Volunteer Support is the ongoing process of engaging with the network of volunteers to develop their skills, enhance their volunteering experience and the quality of their work with young people.

Existing Group Support takes the form of needs assessment for various community-based groups. This work requires an understanding of leadership roles. Groups are also supported in relation to training and standards (NQSF).

Through needs analysis the YSS worker also facilitates and nurtures the development of new, innovative youth services in Rialto.

Youth Service Support Philosophy

Volunteers have always been an integral part of the Rialto Youth Project’s infrastructure. Over the past 30 years volunteers have made a fundamental contribution to our work with young people, which continues as an essential part of our work today.

We value every volunteer that passes through our door, whether they are on our Board of Directors or working directly with our young people on the ground. We are dedicated to supporting and valuing the contribution of volunteers, past and present, working within the community of Rialto through a range of voluntary clubs and groups, from football clubs to youth clubs and specific interest groups such as Scouts and Variety groups.

We are committed to supporting volunteers to develop good practice skills. These are essential to ensure that young people are safe, included and listened to while participating in the various clubs and groups in Rialto. We are also committed to offering ongoing support and relevant training to local groups, as well as maintaining the National Quality Standards for Voluntary-led Clubs and Groups.

We assist local groups to access funding and other available resources, thereby helping them to become self-sufficient and sustainable into the future.

We are committed to supporting volunteers to develop the necessary skills and understanding of the principles of youth work so that they feel competent and confident to fulfill their roles through supervision, training and appropriate placement.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project

Youth Service Support
Three Principle Strands

The Youth Service Support Worker is responsible for three principle strands of work.

  1. Volunteer Recruitment & Training The YSS worker constantly assesses volunteers in formal and informal settings, identifying their strengths and weaknesses and supporting them as they develop their understanding of the values and approaches that RYP brings to youth work.
  2. Support for Existing Clubs & Groups Through needs assessment support is made available to a range of youth services in Rialto. In addition, the YSS worker liaises closely with existing community and voluntary organisations, encouraging the promotion of an integrated service.
  3. Through needs analysis the YSS worker also facilitates the implementation of relevant programmes. These include social, recreational and educational activities, as well as the nurturing and development of new, innovative youth services in Rialto.

Volunteer Recruitment

Strand One

Strand Profile

The Rialto community has had a very proactive volunteering history  which is still active today. Groups supported and led by volunteers play an important role in the lives of young people, creating memories and friendships along with a sense of achievement and belonging. The YSS worker plays a key role in the recruitment and training of volunteers. During the summer projects we create opportunities for Junior Leaders to explore leadership and develop a sense of community.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project


Advertising (Volunteer Ireland, leaflets, posters, word of mouth, general enquiries, internet), Pre volunteering: interview, application & Garda Vetting form, Completion of Child Protection Awareness Training, Coordination of volunteer placements: matching individual interests and capacities with appropriate youth work settings.


Induction, placement, training & supports: Area tour, intro to clubs & groups, Placement based on individual requirements & club needs, Intro to staff, volunteers, club/group history, mission & services, participant profile, Confidentiality, Role & responsibilities, Supervision & progression.


A supportive, positive environment that recognises and values volunteer skills and contributions. Opportunities to influence programme development. Ongoing support and supervision. Volunteers with a high regard for young people, setting a good example for others.

Existing Clubs & Groups

Strand Two

Strand Profile

The YSS worker works closely with existing clubs and groups in Rialto such as Ferrini Youth Club (established in the 1960s), the Rialto Football Club (established in 1943), the 42nd Scouts and Rialto Variety. They also maintain the support system for existing groups within RYP, analysing and resourcing the needs of each group, providing ongoing training and other opportunities for young people and volunteers. The YSS worker also ensures that practice is in line with the National Quality Standard Framework for Voluntary-Led Clubs and Groups.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project


Practical Supports: Administration, Volunteer recruitment & processing (application, interviewing, Garda vetting and evaluation), Funding applications, Information & general advice, RYP Minibus, Shopping for activities materials, Hands on support for sessions short of leader. Develop practice in line with the NQSFV-LCG.


Programme Development & Training Supports: Facilitation of general club programme planning, evaluation, needs analysis, Support for shortterm developmental programmes as needed for specific groups (typically issue-based in mental health, alcohol & drugs awareness, multicultural & diversity workshops & peer education).


Junior Leadership Training: supports club development by supporting young people to become effective leaders in their club. Child Protection & Youth Leadership Training for Volunteers & existing Leaders ensures safety of young people & leaders & understanding of the basic principles of Youth Work. Leaders & Volunteer Workshops with a particular focus on creative arts delivered by other youth work agencies.

New / Innovative Groups

Strand Three

Strand Profile

The YSS worker offers support to new groups and clubs, ensuring good practice by supporting them to establish their overall structure and sustainability. Drawing on an extensive knowledge of youth services, the YSS worker identifies gaps in service provision for young people in Rialto. Working with a range of community-based groups, they support the development of new, innovative clubs and services in the area. The work includes advice, facilitation and ensuring that new services are developed within recognised standards and best practice for youth work.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project


Establishing the management structure to ensure funding is available and all aspects of the group are transparent and managed. Developing the group mission statement, aim and objectives. Clarification of roles and responsibilities of the Management Committee (Training).


Clarifying the purpose of the group, target group, target area & capacity. Coordination of volunteers, number needed & roles. Scheduling & venue. End of year evaluation: identification of work completed, gaps and issues needing attention, Assessing short and long term support needs.


Ensuring the development and support of new services for young people in Rialto within the framework of standards set out by the National Quality Standards (NQSF) for voluntary-led clubs and groups.

Where & When

The Youth Service Support worker is based in St. Andrew’s Community Centre which operates as the administrative, support and planning hub for the Rialto Youth Project. The YSS worker links in with a range of community services which are an essential part of the work in terms of developing positive working relationships, placing volunteers and supporting young people within the various clubs and groups.

Child Protection Training sessions are demand-led, responding to build ups of new volunteers or CE workers in the community with some engagement with young people. Typically in June there maybe 2 or 3 sessions to facilitate volunteers for the Rialto summer projects.

Roles and Responsibilities Training sessions happen twice yearly for volunteers working in clubs and groups and for the summer project teams in June.

A Junior Leadership training course happens once yearly for a 4 week period (2 hours per session). Junior leaders beginning their leadership experience during the summer project attend a mini workshop to raise their awareness of child protection and how to be a responsible youth leader.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project

Youth Service Support Activity


Volunteers recruited annually


Garda vettings annually


Child Protection Training sessions annually


Roles & Resposibilities Training sessions annually

Key Values



We value our volunteers. As an organisation we aim to value young people and volunteers on an equal basis. We are committed to volunteers and their role in youth and community development. We encourage volunteers to take a professional approach and develop personally in order to deliver a quality service to young people.


Needs Oriented

We are committed to identifying and meeting the needs of young people and supporting them to understand and express their own needs. We believe in supporting individual needs, interests and talents within the child and young person and volunteer. We aim to place the needs of young people at the centre of planning and process.


Valuing Good Leadership

We value good leadership with an emphasis on accountability and responsible governance.


Personal Growth & Development

We’re committed to the personal and social development of volunteers and to developing their skills and knowledge so that they can reach their full potential.

Youth Service Support Rialto Youth Project

As someone who has come through the Rialto Youth Project I can see the value and the necessity of the services provided. I’ve hugely benefited from it.

Jonathan Myers, Board of Management Volunteer

Programme Coordination

The Rialto Youth Project’s Youth Services Support programme is coordinated by the Youth Services Support worker.

The YSS worker meets regularly with the Manager of the RYP to develop the work plan. The YSS worker connects with the face-to-face team in St. Andrew’s as well as connecting regularly with both the Dolphin and Fatima Homework Clubs. In addition, the YSS worker makes broader links with the community, identifying needs and extending the YSS work into the regional services.

The Rialto Youth Project’s Information Management System (IMS) assists in programme planning and review. The Information Management System stores Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) for every young person from 10 years of age upwards. It also stores Programme Session Sheets, Summaries and the Logic Model Planning Tool. These tools enable the planning and development of the Youth Service Support programme. The IMS gives us the capacity to extract quantitative and qualitative data, enabling the planning and support of work from a strong evidence base.


Volunteers are an integral part of Rialto Youth Project. Over the past 30 years, they have made a fundamental contribution to our work with young people. Find out how to volunteer…


Linda Evans

Rialto Youth Project,
St. Andrew’s Community Centre,
468 South Circular Road,
Dublin 8.

P: (01) 4531638
E: Linda