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POYWE is a network of youth work organisations working together to strengthen cooperation, enhance quality and give a common voice to the field of professional open youth work on a European level. We do this by facilitating knowledge and experience sharing between the members of the network, developing cross-national innovative projects, and influencing the policy development and discourse within the field. We also actively participate in important policy forums for youth work in Europe such as the Europe Goes Local initiative and the Bonn Process.

POYWE has for many years been leading in developing cross-national competence and frameworks for the field of professional open youth work. To learn about the principles of professional open youth work, look here. To see some of the other competencies developed within the network, check out the POYWE magazine.


POYWE consists of national and regional umbrella organisations for youth work in Europe. The current members of POYWE are Youth Work Norway, bOJA (Austria), Offene Jugendarbeit (Italy), BAG Offene Kinder- und Jugendeinrichtungen e. V (Germany) and Dachverband Offene Kinder + Jugendarbeit (Switzerland).


To contact us, send an email to, or contact our daily manager Signe Dahl at +47 489 24 901.


We are always looking to expand our network. If you are interested in becoming a part of the network, then contact us using the information above and we will get back to you on the steps of becoming a member.


POYWE was established as a response to what was seen as a necessity of making professional open youth work visible and positioning it in the European youth political discourse. bOJA (Austria) and JONG Rotterdam (the Netherlands) addressed this necessity by initiating a letter of intent, which was signed by organizations from seven countries (Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, England, the Netherlands and Austria) and presented to the Belgian Presidency during a conference of 400 participants in July 2010. The network was then established and has up until now played an important role in strengthening the field of professional open youth work in Europe.