For Churches - 24-7 YouthWork
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As a Network of churches in NZ,
we want to focus on the 
basics and get on with the job
of being present in our communities

The youth communities that sustain 24-7 YouthWork are based from local churches.


Each youth community needs to:


• be outward focused and inclusive

• serve all young people in the area unconditionally

• grow and resource a strong volunteer leadership team

• provide young people with local role models

• accept 24-7 YouthWork practice and have the capacity to deliver high quality service

• remain committed to a school and community over the long haul


Realistically this means that 24-7 YouthWork isn’t for every church. But those churches that can rise to the challenge will make an enormous contribution to their local community.

Getting Started

  • peopleENQUIRY
    Get in touch with your local Regional Coordinator and discuss what 24-7YW would look like in your area.
  • peopleVISIT
    Visit at least three or four 24-7YW schools, either in your area or elsewhere in the country (preferably Christchurch).
    Talk to your community (ie: your own church, other churches, the school, community groups, etc.) about the possibility of working together in your school.
  • peopleASSESS
    Assess your capacity for creating a sustainable relationship with your local school.
  • peopleCONFIRM
    The local church signs with 24-7 YouthWork, effectively becoming a network partner.
    The network partner readies itself to enter into a formal relationship with the school by building capacity (see below).
    Once a network partner has built sufficient capacity to start 24-7YW it is a matter of signing up the school and discussing a possible start date for the youth workers.
  • peoplePLANNING
    The school and the network partner decide on the key objectives and expectations each has of the other.
  • peopleBEGIN
    Initial training has been undertaken and youth workers begin their role in the life of the school.
    Keep the channels of communication open between the school and the network partner to ensure needs
    are being met and both parties are happy with the relationship.

Building Capacity

In order to assess a church’s capacity to run 24-7 YouthWork, the Regional Coordinator will need to look at six key areas. The first three are the most important in order for 24-7 YouthWork to begin.

The others can be developed over time.

Leadership Capacity

• Is the Church leadership behind working with the school?

• Does it fit with the vision of your youth community?

• Do you have a collaborative attitude?

• Is there are team of volunteers behind this?

• Do you have the same ethos and philosophy as 24-7 YouthWork?


Community Connections Capacity

• Is there a school interested?

• What other churches may be interested in partnering?

• Do local community groups like the idea?

• Are you aware of the key youth services in your community who you may work with?


Youth Worker Capacity

• Do you have potential youth workers?

• Are they willing to give 10 hours or more a week for a three to five year commitment?

• Are they part of the youth leadership team?

• Are they of strong character and had adequate training?

Administrative Capacity

• Do you need a Trust? Trust Deeds? Trustees etc?

• Who will be the Team Leader?

• Have you thought about HR, audits, pay roll, tax, funding and reporting?

• Have you thought about RAMS, Code of Ethics etc?

• Do you have adequate financial management and reporting?


Financial Capacity

• Do you have a funding plan?

• Is the school willing to contribute?

• Is the church willing to underwrite the first year?

• Are you willing to make vital network contributions?


Full Spectrum Capacity

• Do you have the ability to provide a full range of services for your youth, particularly for students coming out of school?

• Are you aware of other youth services and groups in your community that you can connect students with outside of school?

How does a local school and a local church work together?

In any context where the different parts of local community work together, it is vital that all parties are able to stay true to their identity, vision and values. The 24-7 YouthWork model achieves this by focusing on outcomes parties have in common – wanting to see young people be educated well, succeed and flourish in their future. Over a period of time a natural trust relationship is formed and cherished. All parties work hard to keep that trust by working with utmost respect for each other. Across all of the schools which have 24-7 YouthWorkers, there has never been a situation where a student or school has felt there has been an agenda other than the shared outcomes that have been agreed upon. It is not a 24-7 YouthWorker’s role or agenda to proselytise. All 24-7 YouthWorkers recognise that there is a huge range of different beliefs in a school context and are respectful of this. Our role is to be there for all young people. The school has a say in any activity at all times.

Do I need a Trust set up to do 24-7YW?

The short answer to this question is yes.  A Trust provides accountability, is the means by which you will run 24-7YW (including employment of your youth workers), and gives funding bodies a clear indication of who and what they are supporting.  Churches will often use a Trust that already exists within their framework (EG: their youth trust).  It is important that the Trust is directly connected to the life of the church as its role is primarily to administer. It’s also an advantage if the Trust is GST registered

How much does 24-7YW cost?

The actual cost of 24-7 YouthWork to a church varies depending upon the number of youth workers and the contributions of the school and local community bodies. Each youth worker’s costs include:

  • Youth worker wages for 10 hours per week in-school during school terms.
  • Activity budgets for the worker.
  • Administration and insurance.

When establishing 24-7 YouthWork in a school, churches or a church-based agency may fund part of 24-7 YouthWork and/or be able to raise funds from the community for this. However schools are expected play their part, especially once 24-7 YouthWork becomes established and its value to school becomes apparent.

Previous experience has shown that even at full cost 24-7 YouthWork is extraordinary value for money for any school.

What are the benefits of joining the 24-7YW Network?

24-7YW is an established approach to youth work that has been shown to work in many different school settings. Being part of the network gives access to a lot of expertise, experience, training and resources while allowing local autonomy. Each church is given access to the 24-7YW online diary system, resource library and database when they join the network. They are also given the tools to measure the impact their as youth workers is having in the school. In addition the 24-7 YouthWork name frequently has a value in winning acceptance with schools and funders.

Is 24-7YW a parachurch organisation?

No. 24-7YW is first and foremost a network of local churches working in local schools. For practical reasons churches usually deliver their youth work service though affiliated trusts and agencies. In addition 24-7 YouthWork Trust exists as a support organisation for the network. It is important to note that network members retain local and regional autonomy.

Can volunteers go into the school too?

Yes, provided the school is happy to have them and you carefully follow any procedures and requirements the school sets. It is also important that such volunteers are identified as volunteers and not 24-7 Youth Workers.

How do the youth workers manage their 10 hours in school?

Youth Workers track paid hours through the 24-7YW online diary system. The diary system is a tool that produces graphs of the youth worker’s time spent around school and also tracks hours and student contacts. The diary system also produces excel spreadsheets and PDF documents of the data collected for transparency for the school and church. The youth workers hours are fairly flexible throughout the week but there are rules around how this should be organised. It is important for the team leader of the youth workers to clarify what things ‘count’ as paid school hours with the assistance of the school.

Who is responsible for the care of the youth workers?

In the first instance this is always the person who is in charge of them (IE: the Team Leader). In addition we encourage people to set up external supervision as an extra support. In established regional hubs additional help is provided through youth workers’ clusters and advisors.

Who trains the youth workers?

24-7YW provides orientation training for new youth workers and Team Leaders. We also require all new youth workers to complete their Level 3 Youth Work Certificate within their first year, ensuring the youth workers are delivering safe practices. It is also compulsory for youth workers and Team Leaders to attend the 24-7YW National Training event each year in June/July.

Do we maintain our own autonomy when we join the network?

Yes. You are responsible for your own youth work service and have the autonomy that goes with it. You are required to meet 24-7YW quality standards but control of your service remains yours.

Does the 24-7YW model allow for two or more churches to work together within one school?

Yes, this is reasonably common. In such situations one church is designated ‘Lead Team Leader’ to provide management of the youth workers and the school relationship.  In most cases funding from the various churches is channelled through the Lead Team Leader. Our Management Handbook addresses the various issues in detail.

Is 24-7YW like a chaplaincy service?

Not really. A Chaplaincy service is a specifically spiritual or religious service in-school. 24-7YW is a youth work service by a church that doesn’t have a specific in-school spiritual content though workers may respond to questions on an informal basis from students and staff.