YMCA policy

YMCA works with thousands of vulnerable children, young people and families from all over Scotland every year. Our work gives us an insight into what is happening in our local communities and how we are enabling our young people to be all that they can be.

As a large charity we want to share this knowledge with partners in government to help them to stay informed, to effectively monitor the impact of their policies and to reflect on how we might improve.

YMCA Scotland makes a significant contribution to the design and development of policy relating to vulnerable children, young people and families. This can run through different departments of government including education, youth justice and young peoples’ health.

As a community based organisation, YMCA is also very involved in how we engage and enable our local communities to thrive. We share the aspiration of Campbell Christie who proposed that a key way for us to achieve the public service reform that we seek in Scotland is through the “…better engagement of people and communities”

The following are areas of Scottish Government policy that YMCA Scotland is actively engaged in:

Youth justice


Public Service Reform



With particular reference to work with vulnerable children and young people outside of the school environment YMCA Scotland is a leading agency working in partnership with education colleagues to ensure that all our young people achieve their fullest potential.


YMCA was disappointed in the message given to many in the third sector at the withdrawal of Scottish Government core funding in 2013. There is a real need for government to acknowledge the evidence base for prevention and early intervention and to see the value in such investment.
YMCA is currently engaging with Scottish Government education colleagues around the potential that exists for a youth work approach to achieve significant outcomes for government in justice, in health and in education.


Through the campaign ‘Youth Work Works’ YMCA is sharing evidence of the impact of this approach particularly in the delivery of outcomes relating to early intervention.