Power and Privilege  

The Youth Work relationship is both a privileged relationship and a power relationship. While we try to minimise the power imbalance, we must acknowledge it. This is what makes ethics central to Youth Work. 


The Code of Ethics also provides youth workers with a frame of reference from which to develop ethical awareness, to create discussion and debate of ethical issues, and to implement good and ethical practice for both youth workers and young people. 

Guidelines and Accountability  

This Code of Ethics provides an agreed set of guidelines for Youth Work in Aotearoa, to ensure that Youth Work is carried out in a safe, skilled, ethical manner. It is one of the ways youth workers hold one another accountable for our practice, and in doing so protects the credibility of Youth Work. 

Professional Identity  

An unexpected purpose of the Code of Ethics is to support the identity of Youth Work. Many professions have Codes of Ethics. While some ethical standards will be consistent across these, the uniqueness of a profession must be encapsulated in its code of ethics if this is to truly guide behaviour.