By offering young people targeted support, opportunities for non-formal learning, information on health and wellbeing, and opportunities for positive integration into the local community, youth workers are able to reduce the risks of further social exclusion linked to deteriorating living conditions and unhealthy life styles.

This paper aims at offering evidence about the situation of social exclusion suffered by young people in the European Union, and the positive effects that youth work initiatives produce in fostering their (re)inclusion. Looking at factual information on the main conditions of exclusion is essential to have an accurate understanding of the threats encountered by young people. Available data and research literature illustrate the major reasons behind the marginalisation of young Europeans, and pave the way to the development of effective policy strategies to prevent it.