Vzw Jong Youth-Welfare-Work in Ghent Jan naert Staffmember Vzw Jong
Contents • Youth-welfare-work? • Vzw Jong in Ghent • The problem? • The solution – strengthsbased case management • conclusions
1. What is Youth-Welfare-Work • Professional youthwork: more than 3000 youngsters a year, 100 professional youth workers, 375 volunteers • In city areas with a lower Social Economic Status (SES). • Lower income • Poor living conditions • Less space • Etc. • Special attention for vulnerable groups
2. Vzw Jong in Ghent • In these areas in Ghent the youthworkers implement activities with a low threshold in the freetime of youngsters (from 6 to 25). • Different group activities: • Sports • Recreational • Creative • Outdoor • Learning • Camps • Different age groups and some for specific target groups • Children (6 – 12) Girls • Teenagers (12-15) New EU citizens • Youngsters (15 – 25)
2. Vzw Jong in Ghent • More youngsters with some kind of problem • Difficulties to enter regular and welfare services • regular services: Interim office for temporary work, school system (eg. to register in a school), health system (intrance into normal health care) etc. • Welfare system: social welfare system (the system to attend all kinds of socio-psychological questions) • A lot of contact with the kids, the parents, the neighborhoods
2. Vzw Jong in Ghent • = active contact! = getting in touch! = not instrumental • The aim is to do something with the real questions • Due to these mission and attitude towards kids and youngsters, the youthworker is their refuge, trustee, guide etc… ‘During the activities and due to an in depth contact with the neighbourhoods of the children en youngsters, there is a mutual trust between the youthworkers and the children and youngsters’.
3. The problem??? • What’s the problem? Is there a problem? • Society? (partial blindness, except for external problem behavior) • Groups? (youngsters?, new EU citizens?, etnic?, religious?, …) • Individuals? (rights and duties…? But is this seemingly logic discussion a real one? Implying a equal start, an meritocratic point of view (eg. Someone who is guilty of something loses rights? If you not pay your duties you lose …?) • Reality: A lot of problems get no answer! (= structural!) • A lot of questions end up in the youth houses of Jong. The children and youngsters come with a great variety of questions concerning different life areas as school, work, welbeing, information, etc.
4. The solution??? • A good portion of active, creative and different activities with special attention for participation and emancipation. • The ‘do it yourself’ solution > individual help within vzw Jong concerning different life areas (school, work, …) • In the youth houses, in contact with youngsters, based on their problemdefinitions! • In their freetime • Very low threshold • Implementing different methods to empower youngsters and the youth workers (eg. Life Space Crisis Intervention)
4. The solution??? • The big difference with other interventions: • Advocacy • Outreaching • Based on strengths • Risk: instrumental implementation of this kind of interventions. (shift in aims and shift in responsability) not taking over the responsability of others!
4. The solution??? • The ‘make the bridge’ solution (remember, it’s structural ) • Involve other partners to really change the system on a local level • Show others that the method works • Link youngsters to other organisations • Defend youngsters in these organisations, let them see the whole picture!
4. The solution??? • The ‘real in depht’ solution = real/structural change • We Need to: • Get Signals to the different governments • Advice governments concerning problems of vulnerable youngsters
5. Conclusion • Need for change on different levels: • Micro level: strengths based individual method • Meso level: bridging gaps with regular social services • Macro level: signals and proposals for governments (= social action!)
5. Conclusion • Connection with context… • Absolute trust relation… • Respect, attention and time for the position of the youngster… • Always together never without
5. Conclusion • Connectionwith the district (= parents, inhabitants, different organisations (districtwork, streetcornerwork, schools, etc.) • The importance of a thrustrelation (thrust as an issue) • Working as a team! Youthworkers, case managers and other partners. • General Attention • Schoolsituationproblematic • Poorsocialskills • Languageproblem • Continuouscommunicationwith the fieldworkers = learningorganization!