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The Austrian National Network of Youth Information Centres (Bundesnetzwerk Österreichische Jugendinfos) runs the Website “Youth Work in Austria” (Jugendarbeit in Österreich) on behalf of the Department of Family and Youth at the Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt). The website presents the fields of action and structures of Austrian youth work, its achievements as well as its positive contributions. From the perspective of different stakeholders (Department of Family and Youth at the Federal Chancellery, Provincial Youth Units (Landesjugendreferate), Federal Youth Council, Youth Information Centers, Nationwide network of open youth work, Austrian National Agency for Education and Internationalisation), topics of out-of-school youth work are highlighted and good practice examples given. The Website also provides a comprehensive collection of empirically proven, substantiated effects of out-of-school youth work.
Austrian Youth Award (Österreichischer Jugendpreis)
Outstanding initiatives and projects of extracurricular youth work are honoured with the Austrian Youth Award.
In Austria, more than 160,000 qualified volunteers, together with thousands of full-time and part-time professionals, make great and valuable contributions to extracurricular child and youth work. An important goal of Austrian youth policy is to make these achievements visible and to strengthen the charitable involvement of young people. In cooperation with the Federal Youth Council, the Centre of Competence for Open Youth Work, the National Network of Youth Information Centres, the Austrian National Erasmus Agency 'Youth in Action', and the European Solidarity Corps, the Department of Families and Youth at the Federal Chancellery honours the best projects of extracurricular youth works. In 2020, the awards were conferred for the fifth time. To promote understanding of the lifestyles of young people, in 2019 an award for "Journalistic Accomplishments in the Interest of Youth" was introduced. In 2020, the event was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The recognition is awarded in 5 categories.
Category "National Youth Work": Awarded are projects of open and associative youth work as well as youth information that are dedicated to one or more fields of action of the Austrian Youth Strategy: employment and education, participation and commitment, quality of life and togetherness, media and information.
Category "Digital Youth Work" (in 2020: "COVID-19: Digital Youth Work): In the field of "Digital Youth Work", projects by institutions of extracurricular child and youth work, which contribute to the promotion and strengthening of media and information literacy, are awarded. Awards in the field of action "Media and Information" go to projects that either use digital media and technology as a tool (e.g. online communication, online consulting) or perform an activity with its help (e.g. a "digital scavenger hunt"), or discuss digital media and technologies in the context of youth work (including "Fake News"). In 2020, innovative and creative initiatives and projects that were implemented in order to enable the continuation of youth work during the COVID-19 pandemic or to respond to the impacts of the crisis were awarded.
Category "Journalistic Accomplishments in the Interest of Youth": The prize is awarded to authors whose editorial contributions address the lifeworld of young people and present an understanding of their issues and concerns in a respectful manner to the general public. In addition to the journalistic "quality of craftsmanship", an important criterion is an independent (youth) view. All young people and professional journalists aged 14 to 30 are encouraged to submit their work.
Category "Your Projects (Eure Projekte)": Projects of young people, which were realised within the framework of the initiative "Eure Projekte" (Your Projects) of the Department of Families and Youth at the Federal Chancellery, are honoured. The initiative supports young people in implementing their own ideas and empowers them to become active themselves.
Category "European Initiatives": The award recognizes cross-border youth work initiatives funded under the Erasmus+: Youth in Action program and the European Solidarity Corps, which have stimulated coexistence in a united Europe and the mobility of young people.
Award "health-competent open youth work"
bOJA honours youth centres and mobile youth work organisations as health-competent organisations. The award process takes between three months and half a year. The award stages include gold, silver and bronze level. The respective municipality (municipality or city) is an important partner in the application and audit. The badge "health-competent youth centre/health-competent mobile youth work" is awarded for three years at a time.
In addition to the Funds Healthy Austria (Fonds Gesundes Österreich), in the period 2018-2020 the awards was funded by the Federal Chancellery and the Federation of Austrian Social Security Institutions (Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger).
The Coronabusters (in German only) project enables youths to play an active part in tackling the pandemic and allows them to be listened to. In sharing their knowledge and experiences with their peers, they can become personal messengers. The conducted projects and elaborated messages are dissaminated on different social media channels, making use of the shared hashtag #zusammendiekurvekriegen('turning the corner together'). This shall spread the projects and their outcomes to as many Austrian youths as possible. With 'Coronabusters' young people in open youth work get the opportunity to develop ideas and make their own contributions in fighting the pandemic. All activities and measures are developed by young people for young people.