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Second Strategic Plan on Youth 2016-2022 (Zweiter Jugendstrategieplan 2016-2022)
Alongside the methodological approach of a knowledge-based youth policy, a second important aspect of the Strategic Plan on Youth is that its implementation is not only an obligation for the youth minister responsible but also for the whole Government of the German-speaking Community. The focuses and needs identified for improving the life situation of young people will be reflected in all policy areas in the German-speaking Community.
The Strategic Plan on Youth is led by a cross-sectorial steering group, in which all cabinets of the government, the youth ministry, the Council of the German-speaking Youth (Rat der Deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ), the Youth Information Centers (Jugendinformationszentren) and the Youth Office of the German-speaking Community (Jugendbüro der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft) gather to elaborate the Strategic Plan on Youth and the intended actions. The Strategic Plan on Youth is a first try to enhance cross-sectorial cooperation from the youth policy point of view.
Various studies on poverty carried out in the German-speaking Community showed that families and young people are often confronted with a variety of problems - most notably a study of the University of Mons on Poverty, Precarity and Social Vulnerability in East Belgium (Studie der Uni Mons: Armut, Prekarität und soziale Verwundbarkeit in Ostbelgien) . It’s a huge challenge for institutions to deal with this situation. The cooperation between different service providers doesn’t always work efficiently.
Often there is already a lack of regular exchanges. It is important to enhance cross-sectorial cooperation between those services in order to organize tailor-made help and measures for those families and young people, especially in emergency situations (e.g. emergency shelters). Case Management is meant to improve the cross-sectorial collaboration including the fields of social affairs, outreach work, youth welfare, healthcare, employment and education.
The network coordination is located at the Department of Social Affairs in the Ministry of the German-speaking Community. The coordinator is supported by a steering committee, composed of executives of social services in the German-speaking Community (employment office, outreach work, service for persons with a disability, social affairs, employment sector, psychiatric association, ...). The steering group meets regularly with other representatives involved in the project. All services signed a binding memorandum of understanding on networking.
As a first result, weaknesses were detected in the youth field (cooperation between outreach work and youth welfare) and first consultations were initiated.
Together Against Poverty (Gemeinsam gegen Armut)
In reaction to the aforementioned study, the project "Together Against Poverty" has been included into the Regional Development Concept III (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept III, REK III) as part of the so-called Solidarity Region. This project aims at developing a Strategic Plan on Poverty (Armutsstrategieplan) in order to effectively fight poverty and precarity. Additionally, as part of the project, a decree on fighting poverty is being developed as of 2021. Finally, it is foreseen to create a network on poverty to be able to fight poverty in East Belgium strategically.