4.4 Inclusive programmes for young people
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Programmes for vulnerable young people
Youth Strategy Plan 2013-2015 “Future for all children and young people – disadvantaged children and young people in focus”
The reports of the German-speaking Community detached youth worker, the recommendations of a future conference on the subject of youth welfare and the report on the study "Experiences of violence and media consumption among young people in the German-speaking Community" (Gewalterfahrungen und Medienkonsum bei Jugendlichen in der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft), which was carried out by Kriminologisches Forschungsinstitut Niedersachen eV, have shown that there is a need for action in the areas of violence prevention, fairness (fair access and equality of opportunity) and right to special help or support for children and young people with a variety of problems.
In conclusion the government has therefore decided that based on the title of the future project “Youth is the Future”, the 2013-2015 strategy plan should be drawn up under the motto: “The Future for all Children and Young People – with the focus on Disadvantaged Children and Young People.” Because of the political prioritisation in the strategy papers Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK) and Ongoing Work Programme (Laufendes Arbeitsprogramm, LAP) the government has decided on the following two focus areas:
- Planning actions aimed at the target groups for children and young people with a range of problems
- Propensity to violence among children and young people.
The action plan on these two focuses consisted of seven projects carried out in cooperation with various organisations. Among others there were
- further training module for “Violence Prevention” or “Dealing with young people’s worries”
- provision for experiential education in the German-speaking Community
- awareness-raising campaigns on the topic of “Violence in the Media and Dealing Critically with Media”
For many years, on behalf of the youth court and in collaboration with the youth court services oikos has been monitoring and supporting young people with behavioural problems or drawn into criminal activity in the IPPGs (closed educational centres) or in a closed centre in St. Hubert (French-speaking Community).
As part of this oikos provides a German-speaking social worker who regularly conducts interviews in German during the young person’s stay to work on future prospects.
Alongside regular interviews, the content of the support by oikos is
- developing educational projects
- creating a social history
- developing “possible proactive solutions”
This is carried out for the benefit of the young person. The proposed solutions developed will then be presented to the court for re-evaluation of the situation.
In 2011, “Time-out”, the educational pilot project for pupils of all mainstream and special secondary schools in the German-speaking Community was launched. The essential project aims are the avoidance of an imminent exclusion from school and the successful re-integration into school by comprehensive socio-educational measures during a limited period. When pupils with considerable behavioural problems suddenly detach themselves from the class, become disaffected from school and keeping them in school represents an intolerable burden on the lesson and the school climate in spite of comprehensive internal school measures, the “Time-out” project is an option of averting imminent exclusion. The pupils receive limited “time out” from school attendance and transfer into the care of the “Time-out” project. Designed as a full-day school, the project enables the individual socio-educational support of the pupils with the aim of re-integrating them back into the class of the original school. This time-limited time out from the lesson is to be regarded as a bridging variant that, by extended support and advisory structures, is intended to give young people the opportunity to be guided and stabilised. This possibility of intervention includes special socio-educational measures that in the end are to enable the re-integration of the pupil into the original school. Here particular importance is attached to experiential education and creative expression.
The Integration Parcours was introduced in the Decree of 11 December 2017 on Integration and Living Together in Diversity (Dekret vom 11. Dezember 2017 über Integration und das Zusammenleben in Vielfalt). The aim of the so-called Integration Parcours is to enable people with a migrant background to participate autonomously and on equal terms in society. To this end, participants of the Integration Parcours are supposed to learn to communicate in everyday life, to know and to understand the rights, obligations and values of the Belgium society, to be able to find a job or education and to be able to participate in the social life of the German-speaking Community. The Integration Parcours is directed at every person with a migration background who lives in the German-speaking Community. Thus, it is not exclusively directed at young people, but includes them into its target group. The participation in the Integration Parcours is obligatory for everyone who registers in a municipality oft he German-speaking Community after 1 January 2018, has a residence permit of at least 3 months and is of full age. There are, however, a number of exceptions:
- Persons who are citizens of an EU state, a state of the European Economic Area or Switzerland and members of their family
- Enrolled students and pupils
- Persons with a Belgian school leaving certificate
- Persons of retirement age (≥ 65 years)
- Persons with work permit B
- Persons who are permanently unable to follow the course due to illness or disability (with certificate)
- Diplomats, professional athletes or staff of international organisations
- Persons who have already lived in Belgium for more than 3 years
- Persons with an equivalent naturalisation certificate from another member state
The Integration Parcours is made up of the following parts:
- First arrival
- Language course
- Integration course
- Counselling interview so as to provide the migrant with social-professional information in relation to his capabilities and requirements
The first arrival part is supposed to individually plan the specific Integration Parcours for the participant. The language course is supposed to make the participant reach level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The integration course consists of 60 hours to inform the migrant about rights, obligations and values of society.
The Integration Parcours is free of charge. Info Integration is responsible for the first arrival part and will take care of registering the participant in the applicable language courses and integration courses, which will be carried out by the involved course providers such as Cultural Action and Presence (Kulturelle Aktion und Präsenz, KAP), the Adult Education Institute (Volkshochschule Bildungsinstitut, VHS) and the Women's League (Frauenliga).
The Integration Parcours was introduced as part of the future project „Strong Together“ of the second implementation phase (2014-2019) of the Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK).
Coresil was a project to support the resilience of people with a need for support, their families as well as specialists in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another goal was to increase organisational resilience to enable public services and social services to maintain their services even in times of crisis. The Department for Self-Determined Living (Dienststelle für Selbstbestimmtes Leben, DSL) implemented two actions within this project to support persons with impairments:
- 1. expansion of the consultation possibilities through the use of ELVI CGM.
Since September 2020, the CGM ELVI application has been used to provide counseling sessions via video conferencing. CGM ELVI is a secure solution that enables the exchange of sensitive data. Through a simple user interface, counseling sessions can be conducted remotely with up to five people.
- 2. providing documents in plain language for people with impairments.
To explain the Corona virus and related measures, documents in plain language are prepared and distributed. In this framework, for example, the "Smile" booklet on the corona virus is translated from French into German and supplemented with appropriate information on the German-speaking community. Various Smile booklets already exist on a range of topics (you can find out more here). The translation of further documents is also planned within the framework of this project.
Coresil started on 1 September 2020 and had a duration of one year. It was supported by the Interreg V - Euregio Meuse-Rhine program, which covers parts of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
All programmes and institutions for vulnerable young people are organised as non profit organisations and as such rely on public fundings issued by the German-speaking Community.
In many areas (youth welfare, recognised social enterprises, etc.) the government uses so-called monitoring committees in which the implementation of the management contracts is monitored. Generally representatives of the organisations as well as the municipalities also join in the meetings. Furthermore the annual activity reports of the enterprises, enable a picture to be formed of the development of social integration in the German-speaking Community and to direct policy accordingly. No least numerous studies are likewise being written and statistics collected such as the poverty report of the German-speaking Community in collaboration with the University of Mons.