4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion
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In Denmark, volunteers in private associations and organisations primarily carry out youth work. Top-level authorities have established a legal framework for the financial support of private associations and organisations.
Private initiatives for youth work fostering social inclusion can apply for public funding from three different pools, like any other type of associations.
- The Act on Non-formal General Adult Education (Folkeoplysningsloven, LBK nr 1115 af 31/08/2018)
- The profits from the national lottery and football pools (udlodningsmidlerne)
- The Act on Social Services, § 18 (Lov om social service, LBK nr. 1287 af 28/08/2020)
See section 2.1 for a detailed description of the funding rules and general criteria that apply to all associations.
At the same time, some public or publicly funded initiatives exist.
The Act on Non-formal General Adult Education
Municipalities are obliged to provide financial support for activities for young people under the age of 25 years old when the associations are democratic, open and available to all persons who approve the objectives and involves general adult education via non-formal learning. These activities often involve youth work. Social inclusion is not a criteria for funding.
The profits from the national lottery and football pools
The profits from the national lottery and football pools fund national organisations within non-formal general adult education, youth activities, sports, and culture. The Danish Youth Council (DUF) is responsible for the allocation of funding for youth organisations. Youth work is a key priority. Social inclusion can also be a priority.
The Act on Social Services
The Act on Social Services § 18, funds voluntary social work in associations and organisations. The activities may involve youth work. Social inclusion is not a criteria for funding.
Sports initiatives for young people with ethnic minority background
Studies show that active participation in sports associations can contribute to better integration in Danish society. However, children and young people with ethnic minority backgrounds, especially girls, are less active in sports associations compared with children of Danish origin, and there are significantly fewer sports association offers in vulnerable housing areas.
A DBU survey (Danish Football Association) from 2019 shows that 7% of club members in Denmark were immigrants and descendants of immigrants, while this group makes up 14% of the total population.
The Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration and the Danish sports organisations DBU (Danish Football Association), DIF (The Sports Confederation of Denmark) and DGI (Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations) have therefore agreed on a new joint collaboration where the parties commit to work to get more children and young people with ethnic minority backgrounds, especially girls and women, to become a part of Denmark’s sports associations, as well as to get their parents engaged as volunteers. The aim of these efforts is to reduce tendencies towards social segregation and to strengthen integration.
The first step for the parties is to map out the number of active children and youth with ethnic minority backgrounds in the Danish sports associations through the National Annual Survey on Responsible Citizenship (Medborgerskabsundersøgelsen). On that basis, national objectives will be set with the aim of getting more children and young people with ethnic minority backgrounds to become part of the Danish sports associations. The following two initiatives are funded by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration.
The aim of Get2sport is to support local sports clubs (primarily football) in vulnerable neighbourhoods in order to include more marginalised children. The majority of the children have refugee or migrant backgrounds. The children benefit from the membership of a sports club in various ways: they make friends, experience being genuine members of a community and learn how to respect rules and take steps to become active citizens in Denmark. Since the parents rarely have the resources to support the coaches and the teams, Get2sport provides support via e.g. transport to matches and courses for the coaches. The local municipality is involved and supports the coaches when professional action is needed for the children. The current work has a specific focus on recruiting more girls to the Get2sport clubs. The project receives public financial support.
Sisters Against Violence and Control
The association Sisters Against Violence and Control is based in Odense, the third largest city in Denmark. The association reaches out to and educates women from vulnerable housing areas in topics such as democracy, sexuality, equality, democratic rights, different forms of violence and negative social control. The association offers vulnerable women new, progressive communities that can assist them in their social inclusion into the wider Danish society. The association receives public financial support.
The Danish Youth Council (DUF) allocates public funds for youth associations and organisations. Youth associations and organisations can apply for funding for operating and project funding. Some of the projects can involve social inclusion.
When receiving funding from DUF, associations must formulate a project report when the project has ended.
There are no top-level youth work programmes fostering social inclusion. Therefore, there is no training or support made available by top-level authorities to youth workers active in social inclusion programmes.
Competences and skills required in youth work are recognised according to the same rules as voluntary activities. See section 2.7
There is no youth work foundation or institute of youth work or top-level contribution to the professional development of youth workers.
For financial support of associations and organisations, see above and see section 2.1
The organisations that receive funding from the Ministry of Immigration and Integration have a contract with the ministry specifying the use of the funds and the results they should obtain.