10.7 Raising awareness about youth work
On this page
On this page
Information about youth work is directed at a number of target groups:
- children and young people as potential users;
- the interested public at large; and
- political decision-makers at various levels.
The information aims both to increase the visibility of youth work and services as an action area that contributes to addressing social challenges, and to increase the visibility of youth work and services as an action area that helps young people reach their full potential.
Since youth work is carried out at the local level, making youth work services visible is also – and particularly – anchored with the local authorities. They use a range of methods to raise the profile of their services. These efforts aim on the one hand to reach children and young people as potential users, and on the other to make communities familiar with the services. Some municipalities have youth information centres with information about activities and services for young people. Social media (e.g. Facebook pages for the facilities and associations) and websites play a key role in spreading information about services. The local press and other channels are also used to report on open and associational youth work activities.
In a state and national context, efforts to improve the visibility of youth work are targeted towards political decision-makers in the youth policy field and other sectors. From a cross-sectoral perspective, raising the visibility of youth work plays a role in discussions on the certification of skills acquired, in prevention, and in the context of community orientation, to name a few examples.
At the state (Länder) level, young people keen to engage in social initiatives can visit various websites and drop-in centres to find out more about opportunities for social participation and youth work.
Nationally, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ) provides information portals with links to further information, drop-in centres and resources. These portals are targeted at young people, their environment and youth work professionals. The information also covers youth work on a European, national, state and local level.
Numerous further portals contain information relating either directly or indirectly to youth work, such as the websites of volunteer programmes. The website of Germany's National Agency for the Erasmus+ Youth in Action programme and the European Solidarity Corps and the website of Eurodesk contain information for young people about international mobility experiences and engagement projects.
The "Jugendhilfe" portal is an expert portal for child and youth services with a separate section on youth work. It is an integral component of the national and state information strategy. The target groups of this public portal are youth work professionals and the interested public at large. It provides information about individual action areas and projects, as well as about research and political developments that affect the field.
The German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (Deutscher Kinder- und Jugendhilfetag, DJHT) is organised every three to four years. The DJHT tackles current challenges in child and youth services and addresses child and youth work issues in a range of talks, workshops and panel discussions. A European expert forum was also held at the last three DJHT to debate topics in European youth policy. The 18th DJHT will take place in Leipzig in May 2025.
The third federal youth work congress (Bundesweiter Fachkongress Kinder- und Jugendarbeit) took place in 2021 and, alongside the DJHT, was created as a nationwide congress devoted entirely to youth work.
Similar congresses are also held in the states. For example, Brandenburg organises a recurring youth work congress (Brandenburger Kongress der Jugendarbeit). The third congress was held in 2017 with the title "Borderless youth" (Grenzenlose Jugend).
Some youth councils (Jugendringe) fulfil their public relations mandate (including on youth work) by publishing regular newsletters and magazines to draw attention to the topics currently affecting youth (association) work.
Many youth associations (Jugendverbände), including – and primarily – those that operate supraregionally, produce magazines for members with information on the association's work and addressing current topics.
Additionally, numerous independent magazines on or relating to youth work are published in Germany. Two examples are "German youth" (deutsche jugend) magazine and "Open youth work" (Fachzeitschrift Offene Jugendarbeit) journal. Magazines covering a broader range of social work-related topics also regularly include articles on youth work.