4.4 Inclusive programmes for young people
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According to the provisions of the Social Services and Social Assistance Law, the state provides children who have suffered from violence a social rehabilitation. Social rehabilitation services are provided at children’s place of residence, in a counselling institution or as a social rehabilitation course (up to 30 days or a complex rehabilitation course up to 60 days).
The state also provides social rehabilitation to children addicted to drugs, toxic and intoxicating substances.
To reduce early school leaving, from 2017 – 2022, the State Education Quality Service implements the European Social Fund project “Support for the Reduction of Early School Leaving”. The project promotes the development of a system of sustainable cooperation between the municipality, educational institutions, teachers, support staff and the parents in order to identify pupils who are at risk of dropping out and provide them with personalised support.
Teachers are provided with the opportunity to develop professionally and to strengthen their skills in working with pupils. Methodological tools have been developed within the framework of the project. A database has been created, which ensures the regular exchange of information at the level of the state, municipality and educational institution regarding pupils who have been identified with the risk of early school leaving, the preventive measures are taken and their results. The project also supports youth NGO initiatives to raise the issue of early school leaving among young people, to address learners through their peers and to engage them in activities. In the 2019 – 2020 study year, 94 local municipalities and 507 educational institutions (from those 33 vocational education institutions) were involved in the project. Until the 2019 – 2020 study year, support was provided to more than 23 000 pupils in Latvia. More about the project can be found here.
Programmes specific for vulnerable young people
A project “KNOW and DO!” (2014 – 2021) is implemented in the framework of the programme “Growth and Employment” (2014 – 2020), whose specific objective is to promote the inclusion of young NEETs who are not registered in the State Employment Agency and to foster their involvement in education, labour and activities offered by NGOs or youth centres.
The project is implemented by the Agency for International Programs for Youth (AIPY) in close collaboration with local municipalities and their strategic partners, such as national and local governmental and non-governmental institutions, youth centres, and other institutions engaged in youth work.
The project is targeted at young people aged 15–29 who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs) and are not registered in the State Employment Agency as unemployed.
The aim of the project is to develop young people’s skills and facilitate their involvement in education, including vocational learning, Youth Guarantee activities implemented by the State Employment Agency or the State Education Development Agency, active employment or preventative unemployment reduction measures provided by the State Employment Agency as well as in non-governmental organisations or youth centre activities.
The project foresees the following two phases of youth engagement:
Phase 1: Young people in the NEET situation are identified and informed about the opportunities provided by the project. This phase is carried out by the municipalities in close collaboration with their strategic partners.
Phase 2: The project participants are evaluated to determine what skills and competencies shall be developed, i.e. personal, social, labour and/or others to successfully return to social and economic life. Based on the profiling results, an individual support programme is developed, which can be improved according to the individual's needs. The individual support programme encompasses individual and group support activities such as consultations, formal and informal learning activities, volunteer and social work, leisure time activities and others. The mentor’s involvement in the implementation of the individual support programme is obligatory. Those young people who have expressed readiness to actively participate in the process of a job search or further education during profiling are directed to join Youth Guarantee.
From September 2014 till June 2020, 3238 young people in the NEET situation have participated in the project and 2023 of them have successfully completed the individual support programme.
The project “KNOW and DO!” is implemented with the financial support of the European Social Fund and state funding. The overall budget of the project is 7 560 330 EUR.
The individual support programme is considered to be successfully completed if, by the end of its completion, the young person in NEET situation re-enters the education system including vocational learning, Youth Guarantee activities implemented by the State Employment Agency or the State Education Development Agency, active employment or preventative unemployment reduction measures provided by the State Employment Agency or joins non-governmental organizations or youth centre activities.
To ensure the quality of services provided to young people, the AIPY provides methodological support to municipalities by organising training courses for the project managers and evaluation meetings to exchange best practices and supervisory visits to provide individual mentoring. By the end of 2021 the following monitoring indicators will be achieved:
- 3885 NEETs will have received individual support.
- 2720 NEETs will have successfully completed their individual support programme and re-entered education or labour market as well as participate in activities offered by NGOs or youth centres.