4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion
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Several governmental sources have been consulted, but no information has been found regarding national policies or legal frameworks on youth work related to social inclusion. An expert on youth work from the Netherlands Youth Institute confirms the absence of a national policy. A lot of youth work happens at the local level, under the responsibility of the municipality and there is also informal youth work, church or community based.
There are no main youth work programmes on the national level directed at vulnerable people. However, the social service programme for all young people between 14 and 27 years old also supports vulnerable young people to discover, use and develop their skills and talents, to meet new people, to contribute to society, to strengthen civil society and to make choices about their future. See paragraph 2.3 for more information about this social service programme.
Most youth work happens at the local level and in each municipality it is organized differently. The municipality provides subsidies to youth work organizations. The programmes at the local level are directed at young people at risk. In the past youth work organized a lot of activities for young people at risk. This has changed, because now these young people themselves are expected to take the initiative. Youth workers have to stimulate them to take responsibility for themselves. In December 2020, Cabinet provided municipalities with 58.5 million euros to organize activities for young people, especially for vulnerable young people. The budget was also meant to reach and support youth at risk in deprived neighborhoods.
The lectureship Youth Spot (only in Dutch) is an example of an existing cooperation between youth workers, teachers, researchers and students. In this lectureship knowledge and practice meet and are used for research and innovation in education. Youth Spot aims to implement their projects in a mixed team of youth workers, teachers, researchers and students. In addition to this, Youth Spot provides workshops and lectures.
Scouting is the largest voluntary youth organization in the Netherlands. Please see chapter 2 for more information. Besides voluntary youth work there is also professional youth work involved in the social inclusion of young people.
The main ways of evaluating youth work happen at the local level. Professional youth work presents an offer to the municipality or gets an assignment from the municipality. The report Jongerenwerk in beeld (Youth work in the picture) of the Netherlands Youth Institute states that municipalities cooperate with youth work. The municipality uses the knowledge of youth workers regarding (vulnerable) young people. The report claims that there should be more clear arrangements between these two actors. It also states that interim consultations take place concerning the situation of young people in the municipality and whether reforms are needed.
Youth spot (only in Dutch) has the aim to professionalize youth work. The lectureship develops education tools and describes methodologies. No other information was found on training and support for youth workers.
Beroepsvereniging Jong (only in Dutch) can be seen as a national youth workers association. It aims to stimulate youth work in the Netherlands and to support youth workers.
The Netherlands Youth Institute (in English) is also engaged in training and the support of social inclusion programmes by organizing meetings, workshops and publishing reports.
No information was found on financial support. This has been confirmed by the expert of the Netherlands Youth institute.
There is no specific national quality assurance for youth work related to social inclusion.