4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion
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Youth work in Turkey is addressed in two areas as strengthening the youth and youth participation and social inclusion activities have a significant place in terms of both strengthening the youth and youth participation. The main legal document in relation to Youth Work in Turkey is the Decree Law on the Organisation and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and youth work in Turkey is regulated in several other documents and legal texts based on this main legal document. In the Disadvantaged Young People and Social Inclusion main political area of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document which is based on this main document, policies and targets within the scope of youth work in relation to social inclusion are specified. Based on these policies and targets, measures are determined for strengthening the youth and youth participation regarding social inclusion. Policies identified in the Disadvantaged Young People and Social Inclusion main political area are listed below:
1. Preventing that disabled young people are subjected to social exclusion,
2. Reintegrating the young people who committed a crime into society and preventing that they are inclined to criminal behaviour,
3. Ensuring that young people living on the streets are integrated in the society,
4. Taking preventive measures to protect young people from addictive substances and carrying out works in relation to the treatment of addicted young people,
5. Raising awareness among young people and other groups in the society regarding disadvantaged individuals and their active participation in social adaptation processes,
6. Social inclusion of young people who migrated to cities and have adaptation problems.
From 2012 to 2020, a total of 100 “social cohesion” projects are supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In addition, several social inclusion projects proposed by nongovernmental organisations are supported within the scope of Youth Projects Support Programme which is opened each year. With these supported projects, it is aimed that works are carried out to ensure that young people excluded from social life participate in every area of life; better conditions are offered to disadvantaged young people with the activities and trainings within the scope of the project; social belonging feelings of the young people are strengthened; structures are supported in which young people can express themselves; university students are enabled to fulfil their social responsibilities towards the society; their sensitivity and awareness is raised and volunteering is brought to a sustainable ground by encouraging university clubs.
Ministry of Youth and Sports carries out various projects various local projects and activities regarding social inclusion by means of Youth Centres, Youth Leaders and Volunteering Youth Leaders which are the local active actors of the youth work. Youth Centres work 24/7 and offers training and socialisation opportunities to disadvantaged or socially excluded young people.
Ministry of Youth and Sports stages didactic drama and theatre plays in the detention houses or prisons for supporting the rehabilitation and social inclusion of the young people involved in criminal activities.
“Cities and Cultures Project” is carried out throughout Turkey to ensure that young people in the 14-29 age group, especially the ones living in the countryside, get to know the neighbour provinces which are rich in history and culture as well as their own provinces and districts and to meet their peers living in those provinces and to contribute in increasing the dialogue among young people. With this project, young people, who never had the chance to travel and see the historically and culturally significant places in Turkey, get the chance to know their country better free of charge and socialise with young people coming from other provinces.
“Apprentices of the Industry, Future Stars” project, is a programme which aims to improve and discover the other skills and potentials of the young people by means of providing sportive, social and cultural fields of activity to the young people having “Apprentice Training” at the vocational training centres, who cannot find adequate social activity space and who lack opportunities to spend their leisure time in a useful way. Within the scope of this programme, young people have the chance to socialise and spend their leisure time efficiently by means of participating in certain educational, cultural and sportive activities together.
Main actor and provider of the Youth Work in Turkey is the Ministry of Youth and Sports. By means of the programmes and projects directly carried out by the central organisation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports as well as the projects and activities carried out by the Provincial Directorates of Youth Services and Sport and the Youth Centres on the local level, the Ministry is the main organisation which provides youth work for the entire Turkish youth. In addition, the Ministry of National Education is also an important organisation which provides youth work and provides significant contribution in strengthening the youth by way of formal and non-formal education opportunities. In addition, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which is the institution that creates and implements policy for young people to enter working life, vocational training and measures for youth employment, İŞKUR and its incentives for youth entrepreneurship, and KOSGEB are seen as secondary components of youth work.
In addition to public organisations and institutions which are the main providers of youth work in Turkey, several nongovernmental organisations operating in relation to strengthening the youth and encouraging youth participation are also the significant stakeholders of the youth work.
Main personnel source of the Social Inclusion youth work is the Youth and Sports experts and assistant experts, social workers, psychologists, sociologists and youth leaders. Youth and Sports Expert is a career occupation in youth work and its occupational development is regulated in accordance with Youth and Sports Expert and Assistant Expert Examination, Appointment, Training, Duty and Work Procedures and Principles. In accordance with the Regulation on Sending the Ministry of Youth and Sports Personnel Abroad for Training, the employees of the Ministry of Youth and Sports may be sent abroad to have graduate study and increase their knowledge and experience in international organisations.
Procedures regarding the career and development of Youth Leaders who are the active actors of the youth work in the field are regulated in accordance with the Directive on Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Leadership Development Training and Work Procedures and Principles.
Youth workers carry out their works actively in the civil society sector within the scope of social inclusion.
Social inclusion policies and activities for youth are funded with the allowance allocated from the General Budget for the Ministries and there is no specific fund or allowance allocated for youth work on social inclusion.
Policy Documents, Strategy Documents and Actions Plans including policies, targets, measures and activities regarding social inclusion for youth are designed in accordance with monitoring and evaluation system. A certain target or activity is evaluated in accordance with time and indicator criteria by taking the achievement data and feedback of the organisations which are responsible for such target and activity. On this ground, Activity Reports ensure monitoring and evaluation by providing outcomes regarding annual targets and indicators. Activity Reports include activity and project outcomes, performance targets and realisations, deviations in performance indicators and causes there of as well as solution offers.