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Youth workers need…

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to be driven by the will to support young people in their personal and social development.

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Youth work is very relations intense and dependent on these relations being constructive and forward looking. Youth worker’s personality and personal motivation will always form their attitudes towards young people and hence the outcome of their work. Youth workers must therefore think about and discuss what kind of attitudes and approaches that are best suited to stimulate and support young people’s engagement, participation and learning.


Guiding questions

To what degree does our local youth work meet this bullet point?

Are there sides/aspects of it that are not reached?
Are there differences related to different activities?
Are there differences related to different groups of young people?
Are there differences related to different youth work providers?
Are there other differences? Related to what?

Specific questions
  • If participation and learning is what leads to personal and social development – what kind of personality and what attitudes and approaches promotes young people’s will to engage and take responsibility?
  • Why is curiosity and the ability to ask constructive questions so important for youth workers?
  • Is our work in fact based on that we pity young people and want to take care of them?
    • How does this match with meeting young people as capable individuals and resources and supporting their autonomy?
    • Are we in fact acting top-down?
  • Are we sometimes too quick in giving our own answers to young people, instead of asking them questions so that they can formulate their own answers?
  • Are we getting exited or nervous when young people want to start activities or projects that we, as youth workers, will not be able to control?
    • Does this make us put emotional and/or practical restraints on young people and how does this affect their will to engage and take responsibility?


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Good practices & tools

  • Youth workers for marginalized youth in Vocational school and in upper comprehensive schools in Vantaa

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  • Working with Youth as a common framework for cooperation between participating organisations

Learn more 


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Future steps

What different steps do we need to take in order to meet this bullet point?

Do we miss any knowledge that we need?
Do we need to take contact with stakeholders not present in our discussions?
Do we need to develop new competences, methods, work processes or organisational structures?
Can we find good practices or tools that might help us to improve this?
Do we have positive experiences from other areas of youth work that we can use also in this case?
Are there other organisations that we can contact and learn from regarding this?
Do we need to take other measures?
Do we have to revise our perspectives and/or priorities regarding youth work?

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