Effective Youth Work in Rural vs Urban Areas
Start date: Aug 1, 2015,
End date: Feb 29, 2016
Delinquency, substance abuse and dropping out of school are actual social problems among adolescents nowadays. There are different preventive methods which have proved to be effective in order to prevent antisocial behavior among adolescents. Specialists working with youngsters everyday basis are on a good place to do prevention work and implement specific methods.
The main objective of this project was decreasing delinquency, substance abuse and dropping out of school among adolescents. This included increasing the knowledge and skills of youth work specialists regarding prevention of anti-social behavior, analyzing the differences and similarities in rural and urban context, analyzing the influence of social media in the development process of risk behavior among adolescents and strengthening the local and creating international network to enforce the youth work specialists to use and develop prevention methods regarding risk behavior among adolescents afterwards.
The project involved 4 organizations working with adolescents from Estonia, island Hiiumaa, and 1 organization from Norway, Oslo. 19 participants (specialists working with youngsters) from these organizations attended study visit in Oslo and participated in preparatory and follow up activities. In addition, different experts from Oslo were involved partially.
During the study visit to Oslo different prevention methods of antisocial behavior were introduced and shared through lectures, workshops, discussions. There were meetings with experts from different organizations which are focused on prevention of anti-social and risk behavior. Additionally, rural and urban context was discussed to find the differences and similarities doing the prevention work in different environment. Social media as an influence of behavior of youngsters was discussed regarding the context of prevention. The local network was strengthened and international network was created to enforce the youth work specialists to use and develop prevention methods regarding risk behavior among adolescents afterwards. There were follow up meetings with both local networks in Hiiumaa and Oslo to share the results of the discussions and form strategic plan to develop prevention of antisocial behavior among youngsters. Also, the results and ideas from the study visit were shared in a 2-day "Idea seminar" for youth specialists all over Estonia.
As a result of these activities, communities can understand the importance of strategic planning regarding prevention activities in their area involving specialists working with youngsters and start with it. Youth work specialists have concrete understanding of the importance of prevention of antisocial behavior and have the skills to implement the methods. This leads one step closer to the community with less (or no) underage offenses, less (or no) substance abuse among youngsters and less (or no) dropping out of schools - to a healthier community.
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