European network of youth work research TRI Networ..
European network of youth work research TRI Network
Start date: Feb 1, 2015,
End date: Feb 1, 2017
The partners that represent youth organizations have for many years been seeking knowledge about new models describing how organizations, youth services and research work together and develop services for youth. Some of the partner countries have broad experience in bottom-up processes where youth play an important role in decision making within youth clubs. Others are more guided by science. Regardless of the basis, the partners have different points of view, and all have something to learn from each other. The initiative to this project comes from Norwegian youth leaders, who see that the English approach to youth work, is focused on social work and they have a tradition in the youth fields that goes back 150 years. The Norwegian youth work has its’ strength in the emphasis on inclusion of young people in the management of the youth clubs, and the “soft” approach to youth clubs, youth clubs are youth-governed places where youth develop constructive cultural activities in order to grow as a human beings.
Research and education within the youth field is a growing academic field, though the differences between countries in both academic input and the development of youth services represent a wide range. Education and research within the youth field in Norway, consist of contract research, often financed by the government to serve as a tool for a better understanding of the needs of the youth population. Studies of youth phenomena is therefore random. Until recently, there were no broad interdisciplinary arenas for youth research in Norway. In 2010, a Nordic network of National youth club organizations therefore established a Nordic network of researchers. In Norway, there is no specific education for youth workers on an academic level either.
The situation in other Nordic countries is different, Sweden, Iceland, Finland all have a nationwide education in youth work, and the universities also offers research. There is close contact between the professionals and the research/education field.
Once the researchers network was established, participants from the Nordic countries initiated several meeting points such as conferences and seminars. The content has been focused on the development of youth services, and youth policies, and the goal has been to strengthen the link between education and practical youth work. Even though the development of research, education and youth work, is more mature in Sweden. Swedish academics have planned and implemented conferences for the network as well. The link between the Nordic countries and the Baltic countries, has been strengthened over the last years, as a result of both Nordic and European political policies. The Baltic countries has also taken steps to start up a pan-baltic research network which was established in 2014. In Lithuania, politicians have seen the need for a development of social services, particularly towards youth. Lithuania are developing arenas for non- formal learning for youth in order to ensure the well- being of the youth population. As a result, new youth centres are established all over Lithuania.
Norway has a small research field, but has long traditions within the professional youth field. Still, we have some development in the services that is steered from a governmental level.
During several meetings in the Nordic research network, we have gained a partner from Newman university college in UK. Newman is one of 8 universities in England that offers both a BA and MA in youth work. UK has also a long tradition in the field of professional youth work, with vast experience in social work. In a Nordic context, the challenges youth in UK faces seems severe. Youth violence, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies are some issues that in Norway would be handled by the child welfare and care services, while the British youth workers, as a result of National policies, have seen a shift towards a social work approach which needs to deal with these issues.
The partnership seeks to publish an academic journal.
- To create an arena for peer reviewing and development of research
- To offer a channel for implementation of methods and models for youth work
- To give voice to youth workers in political issues
- To enhance systems for the education – policy – best practice triangle
The project support education and training systems. It promotes youth and innovation, exchange of experience and know-how between different types of organizations involved in education, training and youth or in other relevant fields.
The partners in this cooperation are :
Newman University College from UK,
Politikos tyrimų ir analizės institutas from Lithuania
Stockholms Universitet/University of Stockholm, Sweden
Haskoli Islands/University of Iceland, Iceland
POYWE (NGO) from Austria
Ungdom og Fritid (NGO), Norway
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