“Super Youth Worker”
Vantaan kaupunki, Nuorisopalvelut
Silkkitehtaantie 5, 01300 Vantaa, Finland
The project aims for a decrease in the number of students discontinuing Vantaa Vocational College Varia’s vocational upper secondary education by offering support for the students’ general well-being and studies. A supportive and safe study environment, counseling and support increase the students’ attachment to their studies and result in a decrease in the number of dropouts. The aim is to offer support for the young who run the risk of marginalization, while also creating modes of operation that support the well-being of all students and offer help for completing their studies. The aim is to decrease the high dropout rate and to focus on those fields in which the dropout rate is highlighted. In six upper comprehensive schools work also six youth workers for marginalized youth. The aim of the youth work in upper comprehensive school is to provide support for the young pupils in their school and leisure time. In upper comprehensive schools, youth workers aim is to promote comprehensive well-being and early identification as well as prevention of marginalization.
Please describe your good practice based on the above given information (Explain your practice as such, in ‘technical’ terms and as clear and simple as possible.)
There are 11 youth workers who work in Vantaa Vocational College Varia’s vocational upper secondary education and in six upper comprehensive schools. They co-operate with teachers, student welfare, special needs teachers and guidance counselors. Youth workers can also be in contact with youngsters parents, local preventive police unit, security guards in local shopping malls, child welfare or outreach youth work and workshops. Youth workers meet students in the corridors and school area during the day and they can also go to visit lessons or escort students to the on-the-job learning places if needed. Youth workers can take part in the multidisciplinary expert group. Co-operation with youth workers is always voluntary for the students.
Please describe eventual challenges and problems related to the creation, implementation, and/or running of your good practice? (Explain the eventual difficulties that you have come across, so that others know what to think about if they want to implement your practice.)
It takes time to clarify job description and role of the youth workers in vocational upper secondary education.
Please give the names, roles and tasks of eventual partners involved in the creation, implementation and/or running of your good practice.
Youth services and youth centers, workshops and outreach youth work in Vantaa as co-operative partners, Vantaa Vocational College Varia, upper comprehensive schools in Vantaa where the work takes place.
Please give an overview of the resources needed in order to establish and run your good practice. (Please describe the human, financial and other resources that are needed. Please also explain if you have got external financing from sources available for others, and if so, from what funding scheme(s).)
Four youth workers work in the Increasing encounters for preventing dropouts project and it is funded from the European social fund. Other youth workers are funded from the Positive discrimination program in Vantaa.
For young people:
Safe adults available during the schooldays, positive encounters, support for studying, increasing sense of community trough activities and events in school environment and well-being.
For youth workers:
They can support young people during the schooldays and leisure time in upper comprehensive schools. Youth workers can reach out a larger target group than by working only in the regional youth work.
For your organisation as such:
Youth workers can inform all the students about the services and activities that local Youth services provide.
For youth work in general:
New projects and experiments can bring up some good practices that can be shared nationwide to support the development of the national field of youth work.
For society/your community in general:
It is shown that those people who have only achieved basic education certificate are in larger risk to become marginalized. By helping and supporting young people to continue studying to upper secondary level and by offering help for completing their studies in Vantaa Vocational college Varia we can improve employment rates and well-fare of the citizens of Vantaa.