Shrinking spaces: Youth work under pressure

Europe at the 17th German Child and Youth Welfare Congress

In many ways, the current financial, legal and social developments pose a great challenge for civil society organisations and youth work providers. Public budgets for youth work are being slashed, legal obstacles (e. g., non-profit status) are hampering civic engagement and social development, and general societal trends such as isolationism, (right-wing) populism and increasingly hostile polarisation are spreading across Europe.

On the one hand, these developments are limiting civil society groups’ (and in turn, youth work’s) scope for action; on the other, they require that the youth work community take a clear and confident stance when faced with these threats. What role can and should youth work occupy in this situation? How can youth work reconcile its societal mission to empower young people to live an independent life with the strained financial and political situation in which it operates? The presentations and workshops in this expert forum were an opportunity to discuss these matters, exchange good practices, and find responses to these questions.

Workshops at the 17th German Child and Youth Welfare Congress
19 May 2021:

YOUTH WORK UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE RIGHT

The rise of the political right, increasing state-sponsored restrictions and social division are a major challenge for the youth work community in many countries. In this situation, how can youth work maintain its scope for action?

PDF document: Shrinking Civic Space for Youth - Prof. Dr. Tomaž Deželan

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SHRINKING BUDGETS: POST CORONA, WHAT WILL BE LEFT?

The youth work sector is no stranger to tight budgets. But to what extent have the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences made things even worse? How can youth work maintain its scope for action in this situation?

PDF document: Impact of Corona - Andreas Karsten

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WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES SHIFT: YOUTH WORK’S RESPONSE TO SOCIAL CHANGE

At this event we want to discuss how youth work can maintain its scope for action in light of demographic change, rising social inequalities and rural flight among young people.

PDF document: Youth Centre Grabrik - Aleksandra Podrebarac

PDF document: A critical return - Cristina Bacalso

PDF document: When circumstances shift - Siri Hummel

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NEW SPACES FOR YOUTH WORK – OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF DIGITALISATION

Digitalisation has opened up new spaces for youth work to use in their activities for young people. On the one hand, this is resulting in entirely new opportunities; on the other, there are also major challenges. How is the youth work community responding to digitalisation? And how could it do better?

PDF document: Digitalisation - Restricting Civil Society and Challenging Youth Agency - Lasse Siurala

PDF document: Expanding Horizons: Opportunities and Challenges for Youth Work - Anne Kivimae

PDF document: LGBT-free zones - Justyna Nakielska

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