The national association of professional open youth work in Austria (bOJA) initiated a series of virtual meetings (via Zoom) that offered professionals from open youth work a space for discussing relevant topics with experts. Topics such as collaborative apps, fake news or online counselling were covered. Austrian youth workers responded very well to this offer and would want to continue this form of professional support also after the pandemic. For now all information – reports, links to the videos and more – can be found on:
https://www.boja.at/boja-talks (German only)
James Harris is a youth worker from western Australia who shares insights from his work in digital engagement, through the lens of youth work by producing a practical, non-techie guide.
He says: “Although the world has radically shifted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and though we need to learn new skills and master new tools, the core focus remains the same. As youth workers we are strengths-based practitioners, looking to build up protective factors in the lives of young people. We don’t need to reinvent youth work. We are just doing it with a new vehicle.”
Go to www.youthwork.io and get his “Practical, Non-Techie Guide for Digital Youth Work”
Behind www.digitalyouthwork.eu is a partnership of youth work (related) organisations that aimed at supporting digital youth work already long before the current Corona crisis. They collected methods, exchanged knowledge and provide loads of material and background information on their webstie.
Of course they did react to the need of the youth work field to jump into online youth work from one day to the other and did so by putting up some tips compiled by Verke, the centre for expertise on Digital youth work in Finland. They were originally made for the Finnish youth sector, so you might have to make adjustments that take into account your particular youth work goals and traditions, as well as any legislation guiding the field in your country. But it is a good structured starting point for your own plannings. Have a look here.
Perg is a rather small district in Upper Austria. In this district there are about 6 institutions of professional open youth work with 12 employees. They were previously difficult to reach with the topic of digital youth work and then came Corona…
Within 2 days, all institutions switched over to digital services. It is due to the flexibility of the field of work that youth workers can quickly adapt to new situations. Of course, there was a need for exchange and support. The Austrian network of Open Youth work bOJA has board members in every province, who support the field in their own area. This made it possible to offer professional support also in small regions. Professional open youth work of the district will certainly network more often in the future, also digitally.
“Youth Worker, come stai?” is an online, not structured and selfdirective meeting among youth workers in Italy. The first meeting started a bit by chance by the need of sharing the youth work challenges during the CODIV19 crisis. The meeting had a big success and showed a clear need to have a common space and time to discuss, share and connect among youth workers. The meeting now is becoming an “appointment” every 10 days, where youth workers from all over Italy meet to share experiences, methods and important topics for professional development. Youth workers have been sharing ideas, best practices, etc as well as strategies for anational recognition of youth work (still missing in Italy).
Interested and speaking italian? Join here