Professional youth work as a preventive service: towards an integrated conceptual framework

By bringing together, reanalysing and combining the findings from these six studies, we aim to develop the conceptual framework that interprets how a multi-methodic youth work approach may best contribute to the prevention of individual and social problems

Jolanda Sonneveld; Judith Metz; René Schalk; Tine Van Regenmortel

2021

Scholarcy highlights

  • Within Western welfare states, youth policies and social work practices are paying increasing attention to prevention-focused youth services
  • As valuable studies have already been conducted on different youth work methods, a synthesis of these existing studies offers the possibility to interpret the methodic process of youth work and its possible contribution to the prevention of individual and social problems
  • Qualitative synthesis research is an appropriate method to develop a conceptual frame­ work that presents an explicit understanding of the multi-methodic approach of youth workers, formulated on the basis of the variables identified and the evidence gathered in studies of youth work
  • By bringing together, reanalysing and combining the findings from these six studies, we aim to develop the conceptual framework that interprets how a multi-methodic youth work approach may best contribute to the prevention of individual and social problems
  • We explored how notions about youth work outcomes and the methodical process were used in the different studies and in different contexts to represent a line of argument for a conceptual framework that explains how professional youth workers might prevent individual and social problems using a multi-methodic approach
  • We recommend that future evaluation studies with a large sample of youngsters should be undertaken to investigate: 1) to what extent the intended outcomes of a multi-methodic youth work approach are achieved, 2) whether the youngsters’ experience of interaction with youth workers reflects these methodic principles, 3) whether and how methodical principles are long­ itudinally associated with these prevention-focused outcomes and 4) what other individual con­ textual conditions and other preconditions might influence the positive development of youngsters in their transition to adulthood

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