Die Future of Youth Work: Changes of Society and Profession

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 47 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Arno HEIMGARTNER, University of Graz, Austria
Presently youth work is strongly changing. New social duties, but also new professional considerations push the youth work to develop new concepts and new services. Subjects like the relation of youth work and all-day school, youth work and employment, youth work and cultural differences, youth work and family problems, youth work and individual crises cause a change. Besides the role of the youth work between time out and support, between acceptance and education, between consumption and participation has to be reflected. In particular, the question how youth workers should be trained for these tasks is arising, because the present educational backgrounds are very heterogeneous. Career changers, graduates from courses and academics work together. Moreover, volunteers are important for the work, so that a relation of paid and unpaid employees exists. The presented study has qualitatively questioned 45 experts of youth work in youth centers, in the administration and in the training centres in Austria to get their perception and plans. Besides, employees (N = 92) and youngsters (N = 191) were asked with the help of an on-line tool to characterize the present youth work. The results try to illustrate the present situation of youth work and to derive at the same time existing and necessary developments for the future of youth work.