Researchers and Youth Work on the Move - A Study of the Development Projects in Urban Youth Work

Veronika Honkasalo, Tomi Kiilakoski & Antti Kivijärvi

(In Finnish: Tutkijat ja nuorisotyö liikkeellä - Tarkastelussa kaupunkimaisen nuorisotyön kehittämishankkeet)

This study combines the results of two research and development projects of the Kanuuna network. One of the projects dealt with youth clubs and regional youth work, the other with the development of methods for multi-cultural youth work. Overall, 20 cities with over 40,000 inhabitants from all parts of Finland participated in these two studies.

The beginning of the study report takes a broader look at the themes related to the development of youth work: The professionalism of youth work, its target, ethos, environment and the researcher’s roles in the development work. This is followed by a description of the starting point of the club house work project and a look at the things that turned out to be the most important challenges for the development of club house work. A pivotal conclusion is that the development of club house work directs youth workers to focus more on regional work in collaboration with other players in the municipality. The development work has also required the conceptualization of the quiet knowledge related to youth work – opening up the significance of club house work in discussions that cross occupational boundaries. Based on previous studies, the multi-cultural youth work project sought to broaden workers’ skills in things such as equality, anti-racism and multiculturalism in work communities. Together with the researcher, municipalities developed theme areas chosen in advance, and sought to create good practices in multiculturalism. The pivotal themes in the project turned out to be the development of ideas in anti-racist working practices and the comprehensive development of youth services in the form of educational and strategic processes.