For young people
If you need help with something, outreach youth workers are there for you. They can also help you discover your own thing. If you are not sure who you should talk to, talk to an outreach youth worker! The service is meant for everyone under 29 years of age, and it is available in almost every municipality in Finland.
When to contact outreach youth workers?
- Cannot figure out what to do next?
- Do you have difficulties with money or other everyday matters?
- Would you like to talk with someone confidentially about the matters on your mind?
- Are you looking for your own thing?
An outreach youth worker is there to support you in whatever you feel is important and necessary!
- There is nothing you cannot ask about, and there are no problems that cannot be worked out with an outreach youth worker. Sometimes life throws large problems at you, in which case the outreach youth worker will support you for a longer time. Sometimes you can find answers quickly, in which case you can work with the outreach youth worker just for a short while. You decide!
- An outreach youth worker always wants to know what motivates and interests you. If you have not discovered your own thing yet, you can also figure it out with an outreach youth worker.
- According to the principles of outreach youth work, you and the youth worker work together to investigate, take action and find solutions to the matters in your life.
- However, an outreach youth worker will not make any decisions for you or act on your behalf. The matters you discuss and the actions you take in life are up to you to decide.
- Your work with an outreach youth worker is always voluntary and based on trust. The youth worker is bound by professional secrecy and will not do anything without your permission.
- You can also get support anonymously!
Do not hesitate to contact the outreach youth workers in your home area. They will support you with the matters on your mind, and you may also gain new perspectives and find out what you like and what motivates you!
Outreach youth work is always free of charge and completely voluntary.
When to contact outreach youth workers?
Outreach youth work is usually begins when a young person contacts outreach youth workers, provides them with information and requests for support. Outreach youth work may also be based on information provided by the authorities and other actors. The Youth Act governs the situations where information may be provided to outreach youth workers.
1. Education providers must inform outreach youth work about young people who finish basic education and do not find a subsequent place to study.
2. Education providers must inform outreach youth work about young people who drop out of vocational or upper secondary education.
3. The Finnish Defence Forces and the Civil Service Centre must inform outreach youth work about young people who are discharged from military or civilian service on the grounds of being unsuitable for service or who discontinue their service.
WHEN SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE BE REFERRED TO OUTREACH YOUTH WORK?
- When an authority or another actor concludes, based on the information available to them in their position, that a young person needs support and guidance that is not directly available from the authority itself or another actor or sector.
- When a young person is not ready to independently commit to the service they need or when they need a large variety of services.
- When a young person has not committed to the services or activity they are attending, and it has been estimated that they are at risk of falling out or have already fallen out of the service in question.
- When the young person’s need for support has been discussed with them and the young person has consented to having their personal and contact information disclosed (those who are bound by a duty to report must disclose the young person’s information even without their consent).
EXAMPLES OF EVERYDAY SITUATIONS WHERE OUTREACH YOUTH WORK COULD HELP YOUNG PEOPLE
- A young person always leaves things until the last minute or does them late, and a professional assessment concludes that getting things done alone without support poses a challenge for the young person.
- A young person repeatedly has the same issues when taking care of their matters, they cannot solve them on their own, but it is not clear what would be the right form of support for them.
- A young person needs several services or needs to contact several government agencies to handle their matters, and a professional assessment concludes that the young person will not be able to do all this without support.
HOW TO REFER A YOUNG PERSON TO OUTREACH YOUTH WORK?
- Start by talking to the young person about your worry. Suggest that they can turn to outreach youth workers for support if they want to
- Tell the young person that outreach youth work is a voluntary service that they can attend on their own terms to get support from a professional youth worker in the areas where support is needed.
- Emphasise the fact that outreach youth work is confidential and based on whatever information the young person decides to share. If the young person gives their consent, the party who refers the young person to outreach youth work can provide the youth workers with the young person’s personal and contact information. This enables the youth workers to contact the young person. The young person has the right to refuse or stop using the service at any time without any sanctions.
- Remember that young people may also use outreach youth work services anonymously. Find ways to make this possible in your organisation. If a young person wants to remain anonymous, help them find the best way to get in touch with outreach youth workers anonymously. Inform the youth workers clearly that the young person wishes to remain anonymous. Support the young person in the transition towards becoming an outreach youth work client.
Outreach youth workers across Finland are listed on this website.