Principles of outreach youth work
Voluntariness and autonomy – The young person defines their own needs and decides on the direction of their life. Outreach youth workers always base their work on the information the young person decides to give. The young person is always free to choose whether to accept help from outreach youth workers or not.
Youth-orientedness – Outreach youth work takes place where young people are, when they need it, and always in cooperation with the young people themselves. Outreach youth work on is goal-oriented and based on the needs of each young person. The young person is the one who lays down goals for their life.
Respect – A comprehensive, humanistic understanding of humanity, respecting young people as they are, equality and reciprocity, human dignity, and acceptance of the young person’s values.
Walking side by side – Outreach youth work helps young people find solutions to the challenges they are facing in life and find the services they need and commit to using them. Outreach youth workers will not transfer a young person from one youth worker to another by surprise, and they will stay in the young person’s life for as long as the young people wishes or needs. The young person is always welcome back, “the door stays open”. Outreach youth workers are genuinely present.
On a young person’s side but not on their behalf – A young person is a subject who takes action to solve challenges and build the kind of future they want. Outreach youth work supports the young person but does not solve their challenges for them. The young person is responsible for their own life. Outreach youth work motivates and supports the young person to make choices that are good for them.
Confidentiality – A young person’s cooperation with an outreach youth worker is built on trust, understanding, transparency and honesty.
Comprehensiveness – The work is directed by the young person’s overall well-being, individual needs and the services required to meet those needs. It is important that support and services are available at the right time.
Multidisciplinary cooperation – Outreach youth workers are highly familiar with the services available for young people but they are not experts in every area. An outreach youth worker collaborates with the young person to sort out their matters. The youth worker also knows how to benefit from their professional networks, if needed. If necessary, outreach youth workers refer the young person to other professional services.