The UP2YOUTH collection of
practices is presented in an attempt to demonstrate how agency in these three
UP2YOUTH topics is facilitated by current policies; policies from which further
positive development could flow by either generalizing the successful
strategies or, alternatively, by avoiding the failures that some of these
examples quite clearly show. The collection was inspired by the implications for policy and practice chapter of the UP2YOUTH report.
Therefore, this collection
is not (as is usual) entitled ‘good practices', as it includes practices which
although interesting do involve problematic aspects. These aspects include
restricted financial resources, a very ‘thin' spread, and no clear evaluation
A searching format was employed
which asked for both the ‘strengths and weaknesses' of the measures
reviewed. This format also sought to
explicitly open space for the researchers own evaluations and for the
deployment of their professionally informed critical commentary. This feature
allowed for the inclusion of policies which have definite weaknesses, but are
also extremely interesting for specific reasons; such weaknesses are explicitly
indicated, although we must stress that the respective researchers did not
evaluate these practices themselves.
The collection of current practices is not exhaustive but
heterogeneous and ranges from:
Correspondingly, the extent to which these programmes address
their target groups vary; from a broad spread as exampled by the ‘Brede
Schools' in Holland to the very ‘thin' spread as portrayed by the Family
Centres in Bulgaria. Most of these programmes originate with the intention of
addressing specific target groups only.
The programmes are very disparate in relation to the issues
and topics addressed. A significant number of them are covering more than one
topic. For example, in Emilia Romagna the ‘Centres for Families' address
transitions into parenthood and work involving ethnic minority and migrant
young people, whilst the Valencia Project 'Todas Cabemos' bridges
ethnic/migrant transition and the issues around participation.
Substantive differences emerge in how these programmes
address young people: some address young people as autonomous whilst some
operate from a strong deficit-oriented perspective: most of the Romanian
programmes appear to be deficit orientated, have an integration mechanism/human
rights perspective, or focus on employability.
Correspondingly, there is a significant scale of difference
pertaining in how the young people themselves are involved in developing these
programmes; the degree of being self-steered and bottom-up-organised, or the
degree of being ‘adult' controlled and developed top-down.
What purpose does this collection of current practices serve?
It may help to give insight into how policies are structured:
in Italy for example, programmes can be found on a local and regional level
only, not on a national level; in France, national level programmes are in
existence but they do not appear as interesting enough to be included in this
What was the criterion in
this search for current projects and policies?
The collection of current
practices has to be read as a collection of snapshots which are of interest for
the further development of policies appropriate to support young people as
agents of social change.
The collection is accompanied by quality criteria for policies according to the three sub-themes of UP2YOUTH: