Wellbeing in Youthwork — Poland


Programme: ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course

Dates: 15—22 May 2022

Venue: Darnawa, Poland

National team size: 3.

Deadline pro přihlašování: 18. dubna

Please read the infopack.

Participating countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Sweden

Hosting organisation: Fundacja Cooperacja

Project description:

The project supports the Youth Workers, working with Young People w/fewer opportunities and improves their wellbeing at a personal & professional level, so they feel supported and can better influence YP’s activities in daily life.

As such, the following characteristics of YW have been identified:
1) YWers work most of the time by their passion and believe in the work they do and the effect it has for a common good
and for YP’s development.
2) In most of the cases, and for the partners involved in the project, YW is not seen as a recognized profession yet at national levels and so, the support of YW is not a priority; neither there are long term strategies to sustain YW as a profession, or they are very rare.

On one hand, the EU policies have been working on analyzing the profession of YW and recognizing its importance for social development. On the other hand, the researches show that those measures are not applied at local or regional level yet. Even though YW has been developing in matter of recognition and visibility at EU level, when compared w/the past years, there is still much to be done “as there is a need to recognize youth work for the contribution and value it has in the lives of young people” (EC report); at local level the reality needs still improvement.
From 2): these conclusions affect YWers, represented here as a target of people working w/ young people (as workers at NGO level, psychologists, YWers, coaches, educators, probation officers, youth leaders, etc). Thus, YWers often face a reality in which, they work hard to assist young people and get the best methodology of support according to the target groups they work with (usually, a job which does not has a set daily schedule, but a permanent work and vigilance, when you do it w/passion), they often work w/young people facing hard personal situation, the bureaucracy often requires more time than the actually work in the field w/young people, the financial support in many countries does not officially exist in a monthly basis for a monthly permanent worker. This is translated into mental tiredness among youth workers, lack of motivation to develop the job itself and often, migration to different kinds of professions better well paid and which require less psychological and deep knowledge-methodology related.
3) There is a huge raising attention being paid on young people’s support, as well as raising grants to work on that support; however, we cannot forget the youth workers who are behind the young person, who support and empower them and who need to have tools to provide ready answers for sustainable youth growth. These were the three starting points understood to need to be developed and so, this TC is a common strategy and attempt to develop support for youth workers.

Project Objectives:
– To create a support network of youth workers,
– To discuss difficulties faced in the profession and opportunities to overcome them;
– To explore and learn methods and tools to oversee overall wellbeing in youth work, at emotional, physical, mental and emotional level;
– To develop strategies for self-awareness, self-management, self-regulation, empathy, social skills and intrinsic motivation.

The project comes after the analysis of youth work(YW) in Europe in an open perspective of personal and professional development and growth. The need for this project was recognized, when the field of youth work has been discussed in the matter of its quality improvement and its recognition at European level. The realities in the matter of youth work are different at European level, when working in the field. After reflections and discussions, we’ve understood that in some countries YWers have clear support from institutions, municipality or governmental strategies for the development of the profession. Our analysis went deeper in the matter of the psychological health of youth workers, applied in dynamic and different realities. We’ve noticed many step backs in the matter of motivation among YWers, in many cases burn outs and lack of motivation and so, we dig deeper in understanding all these elements. From all those reflections, we’ve wondered what can be done, so the YWers feel supported in their career and, consequently, deliver better support to YP and have a bigger impact on their development, the guidelines which drove this project.

Activity aims:
The Training Course will support youth work development and capacity by working with wellbeing methodologies to support youth workers as individuals and as professionals. During the TC the youth workers will have the chance to discuss how to develop strategies together, so we can overcome the difficulties recognized at local and european level, diminishing them, giving them time for self understanding and self-development, giving them space for sharing difficulties they face, name the issues and discuss strategies and possible solutions. The TC will also be the time and space for being – meaning that, the youth workers will have the chance to work on mindfulness techniques, being aware of primary objects and the self; and accept the moment of the present. This way, by dropping out the over-information of the busy day, we will reach a level of calm and reflection, or freedom of reflection and work towards youth work empowerment. We will also work on implementing tools needed on a daily basis in youth work; so the YWers will be better equipped and able to deliver them to the young people.

Needs addressed: The TC was divided into concrete blocks to reach for certain priorities.

The TC addresses the needs of YWers to:
– Reach for a better career support in matter of youth work;
– Reach for a higher level of self-esteem and self-consideration at workplace;
– Have a better understanding of the strategies which can help in daily life and activities;
– Get to know more methods for self-development and how to provide better support of young people;
– Have a better understanding of wellbeing in a preventive and sustainable approach, to prevent burnouts and work on methodologies to support profilactic healthy habits;
– Development of growth mindset in YW;
– Feel supported and empowered by a network which can provide knowledge and develop competences related to wellbeing overall; but also, Emotional Intelligence & Emotional management, Mindfulness, psychological management, mentoring and coaching to unlock own potential and the potential of young people;
– Feel better ready with methodologies to support young people and therefore, feel empowered.
The TC addresses the needs of YP to:
– Have well balanced YWers who can provide them support, empowered and motivated to be involved in the activities;
– Understand the importance of wellbeing and positive thinking to better overcome challenges;
– Fell supported by qualified YWers who can feel empowered and have competences to develop support strategies of YP towards challenges;
– Go through processes to unlock and understand emotional needs.
This TC will work on individual’s needs (as the elements to work w youth workers are very based on own needs) in order to understand own successes, levels of energy and understand self and the best way to keep the impact in a sustainable way.

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