Mobile Youth Work in the Global Context

22 Aug 2017
International Society for Mobile Youth Work
Walter Specht

The International Society for Mobile Youth Work grants public access to a collection of volumes containing the proceedings and conclusions of a series of symposia on mobile youth work in Georgia, Estonia, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic. The content provided outlines different methodologies and practices in the field of mobile youth work across different geographical contexts. Each volume is available in the language of each country and may be used to compare and evaluate good practices to be implemented in street work that targets children in street situations (CSS).

  • Mobile Youth Work

According to the UN Commission on Human Rights, the term 'street children' - although the term 'children in street situations is now preferred - describes 

 any girl or boy [...] for whom the street (in the broadest sense of the word, including unoccupied dwellings, wasteland, etc.) has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood, and who is inadequately protected, supervised or directed by responsible adults.

Although it is rather tricky to define the prototypical ‘child in street situations’, the description of the services of which such child is the primary beneficiary is not as challenging. Mobile youth work is an outreach type of work based in urban areas: teams of qualified professionals identify and monitor spaces in which CSS are most likely to gather, they make themselves visible and work on the establishment of contacts with the targeted groups. The ultimate aim is to build strong relationships based on trust, to facilitate the spontaneous transition from a street situation to a context in which children may receive adequate responses to their basic needs. It focuses on sustainable solutions and community networks to provide social and/or protection services destined to children. Services are however not ‘imposed from above’: children are seen as the main actors of their own development, and great emphasis is put on their own ability to build up their own future.

The volume titled Mobile Youth Work in the Global Context (available here) provides an extensive definition of Mobile Youth Work methods and practices and compares how the principle driving this type of social work are received in Germany, UK, France, Slovakia, Ukraine, Georgia, USA and Kenya.

The country-based symposia proceedings provide a close overview of the preferred methodologies adopted in the early 2000s. The volumes can be found here

Language(s) of materials: 
Country(s) this content is relevant to: 
Czech Republic
Series this is part of: 

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