Goals and purpose of the organisation:
- Contribute to professional development and increased competence within the field of outreach work.
- Make outreach work, and the various professional challenges experienced within the youth community, visible and on the agenda.
- Contribute to a good flow of communication between outreach workers and relevant professional institutions and the society at large.
- Contribute to establishment of contact between outreach workers on a local, regional and national level.
- Provide practical help and support to outreach workers at risk of financial cutbacks, and/or organisational restructuring.
- Provide information and help to counties wanting to establish an Outreach Service locally.
- Contribute to international cooperation with similar organisations world wide.
The nature of Outreach Work in Norway:
Outreach Workers work with secondary prevention amongst children and youth. The main principal of the work method in use, is to actively reach out to youth in need of support or help. These individuals are often not, or at an insufficient level, being reached by other parts of the public support system. The intention is to establish contact with the youth at the earliest stage possible, and motivate them to alternative activities, help or counselling.
Outreach Workers work amongst and within youth communities in the city streets, in shopping malls, train and subway stations, gas stations, street food vendors and wherever else youth spend time.
Outreach Workers work in close cooperation with youth clubs, schools, child protection services, school nurses, preventative police units, and the families of the youth involved.
Outreach Workers follow up youth on an individual basis, and coordinate various group activities (examples; conversation groups, sports, art etc.).
Outreach Workers councils youth, and directs them further to the appropriate service provider when it is needed.
How Outreach Workers work on a local level varies depending on the size of the unit, resources and other local factors.
Topics that youth bring up with Outreach Workers (or vice versa) varies to a great extent, and could be the following:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Violence and assaults
- Family and friends (conflicts, worries related to this)
- School, education and work
- Racism and discrimination
- Psychological problems and conditions (eating disorders, anxiety, suicidal thoughts)
Good preventative work!
By applying the principals of outreach work, the Outreach Workers establishes contact with youth at risk at an early stage. Outreach Workers have a goal of being easily accessible to youth, with strong focus on being unbureaucratic and flexible in the way they are perceived.
If you want to learn more about Outreach Workers or the Norwegian Association of Outreach Work With Youth, please do not hesitate to contact us here.