In 2016, the Nordic Welfare Centre looked at how the reception of unaccompanied children and youth is organised in the different Nordic countries. While national initiatives are, for obvious reasons, of great importance, what happens locally is also important to ensuring a favourable reception. Here, in the concrete reality of day-today living, many effective working methods are developed.
Project manager Anna Gärdegård approaches the issue from three angles, accommodation, educational initiatives and leisure activities, covering, for example, how municipalities have worked to support unaccompanied minors so that they can successfully establish themselves in society. Providing the right support and organising the right initiatives increases their chances of entering education and gaining employment. The seminar will present a few examples of working methods that have been shown to work well in local contexts.
– The Nordic region sometimes experiences difficulties in the reception of unaccompanied minors. But when things work well, these youngsters receive the necessary help to create independent lives for themselves, says Anna Gärdegård.
Tools in substance abuse care
In municipalities in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, efforts to find local solutions within substance abuse care have paved the way for new working methods. In a joint project, several Nordic municipalities have exchanged knowledge about how to best work with substance abuse care at the local level. What can a single municipality do? Can we improve substance abuse care? The project has seen researchers and practitioners cooperate across national borders to find new working methods.
Three different municipalities produced three concrete tools. One tool is a questionnaire for young people that combines questions about well-being and drug habits. The questionnaire is administered by the school and the youngsters also have the opportunity to ask for help and feedback while answering it. Another tool, a user survey, measures the satisfaction of clients undergoing substitution treatment. What is it that makes treatment work or fail?
– Simply by asking those concerned the clinic learned that its opening hours were not suited to the target group. This dialogue resulted in changes that were better suited to the clients and the care provided also became more effective, says Nina Rehn Mendoza, centre manager at the Nordic Welfare Centre in Helsinki.
A third tool centres on detecting high-risk alcohol or drug use among patients admitted to somatic hospital wards. This is achieved by the hospitals engaging special alcohol counsellors. A brief conversation can result in support measures. One such action could be the involvement of municipal services.
The 25th European Social Services Conference will explore how new innovative practices and technology can help create better local social services for the future.
You will find more information on the conference website: