In Septmeber, I presented some of my research at the DIPRC2021 ( Digital Inclusion Policy and Research Conference). The topic of my presentation was digital youth work and the Covid-19 pandemic. You can watch a video of my presentation above.
As always, this is just a snapshot of my analaysis, so please feel free to contact me if you'd like to disscuss this in more details. Below, I'm including an abstract for my presentation.
As the coronavirus (COVID19) lockdown measures were imposed in Europe in 2020, youth workers have played crucial roles as moderators between young people, society, the pandemic - and digital technologies. The urgency of staying connected, informed, and entertained meant that digital youth work has emerged as a critical practice to continue to work and support young people. Digital youth work, the term mostly used in Europe (Harvey, 2016; Kiviniemi & Touvimen, 2017), is perceived as a vital part of youth engagement practices and defined as an area of youth work that implements digital technologies to enhance outcomes of youth centred initiatives (Harvey, 2017).
Global policymakers have called for a multilateral approach to protect the future of the “COVID-19 generation” and fight back any unpredicted issues that might arise during and post-pandemic (UNESCO, 2020). It is clear that youth workers have been at the forefront of the battlefield right from its start. All across Europe (and beyond) youth workers utilised available digital tools and skills to keep in touch with young people, to make them feel safe, valued and connected to their communities. In other words, youth workers had no choice but to become moderators between young people, society, the pandemic, and digital technologies
How has COVID-19 affected youth work in Europe? What are some of the lessons that we learnt about digital youth work during the pandemic? And finally, what support do we need to make digital youth work sustainable post-COVID? The aim of this article is to address these questions and propose practice-based and policy recommendations for the European digital youth work. The analysis presented in this paper is based on the outcomes of an open-ended survey with European digital youth workers and three youth-workers online focus groups.