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Parents and youth work

What is the role of parents when it comes to the participation of children and adolescents in youth work in Flanders?

Research project assigned by the Flemish government, Social-Cultural Work Agency, Department of Youth.

The Flemish Government want to obtain a clearer view on the role of parents in the participation of children and adolescents in youth work in Flanders, with special attention for disadvantaged groups.

This assignment also corresponds to a question we received earlier from the youth organization FOS Open Scouting, who wish to obtain a better view on the expectations of parents, in order to increase their enrolment number.

Our research consists of four phases:

  • Literature
  • Interviews with parents and focus groups with professionals
  • A wide-spread online survey, combined with face-to-face interviews of the same questionnaire. This method allows us to map the participation in youth work of vulnerable families as well.
  • Draw up recommendations for policymakers and final conclusion.

Students at work

Second year student in Family Studies (the adult program) interviewed families in the spring of 2015. Guided by Kristien Nys, they conducted semi-structured interviews with ‘triads’ or at least ‘dyads’ of mothers and/or fathers and adolescents.

In choosing their interviewees they kept the diversity of the research population in mind: families with and without a migration history; vulnerable or disadvantaged families; families with and without experience in youth work; families with young children and families with teenagers; and other parameters like urbanization rate, family composition, …

The students inquired after the experiences of these families with youth work. Were the parents member of a youth organization when they were children? Are the children active in youth work? Are they or were they satisfied with it? What do parents expect of youth work? What do children expect? What could be better? What does ‘qualitative’ youth work mean to them?

Researchers: Kristien Nys and Evelyn Morreel

Partner: Research unit Family- and Orthopedagogics of the KULeuven, prof. dr. Karla Van Leeuwen

Sponsor: Flemish government, Social-Cultural Work Agency, Department of Youth

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Evelyn Morreel

Telefoon: 02 240 68 46
Locatie: Campus Schaarbeek

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