The main topic of an interactive webinar for social workers and all interested persons was successful experience earned in Caritas Ukraine project “Mobile Work with Youth”. National coordinator of Caritas Ukraine Zoryana Lukavetska and coordinator of Caritas Kyiv Irina Pukhnyak in their speech represented more than 10 years of social work with children in 5 cities of Ukraine. Information platform “Knowledge Center” with support of UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was broadcasting web-presentation.
“Mobile Work with Youth” is one of the most stable social projects for children in Ukraine. Caritas Ukraine started implementation of the project over 10 years ago with the support of Caritas Germany. Key centers of Caritas’ “mobile work” are operating in 5 Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky.
Each center usually takes care of 30 children and adolescents in difficult situations. It helps them with reintegration and social adaptation. The project includes individual counseling as well as group social and educational work with youth, and revitalization of communities. Work on the street is also important. Regular meetings outside institutions and centers help to know better the environment of young people.
Specialists from Caritas stated that “Mobile Work” is a very successful model “to achieve the unattainable” and help children who for some reason can not apply to social centers. Workers of the project work with children and adolescents in their social space, including streets and gathering places of youth in different parts of the city. It helps to establish mutual understanding between social workers and young people. While it is a territory of children and their kind of “safe zone”, they feel free and protected there, so they are more open to dialogue.
The principal feature of the project is to help children and adolescents to provide targeted aid according to their needs and requests. It is important that social workers of “Mobile Work” do not solve the problems of communities caused by youth that cannot adapt and integrate into the local group. But the project focuses on solving the actual problems of young people, helping every child in their needs, supporting them, disclosing their own volitional resources.
One of the key features of the project is a complex support of each young man. Advisory work of social worker covers all issues relevant to the ward, and every their problem. Their communication is necessarily based on acceptance and understanding, and contains no condemnation. The purpose of social work with teenagers is to create an environment of trust where children feel free to look for their internal resources and solve their problems by themselves, developing their personality. The task of the social worker is to inspire, encourage, and assist children in finding resources and opportunities.
Project of mobile work is most deprived of formalities. There are no complicated procedures for appeal which would obstruct timely counseling. Helping children is only voluntary, and confidential – at the request of a child. Project work takes into account gender features and intercultural approach.