This year, the Annual Convention focusses on young people’s social inclusion and on good practices to respond to their complex needs. Today, we highlight several important aspects for the development of European youth policy and practice:
- Develop integrated services for vulnerable young people: Young people are a diverse group, among them are young people in public care, young carers, unaccompanied migrant children, young people with mental health problems or disabilities, and early school leavers. They often find themselves in challenging life circumstances that require integrated support from different professionals, be that social workers, teachers, carers, mental health professionals, or job coaches.
- Respond to the needs of young carers across Europe: Young carers are children and young adults who provide care for a parent or relative in the community, usually within their own home. They can perform the most personal and intimate of tasks, often without any help or support from welfare agencies. Many young carers provide care at great personal expense – they are deprived of their childhood, few have established friendships or other support networks. Young carers are at greater risk of not completing their formal education and are less able to enter into higher education reducing their life chances and increasing their social exclusion.
- Address the causes of ill health and the barriers to well-being: Poor mental and physical health, and the unhealthy environments and behaviours which cause them, can block young people from the labour market. Subsequent financial and social exclusion leads to further ill health, leading to a viscous cycle and long-term negative impacts. To effectively address these challenges and build resilient labour markets, we need to tackle risks for ill health and barriers to well-being. Support should focus on the needs of the most vulnerable, as they are most affected.
This is a shared statement signed by three different European networks about young people’s social inclusion and complements the jointly prepared ACIG session on “Barriers and success factors to facilitate young people’s social and labour market participation”.
The EUROPEAN SOCIAL NETWORK is the network for local public social services
EUROHEALTHNET is a partnership of organisations, agencies and statutory bodies working to improve health, equity, and wellbeing.
EUROCARERS is the network representing informal carers and their organisations