The article presents the results of research that studied a project in an area of northern Italy aim- ing to carry out community work interventions to benefit and promote the participation of young people with the support of community advocates. Three community advocates and three community social workers worked with young people to listen to their proposals and help them present their ideas to the relevant local authorities. Qualitative research was conducted to understand in which areas and to what extent young people were able to participate in developing community interven- tions; what were the outcomes of their participation and what role the community advocates play. Five in-person focus groups with young people and six semi-structured interviews with community advocates and community social workers were conducted. A thematic analysis of the transcript was completed. Results show that youth participation in the definition of social interventions within local communities is helpful on two levels: it allows to identify concrete initiatives of genuine interest to young people living in those areas, and it is an opportunity to experience a process of empower- ment generating further interest in participating, active citizenship and social capital. However, it is also confirmed that youth participation is not easy. The research highlights the importance of offering young people specific support to encourage their participation. Community advocates can play a crucial role in preparing young people to participate, deciding what to ask adults, and understanding how to engage with local authorities.

Calcaterra, V., The community advocates: Promoting young people’s participation in community work projects, <<RELATIONAL SOCIAL WORK>>, 2022; 6 (2): 58-70. [doi:10.14605/RSW622203] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/219925]

The community advocates: Promoting young people’s participation in community work projects

Calcaterra, Valentina
2022

Abstract

The article presents the results of research that studied a project in an area of northern Italy aim- ing to carry out community work interventions to benefit and promote the participation of young people with the support of community advocates. Three community advocates and three community social workers worked with young people to listen to their proposals and help them present their ideas to the relevant local authorities. Qualitative research was conducted to understand in which areas and to what extent young people were able to participate in developing community interven- tions; what were the outcomes of their participation and what role the community advocates play. Five in-person focus groups with young people and six semi-structured interviews with community advocates and community social workers were conducted. A thematic analysis of the transcript was completed. Results show that youth participation in the definition of social interventions within local communities is helpful on two levels: it allows to identify concrete initiatives of genuine interest to young people living in those areas, and it is an opportunity to experience a process of empower- ment generating further interest in participating, active citizenship and social capital. However, it is also confirmed that youth participation is not easy. The research highlights the importance of offering young people specific support to encourage their participation. Community advocates can play a crucial role in preparing young people to participate, deciding what to ask adults, and understanding how to engage with local authorities.
Inglese
Calcaterra, V., The community advocates: Promoting young people’s participation in community work projects, <<RELATIONAL SOCIAL WORK>>, 2022; 6 (2): 58-70. [doi:10.14605/RSW622203] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/219925]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10807/219925
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