Youth counseling increasingly important

Youth counseling increasingly important

This is something to consider in youth services planning: young people may need more qualified contacts in the future in a world that is becoming more and more complex. Today, children and young people are often under pressure to perform, have to be strong at school, meet their parents' ideals and shine in social interactions. Problems, worries, fears are not absent. But it's not easy for young people to go to an official counseling center, if they are aware of their problems at all. You might talk to your friend from karate school, your soccer coach or the leader of your local youth club about what's bothering you. In municipal youth welfare planning, the assumption is that "youth counseling" is an important part of the planning process can function in this way, and therefore the legal mandate of the district (SGB VIII) is fulfilled.

Since 1997, the counties themselves have had to actively determine the existence, needs and planning of youth welfare facilities and services. This youth support planning has become established and has yielded good results. In 2001, youth counseling was added as a new planning area. In the youngest youth welfare committee, district youth welfare officer melanie schafer presented the update. According to the brochure, youth counseling is general counseling for volunteers from youth work groups, associations and clubs.

Also full-time employees from municipalities (youth workers) or church (youth chaplains) can provide youth counseling. Such an offer is based on the "individual, personal problem situations" the young people are oriented and put "no acute emergency" ahead, it says in the newly published planning report. Advice should be provided at a low level and "almost unconsciously in the context of conversations".

Complex requirements

In the event of acute problems, the respective language partners must refer the young people to professional help. When looking for the right counseling center, the HELP brochure of the district can help, which comprehensively presents the wide range of counseling services in the district.

Nevertheless, the latest planning report clearly shows that youth counseling is becoming more and more important. Because social structures are changing, becoming more complex and opaque. The extended family, in which one used to have numerous contacts, no longer exists. Children and young people are often torn away from their personal environment by the separation or divorce of their parents and have to move. And last but not least, there are the digital media, which offer a confusing world in which young people have to find their way.

At a networking meeting of various institutions, it became clear that there are a number of different qualified consulting options in the district, schafer told the committee. And yet, certain problem areas were not yet recorded by these advisory bodies. These include issues such as self-injurious behavior, eating disorders, mental health problems and sexual violence education.

A general, full-time youth counseling service is currently only available at the counseling center for parents, children and adolescents of the caritas association in the form of a weekly open youth consultation hour.

The planning report states that there is currently no acute need for action to set up a youth counseling center. However, this could change at some point. Then the planners recommend that the district set up youth counseling centers at several locations in the district – specifically in bad bruckenau, bad kissingen and hammelburg. 


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