Social Work goes Social Web
Upcoming European conference on the positive influence of social work on vulnerable children’s and youths’ online safety
Berlin/Brussels, March 18th, 2014 - World Social Work Day underlines the contribution of social work to society. Here, the work with young people in due consideration of their communication behaviour is an integral part. The final conference of the European project SocialWeb - SocialWork on the 8th of April 2014 in Berlin focuses on the positive influence of social work on the online usage of children and youths at risk.
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) highlights that "working with children is highly complex because the social worker has to understand how children communicate, what they are communicating through their age and stage of development and how to work with them and their families and communities. […] This reinforces the need for a high level of education for the profession."
Nowadays means of communication such as digital media are extensively used by young people, but unfortunately professionals of social youth work have hardly been prepared by their education for this challenge so far. Although knowledge about the media usage of young people and the understanding of their online fascination certainly exists among social workers, their need for further qualification is confirmed by the survey results of the European project SocialWeb - SocialWork. Over 90 percent of the respondents assess the training on online safety for children and youths they obtained as useful and almost 100 percent would recommend it to other colleagues.
"Even if social workers are familiar with the Social Web and its appliances due to their private usage, the rapidly changing online behaviour of their young clientele and the potentially associated risks and threats have become a major topic in their daily work", explains Jutta Croll, managing director of the project coordinator Stiftung Digitale Chancen. "The project SocialWeb - SocialWork was developed and implemented over the last two years to help these professionals cope with the new challenge but also to make them aware of the benefits the Internet provides to children and adolescents at risk."
The final conference of the project on the 8th of April 2014 in Berlin highlights this positive approach by appreciating the importance of the internet as the platform where identity building and personality development of young people takes place. At the event, the final research results from the project evaluation will be presented and first conclusions for a transferability of the approach and outcomes and therefore the scalability of the training course to further groups of professionals in the countries involved as well as to professionals in other European countries will be drawn.
Experts, stakeholders and professionals working in the field of children and youths at risk are kindly invited to participate and register under: http://socialweb-socialwork.eu/content/sections/apply.cfm.
About the project SocialWeb - SocialWork
The project SocialWeb - SocialWork is a knowledge enhancement project in the Safer Internet Programme funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Stiftung Digitale Chancen from Germany. Project partners are Nobody’s Children Foundation (Poland), Fundación Esplai (Spain), Narodni centrum bezpecnejsiho internet (Czech Republic) and RIAP Association (Lithuania). The duration is 24 months from May 2012 till May 2014.
The project is sustained by the expertise of an Advisory Board including (in alphabetical order) John Carr, Dr. Per Christiansen (Hans-Bredow-Institut), Dr. Renata Geležiniene, (Lithuania Republic Special pedagogue association), Loreta Krizinauskiene (Association LIA /Langas I ateiti), Andreas Link (jugendschutz.net), Prof. Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics), Tink Palmer (The Marie Collins Foundation), Ana Luiza Rotta Soares (PROTEGELES).
For more information, please visit the project’s website under www.socialweb-socialwork.eu
About the Stiftung Digitale Chancen
The goal of the Stiftung Digitale Chancen (Digital Opportunities Foundation) is to make people interested in the Internet and to support them with their steps into the digital world. The foundation wants them to become aware of the opportunities this digital medium offers and to make use of them.
Stiftung Digitale Chancen was founded in January 2002 in Berlin by AOL Germany and the University of Bremen. Co-founders are Accenture and the Burda Foundation. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth have taken on the patronage.
For more information, please visit the foundation’s website under www.digitale-chancen.de
Stiftung Digitale Chancen - Managing Director
Tel.: (030 ) 437277-30
Fax: (030) 437277-39
Further information: http://www.socialweb-socialwork.eu
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