YOUTH POLICY DEVELOPMENT IN NORTH-HOLLAND.
Introduction to provincial welfare policy, youth work and youth
Mr. Delegate, ladies and Gentlemen,
It is both a pleasure and an honour for me to tell you something about the provincial policy for young people in North-Holland and also about the work done by the organisation, which I am representing today, the Council for Young Policy.
Iíll begin with a short outline of
Levels of administration and provincial areas.
Government in the Netherlands recognises
At the moment there are 740 local councils and 12 provinces.
Provinces are responsible for
Welfare policy covers the areas of the arts, education, health, emancipation, social and welfare work, sports and leisure activities.
In regard of particular groups efforts are being made to strive for a policy based on categories. It concerns groups who are socially or economically not so far advanced or who are hindered in their progress because of for exemple emancipation problems.
Central Government used to have a central policy in these areas. They developed laws and regulations and provided the means to carry them out. Provinces and local councils carried out in the past a "supplementary" marginal policy.
A decentralised policy is carried out at present, but with the exception of education. Tasks and responsibilities are clearly defined and the relevant financial means are transferred to lower government levels.
Local Councils are now directly responsible for carrying out policy in behalf of for example:
in short: the performing institutions.
Provinces are responsible for maintaining regional ad provincial organisations for promoting and supporting the performing institutions.
Central Government remains responsible for formulating new policies, work and methodology development, general support and provision of general information.
The provinces developed, following an initiative taken by Central Government, a procedure for planning welfare policy, so that it is possible for all inhabitants to be represented whether or not they are members of an organisation.
Welfare policy in North-Holland 1986.
There are 81 local (village/city) councils in the province.
In the 80 councils areas there are 1.630.000 people living
In 1983 the first four-year plan was laid down for welfare work.
The Province prefers those facilities which are directed at less-favoured groups in society and which are available to large numbers of the population.
As I have already stated the Province is responsible for supporting the "carrying-out" work.
In other words: The province subsidises those organisations which have a supporting function.
Some of the elements of the support-function are:
Most time is spent in practice on the supporting elements, mainly because finance is limited. There are, in addition to the elements mentioned, also possibilities for research, study and innovation, where they may lead to an improvement in quality of the work being carried out.
The following work areas are covered by the plan for welfare work: artistic forming, amateur dramatics, forming and development work, building-up society, sport, emancipation work and youth work, over which I shall give you more information now.
The province provides support in this category for:
In this category the Province subsidises 14 organisations, in which a total of 83 persons are employed for an average of 29 hours a week.
Nearly all of these organisations have their own specific work-area
Plans are being developed at the moment, based on study and research, which should lead to a single integrated support system.
Perhaps a small scale provision for 10 or 12 councils for direct help of general nature, and where 2 or 3 persons could be employed.
There could be in addition one provincial facility where certain specific experts could be made available when required.
Several organisations are resisting this reorganisation plan because they fear they would lose their identities. The Province is certainly of the opinion that reorganisation would lead to better use of investment. Overlaps would be eliminated and services could be developed and offered centrally. It will also be possible to ensure a better distribution and accessibility of the facilities.
My organisation, the Council for Youth Policy, is undertaking the necessary research on behalf of the provincial administration.
That takes us to the last section of my introduction: Policy for the Youth.
Policy for the youth in North-Holland.
The first of these, Youth Work Policy, is mainly concerned with
"The general aim of the welfare policy and the related premises are also valid for the youth policy. The province administration considers the youth policy as an entirety of means an activities which are intended to provide the means for young people to develop and find their own place in society."
"The province stimulates, against a background of high unemployment and
homelessness among young people, participation by young people in society and also in the formation of policy witch regard to
Policy must be based upon the following:
It must of course be realised that "youth" consists of a very varied group, that financial means are limited and above all that there are limits to provincial authority and responsibilities.
In short: a clear statement of policy to provide as much as possible for young people, given the shortages of finance and authority possessed by the province.
It can be seen from the financial means provided how serious the Province takes its policy for young people: Youth work has not yet had to be curtailed, in spite of the social Ė economic recession, more has in fact been received; expenditure on projects for unemployed persons has increased; funds for youth accommodation and stimulation projects have been maintained and our Council has received extra financial support.
In 1983 the Province spent 2.200.000 euro;
The Council for Youth Policy.
The council consists of 30 people who are familiar with the problems of youth and who
An office, giving employment to eight people, is available to help the Council carry out its work. In addition to supporting the sections the office carries out, coordinates and develop experiments designed to improve policy towards juveniles.
The Council participates in addition in a trial-project for school leavers and a project for participation in the arts. The council has emphasised more than ever, after the first two years of its new existence, the importance of involving young people directly in the development of its work. There have been for example conferences for pupils in school councils and schoolnewspapers.
In four weeks there will begin an experiment of involving young people in political policy at local council level as a part of a trial project t develop youth policy in the region West-Friesland.
I shall end my review by giving you some information on this special experiment.
Trail project West-Friesland.
After the first year of its (new) existence, during which general exploration took place, it was found by the Council that, in addition to working in sections preparing advice and commentary (upon request and its own initiative) for government and organisations, there should be an experiment developed, in which a broad policy for young people would be made definite.
The region West-Friesland has been chosen for this experiment. Its an area consisting of 13 local councils, including one town with 50.000 inhabitants.
The 13 councils comprise together 82 hamlets and villages containing a total of 187.000 inhabitants.
It was decided at a first step to carry out research into the facilities-pattern for young people and the development of local council policy.
The next step would then be to develop a few experiments, based on the information received from the research mentioned, with which experience could be gained, and which would then be transferable to the other regions of North-Holland (the third step).
Information has also been gathered during the first six months of the year, concerning the composition of the population, education facilities, absence from school, provisions for social assistence, sport and youth work, as well as the problem which were experienced
Research, via local council budgets and policy planning,
The results were discussed with representatives from the council,
A first attempt was also made via a series of interviews to find out
The first step provided a number of temporary conclusions, which where:
Now follow-up projects based on these conclusions are being developed in these projects the three welfare sections Education, Assistence and Youthwork will cooperate.
The follow-up projects cover the problem fields alcohol addition, employment for young people, experimental behaviour in higher education, local council youth participation in policy.
The whole project will be rounded off in November 1987 with a complete
The council hopes in this way, by way of proof, to provide support for a
I hope Mr. Delegate, Ladies and Gentlemen, that I have given you an insight into
Thank you very much.
Zaanstad, 17 april 1986,