Vida Gudžinskienė, Nerijus Ramanauskas


Social work with street youth is highly focused work, during which the relationships are being formed between both- groups of young people, and with individuals within their leisure-time locations, which they visit on their free time; the support is being provided for them in various forms, such as social, personal, and educational help; they are also being referred to the existing organizations or institutions. Street social work aims to prevent young people from being excluded/ choosing to leave the public life, prevent their social exclusion and, while using advantage of the resources of the community, try to achieve their integration. The object of the study: Social worker’s support for young people, who spend their time on the street. The goal of the article: to reveal the specifics of the social work with the youth, who spend time on the street. The goal is being concretised with the following tasks: 1) to reveal the theoretical and practical nature of social worker’s role while working with youth from the street, based on, the theoretical assumptions and practices from Lithuania and Germany’s street work notes; 2) to reveal the specifics of the social work with young people on the street, highlighting social worker’s help towards young people on the street, putting emphasis on roles derived from personal experiences of social workers. Research Methods: the theoretical- scientific literature and document analysis. The empirical: semi-structured interviews and content analysis. This study involved 5 social workers working with street youth.
While preseting Lithuanian and German experiences with street youth, it should be noted that both of the countries do not have a specific law governing the social work in the street. However, in the Basic Law of Germany, in a separate paragraph it is being stated, that the children and youth must participate in social work.In Lithuania, similar policy or interpretation of the law is not being seen, but the process towards it has staterd: in 2010, the concept of open youth centers and spaces was approved, which provides that youth workers can operate not only in the workplace of youth organizations, but also in other environments ( such as parks, on the street, shopping centers and similar).
The empirical research shows, that in the team of social work with the youth from the street there are always working two people: a man and a woman. A third person involved is participating in team meetings, which he observes drawing attention to the fact how involved are social workers; to what extent are they being guided by their emotions and their logic, whereas work on the street can be very emotionally involving. Social worker, working with youth on the street, is also the mediator, consultant, supporter and the provider of help. Study participants highlighted that social workers working on the street, have to know both the public and non-governmental organizations in that area, as NGO’s offer a range of activities, which are close to youth; it can be a variety of sports or youth clubs, day centers, open youth area. Every social worker, who is working with youth from the street believe that in every person lies the power, talent and creativity, but it is important to help to discover it, and when discoved to help to practice it; they believe that better life can and has to become the reality of young people.


„gang“, social work with street youth, youth spending time on the street. social worker, street youth.

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789