THE PROFILE OF STREET YOUTH AND FACTORS OF THE WILLINGNESS TO SPEND A TIME ON THE STREETS

Vida Gudžinskienė, Nerijus Ramanauskas

Abstract


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: street youth profile and and factors of the desire (willingness) to spend a time on the streets. The goal of the article: to reveal the profile of the youth, who spend time on the street and discern the factors causing their behaviour. The goal is being concretised with the following tasks: 1) to reveal the theoretical to justify theoretically the changes in youth behaviour that are caused by the challenging adolescent development and unsuccessfully survived crisis; 2) to reveal the profile o of the youth, who spend time on the streets based on personal experiences of social workers. 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.
The consequences of the crisis experience depend on how mature is the young individual, and how s/he can accept the support from the community, and how is capable to use it. Adolescent development‘s difficulties and unsuccessful crises solutions change young people‘s behavior, individual experiences various psychological and social problems: becomes isolated, uncertain, unwilling, distracting from society, friends, avoiding any kind of help, gets suicidal thoughts. In the absence of a crisis solution, the feeling of identity is not being formed, individual‘s identity is incomprehensible, there is no trust and safe future feelings, the young person feels unable to overcome the difficulties, loses his motivation to change the current situation on one side and does not know how to begin to solve the difficulties that arise on the other side. The lack of social skills and the inability to adequately assess the surrounding environment and the opportunities offered by it leads to a loss of young people‘s social contacts with the environment. Eventually a young person no longer qualifies for existing structured activity, does not function qualitatively, is overwhelmed by confusion, which leads young people to choose a street as a future prospect to find a balance between personality and the surrounding social environment.
Empirical research reveals that street youth are young people living in the family, however do not get the understanding, support in it. Their relationships with friends (classmates) are complicated or broken as well as with the authorities, they feel better on the street rather than home, in a school, or in another institution; they tend to violate norms that are commensurate with the public, commit crimes or who are at the trial or are sentenced, who are the best on the street with their „gangs“; some of them have addictions to legal and/or illegal drugs and have an emotional dependence on gangs, and all they do not have their identity but seek for themselves.


Keywords


street youth, crisies, the profile od street youth, behavior of street youth.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SD-17-15-2-01

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