The research group Youth, which was launched on 1 September 2016, focuses on the development, sharing and application of knowledge regarding the stimulation of a climate of healthy upbringing and development for young people. One of its specific goals is to contribute to enhancing the quality of youth care in the Utrecht Youth Regions. This takes place within the project “De Utrechtse Jeugdregio’s in beeld” (Focus on Utrecht Youth Regions). This project will be supported by the Province of Utrecht until 1 September 2020.
Focus areas within the field of youth work
Transformations within the field of youth work are constantly raising new and challenging issues. The Youth research group focuses on these issues in cooperation with professionals, policy makers, lecturers, students, young people and educators. This approach, combined with providing guidance within the professional practice triangle - training of higher professional education professionals and practice-based research - fits within HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht’s vision of contributing to an innovative professional practice. To this end, the Youth research group operates within three coherent focus areas, each with specific main questions:
- A climate of healthy upbringing and development: How to recognise and stimulate the key active factors?
- Resilience of young people and their family members: How can this be either unravelled or reinforced?
- Professionalisation of youth and family professionals: How to both broaden and deepen professionalism?
Connection between research, professional practice and education
Practice-based research performed by the research group focuses on providing knowledge for professional practice and the wider community. Therefore, the research group constantly reinforces the connection between research, professional practice and education in all activities that it carries out. The research builds upon existing knowledge and contributes to the latest (practical) knowledge in the field of youth.
Promoting the knock-on effect of practice-based research requires developing sustainable networks and working together on knowledge development and innovation. The research group is an active participant within several networks at local, regional and national levels. For example, the Youth research group is a local partner with the Academic Workshop on Youth Transformation Utrecht. Regionally, it has partnered up with the knowledge platform Utrecht Sociaal (kUS), and nationally with the Consortium for Anxiety and Depression.
The Youth research group contributes in various ways to education and training in the following degree programmes:
- Educational Theory bachelor’s degree programme
- Social Work bachelor’s degree programme
- Communicty Development master’s degree programme
- Forensic Social Professional master’s degree programme
- Educational Theory master’s degree programme