Origin of the Mobile Youth Work

Mobile Youth Work is an outreach youth council concept. It is being put into action of social work in the frame of group- and individual social-pedagogic and social work. Mobile Youth Work is district- or social-area-related and aims at preventing or cancelling exclusion processes of youths. Hereby, resources and self-aid powers towards the solution of social problems in the community are being used and sustainable solutions are being aimed at. Two forms of Mobile Youth Work can be differentiated at present: A community-based concept which arose in big housing areas ("dormitory towns") and a rather scene- or target-group-related approach in the action centres of big cities. Mobile Youth Work takes its origin in the community-based form.
The development of the concept of Mobile Youth Work in the 1960s in Germany takes its origin in the dispute with American authors and projects in the field of youth work with delinquent youth street groups and street gangs (street work, street corner work, street gang work, street club work), as well as community-oriented work (Shaw and McKay 1942, Spergel 1966, especially: Specht 1979).
The practical beginning of the professional Mobile in Germany in the 60s took place at the Diakonie and goes back to Chicago-School (Shaw and McKay) in the USA in the 20s (area approach). Mobile Youth Work in Germany follows also the tradition of community work in the Netherlands ("Categorical" community work, Bolz/Boulet 1973). During the urbanisation process in western Germany, which took place in the sixties, lots of rapidly growing council estates appeared in the suburbs of big cities. At the same time the social infrastructure especially for young people was neglected. Similar situation happened in many other European countries.
Rockers, youth cliques and youth gangs, which caused problems in the communities challenged police and juvenile courts, as well as social work and social pedagogic. These circumstances lead to the initiation of Mobile Youth Work by the Protestant society in Stuttgart in 1967. Since that time this concept, borrowed from the USA and adopted for Germany, has become a successful concept of practical youth and social work. Other non-governmental organisations and later on the governmental ones joined the work as well.
In the mid 70s other projects and institutions, which carried out the Mobile Youth Work appeared beyond the boundaries of Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg.
Nowadays Mobile Youth Work is carried out in 94 cities and communities all over Baden- Württemberg. Since the 90s, it started in the new Federal States of Germany. All in all, there are 1200 institutions in Germany now.
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