1. Youth and Globalisation

2. Unaccompanied Minors and Migration

3. Rights of the Child

4. Deinstitutionalisation

5. Foster Care

6. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

7. Quality Assurance

8. Juvenile Justice

9. Results from empirical Research in the Field of Youth Care

10. Structural Intensive Pedagogy and/or Nature Therapy in working with structurally vulnerable Adolescents

11. New approaches in Child and Youth Care and Best Practices

12. Trauma Pedagogy

13. Outdoor Education

14. Care Leaver - Young Persons in Transition

15. Academic Education for Social Work

16. Residential Education and Care

17. Sexual Abuse in Residential Youth Care

18. Joint efforts to support traumatised young persons - methodology and practice of multiprofessional cooperation based on trauma psychology

19. Adoption

20. Child and Youth Care in the Latin American context

21. Child and Youth Care in the North American context

22. Child and Youth Care in the Asian context

23. Child and Youth Care in the Pacific context

24. Child and Youth Care in the African context

25. Child and youth Care in the European context

26. Social Pedagogy and Child and Youth Care in Austria




Youth and globalisation

Youth cultures commonly act as Avant-gardes of globalisation processes. As producers and consumers, they do not have many resources, but are probably the most innovative, most flexible and most mobile target group, that pushes the project of worldwide cultural homogenization. Nowadays life-styles - presented through music styles, video clips, MTV, Hollywood movies, travelling, clothing and consumption styles - are offered globally and present a major export product of specialized transnational companies with headquarters in US or Western European ‘global media cities’. In this thematic session, we will further explore the question, whether and how this development affects child and youth care.

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Unaccompanied Minors and Migration

There is no country in the world at the moment which is not involved in this alarming movement. People go thousands of kilometres to live in a safe and stable system, and we try to do our best to help them. Unaccompanied minors need our special attention and it is an everyday challenge. They are not only unaccompanied minor refugees, they are also children and adolescents and have their rights like nationals – in the most cases, children on the move do not have it. In this panel international professionals will give us an overview about the challenges and the evaluated solutions.

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Rights of the child

Inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, by the entrenchment of children's rights in the EU Charter of fundamental rights as well as by the strengthening of children's rights in European secondary, children's rights have considerably gained importance in political and expert discourses over the last 10 years. At the same time, there is a constant need to improve the implementation of children's rights in the practice of child and youth care. In this thematic session, we will discuss child participation and the practical implementation of children's rights in the context of child and youth care.

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Ending institutional care. Strengthening families: The Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign uses this strapline, recognizing that for the full transition from institutional to community- and family-based care there needs to be parallel attention on the one hand to closing institutions and providing high quality person-centred alternatives, and on the other, to investing in prevention and early intervention, community-support and family strengthening.

In this thematic session, we will explore both elements.  In a Western European context is there still a need to emphasise ‘ending institutional care’?  Why and how do institutions differ from person-centred residential care services, which will always remain an important component of the care alternatives even in systems that have completed the transition to community- and family-based care.

The ‘strengthening families’ pillar is a broader concept than investing in family support. The EC’s ‘Investing in Children’ Recommendation is a helpful point of reference for a comprehensive and child-rights based framework for reform of policies and practice. It balances income support and parental employment, with access to quality services and the child rights to participate.

The thematic session will enable delegates to unpick the complex implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

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Foster care

Foster care is an alternative to the family for those children and / or young people that cannot continue living with their parents. Foster through extensive, professional or collaborating families are the most used modalities to provide care to these children and youngsters. Experiences promoting community based care that allow children to continue living with their parents but with the provision of occasional or continuously support from the community are increasing.  Foster care is also aimed to be the most used resource when a child cannot continue living with his direct relatives. There are currently many attempts and initiatives that seek to improve its performance and results. Among the fundamental rights of the child, there is the right to live with his parents or in case this is not possible, he should live in an environment that resembles the most to a family.  Foster care in its various modalities becomes the ideal resource to support or replace temporally the biological family.

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Child and adolescents psychiatry

Heal suffering with less severe means - what are less severe means?

To solve psychic crises during childhood and adolescence is a balancing act. Pedagogues and psychiatrists have to take care to differ psychic crisis from pedagogic crisis and they have to find the adequate way to manage each one.  It would not be appropriate neither acting on the highest level automatically nor delaying treatment. In this thematic session, pedagogues and psychiatrists should bring their inputs and discuss these issues with one another.

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Quality assurance

In recent years, quality and quality assurance have been subject of intensive discussion in child and youth care. New legal requirements have made quality of services a central issue of child and youth care. Quality management can help to optimize workflows and to clarify framework conditions for professional work. Can child and youth care benefit from the introduction of appropriate quality management methods?  Subject of child and youth care are clarification processes related to relationships, unclear structures and former injuries. Can quality management at all be suitable for working with such processes? These and related questions will be the focus of this thematic session.

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Juvenile Justice

Sentencing and other measures under juvenile criminal law may involve children or adolescents being referred to an open or secure accommodation institution or placed in a juvenile prison for a given period of time. 

Are there institutions or prisons for young offenders (children and adolescents) worldwide which orient their strategies and work, beyond the required security aspects, towards concepts for personality development and participation as well as for social and vocational integration? How are such concepts implemented in everyday life and how is their effect measured? In a second focus this panel will present and discuss ways of intervention which are used by courts and authorities as alternatives or complements to penal institutions. In recent years such interventions have been referred to and applied as "restorative juvenile justice" and "restorative practices". 

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Results from empirical Research in the Field of Youth Care

Results from a range of recent studies in the field of youth care will be presented in this thematic session. This allows gaining insight, in which countries currently research is carried out on which topics. The thematic session furthermore aims to bring together topics and stakeholders for future international studies in the field of youth care.

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Structural Intensive Pedagogy and/or Nature Therapy in working with structurally vulnerable Adolescents

Psychological disorders which we encounter in adolescents today belong to the field of structural problems, of the lack of development of a solid, coherent self. (Y. Cohen)

If the problems of a child or an adolescent consist in excessive vulnerability or even a lack of structural functions, we cannot confront these problems with the usual patterns of pedagogical action and interpretation: We are not dealing with young persons whose behaviour is inadequate because they are unwilling although able (classical situation in education) but with persons who are unable, even if they are willing. Therefore the focal point shifts from learning (contents) to establishing an ability to learn (structure). (Dr.Wernher P. Sachon)


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Trauma pedagogy

Children and youth who suffered stressful and traumatic experiences present a particular challenge to educational and pedagogic facilities. Some of these girls and boys are hard to reach by conventional pedagogic practice. The present splitting – coping with traumatic events happens in therapy, pedagogy is coping with everyday life – does not meet the needs of children and youth. Avoiding trauma-related issues in pedagogic fields of action is anyway hardly possible, negates the many possibilities of pedagogy and delays the comprehensive correction of disabling trauma-specific attitudes and expectations. The new subject area ‘trauma pedagogy’ provides actionable insights and methodical considerations that enable targeted support of children and youth.


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Outdoor Education  

Outdoor Education is a broad term for a field that encompasses many different types of educational experiences.  The uniting theme for this field is the organized use of the outdoors and experience to teach skills and develop the individual.  Some of the many types of areas that outdoor education encompasses are adventure education, environmental education, adventure therapy, and wilderness education.  While cultural definitions and uses of the field vary greatly, some typical goals of outdoor education programs are the personal development of the individual, to build a better appreciation for nature, and to help people learn to overcome adversity.  In short, outdoor education is experiential education using the outdoors as the medium for instruction and agent of change. 


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Care Leavers – Young persons in transition

Care Leavers are young persons who have spent part of their lives in public care, e.g. in group homes or foster families, and are now at the transition into an independent life.   As opposed to children who grow up in their birth families, these adolescents and young adults in most cases lack stable private networks and sufficient material resources. Nevertheless they are supposed to stand on their own two feet earlier than their peers, although they can rely on hardly any backing or support when problems arise. It is common practice in the care sector that young persons are expected to live independently as soon as they come of age; after-care is strictly limited in time and extent. Such expectations are not in line with the heightened challenges young adults are currently faced with, nor with the biographical burdens of these young persons. Crucial questions for the further development of child and youth care are therefore, how “support for the transition period“ for care leavers can be incorporated into current social services systems, in terms of both programmatic as well as  socio-political aspects, and how care leavers can be recognized as a distinct group with special need for support. In this context it is worthwhile raising the awareness of services and support structures which exist in other countries, especially also since approaches to general interest social services are increasingly defined as pan-European issues.

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Academic Education for Social Work

After decades of varying uncertainty with regard to demarcations and overlaps between social work (Sozialarbeit) and social pedagogy (Sozialpädagogik), or of the equating of one with the other, the overall key-concept of “Soziale Arbeit“ has been established in the German-speaking area. Most bachelor programmes for “Soziale Arbeit” follow this new systematology. At the same time, in this field, there are still and will continue to be specialised training programmes at different levels of qualification.  Social pedagogy thus remains an open professional topic within the concept of “Soziale Arbeit” with many adjacent actors in the individual national and international educational systems as well as in the training and further training markets. The central question in this panel will be the question of qualification and competency acquisition.

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Residential Education & Care

Current and future models in the service of children and young people at risk

The purpose of this thematic session is to present current, new and innovative models of residential care in various places in the world. To discuss key issues related to residential care like: running residential programs for vulnerable youth populations without ‘closed doors’; residential care and community based programs – contradictory or rather complimentary?; new child & youth populations – new challenges; residential care in an evidence based era – effective evaluation processes; Treatment orientations and educational processes – could they go together in residential care programs?

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Sexual abuse in residential youth care

The theme Sexual abuse in residential youth care is becoming more and more relevant. The increased focus on a safe living environment in residential youth care implies the importance of prevention of sexual abuse. The main goal of the panel is to increase awareness of this theme among the public, professionals, researchers and policy makers. Besides awareness, a state-of-the-art knowledge and possibilities for sharing and learning will be provided: how to effectively and ethically manage the prevention of sexual abuse in residential care facilities; current best practices in prevention; recent (national) research on prevalence of sexual abuse in residential youth care, legislation, organization of inspection towards youth care / out-of-home care / foster care; framing communication for the community, policy makers and Social Media about this theme; attention to the theme in the education of social workers and in protocols used in practice.

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Children of foreign nationality placed for adoption in a new home country are very special members of the societies in which they live. The search for identity is the narrative for many people's adult lives, especially for transnationally adopted persons and many uncertanties pave these children's paths through adolescence into adulthood.Regardless of what supporters or critics say in this controversial debate, transnational adoption is a reality of today's globalised world. Transnational adoptees have identities which are impacted by two or more cultures and their growing up entails a transcending of geographical and cultural borders. Their life-trajectories thus include many ressources for understanding the dynamic process of adoption as it unfolds along the life-span, revealing new dimensions for the individuals and societies involved. The potential significance of including transnational adoptees in the discussion on crossover cultures, hybrid identity and global youth and their ressource as communicators, facilitators and translators between cultures has to date not yet been sufficiently identified. Including and highlighting this topic at the FICE International Conference could be a breakthrough. 

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Child and Youth Care in the North American context

This panel will feature several examples of North American programs, interventions and tools for promoting the safety and development of young persons. Implications for effective worker training and professional development will be discussed as well as a system for credentialing effective practitioners.



Child and Youth Care in the Asian Context

The welfare and comprehensive care of the children and youth in Asia have been a major area of concern, because the State authorities of almost all the Asian countries do take very little responsibilities of the total up-bringing of all the children and youths of the respective countries..
As the development towards Civil Society has been strengthened in many Asian countries, after independence of these countries, diverse social services and non-govt. organisations have been organized, who have been taking charge and responsibilities for the comprehensive welfare of children and youth at risk and establishing child rights, with the support of the concerned Governments.
It is therefore important to extend the national commitment of stakeholders with regard to developing countries of Asia. In this thematic session, we will highlight the existing work done in different countries, for child and youth rights and welfare and will explore the potentialities for the future development of children and youth welfare.

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Child and Youth Care in the Pacific context

In this panel we will explore a range of services offered in the Pacific region in regards to working with children and young people within the Pacific Region.  The aim is to highlight the work that is done in the region, an area that is not well known in the wider child and youth care communities.

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Child and Youth Care in the African Context

The welfare and care of Children and Youth in Africa has been an area of concern. Each documented traditional African Society keenly observed and monitored the lives of the young people until they became of age. However, this has changed in the contemporary period due to social disorganization as a result of globalization, economic dynamics, climate change, crime and diseases, among others.

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Child and Youth Care in the European Context

The development towards a European civil society, towards a ‘European Public Sphere’ (Jürgen Habermas) is clearly showing, that Europe is an essential point of reference for future prospects of children and adolescents as well as for the diverse social services and organisations in charge of and responsible for the interests of children and youth. It is therefore important to extend the national commitment of stakeholders with regard to Europe.

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Social Pedagogy and Child and Youth Care in Austria

In 2014, 29.476 children and adolescents received support for their upbringing through measures taken by the youth welfare offices. Within the scope of ‘full care’, 10.810 minors were placed with foster parents or in socio-pedagogic group homes, residential care facilities, children’s villages and other facilities. Compared to 2013, the number of children and adolescents in care thus increased by 6% and the number of children and adolescents who received supports for their upbringing increased by 8.6%. ‘Full care’ measures presented a decline of 0.3%. In 1250 cases, supports were extended beyond reaching the age of majority. These are strong reasons to further discuss the topic of child and youth care in Austria in its own thematic session.

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