After having identified the needs of professionals in the field of youth counselling we have demarcated the aims and content of the Ycare project. First, we have specified what features make Ycare unique. Various counter-radicalisation programs have been carried out in Europe, and want to make clear where Ycare’s added value stems from. Second, we would like to inform about the products that will result from our project: a handbook with guidelines; a toolbox with activities, good practices and awareness raising material and; an online platform and mobile applications. The presentation of the content is under proviso but no substantial changes are expected.
A number of international projects has been carried out in the field of radicalisation. Much expertise has been gained by professionals and researchers working on these projects. Unfortunately, existing knowledge in the field of radicalisation is not always found by those who need it. Ycare, in the first place, aims to share existing knowledge about radicalisation that might be relevant for youth counsellors around Europe. We focus on youth counsellors of all sorts, ranging from educators to social services staff. Our products might be relevant for all professionals working with young people who are vulnerable to radicalisation, or who have already been radicalised.
Ycare starts from a pedagogical point of view. To this day the pedagogical roots of radicalisation have not received much attention while there are sufficient indications that education risks and protective factors can be identified that are highly relevant for prevention and symptomatic treatment. Education is important for prevention and can be integrated in comprehensive programs aimed at de-radicalisation or disengagement.
One of the most distinctive features of Ycare is its practical approach. This is evident in the Ycare toolbox which includes concrete activities for immediate use by youth counsellors. Awareness raising and sharing of knowledge among youth counsellors is an important first step. But to tackle radicalisation youth counsellors must include anti-radicalisation strategies in their daily work with vulnerable young people.
One of the products that will be realised in the context of our project is a handbook for youth counsellors. The handbook addresses the needs of youth practitioners as collaborated by a need assessment that we conducted at the start of our project. The handbook provides information about the process of radicalisation, the factors underlying this, the role of radical organisations and their use of digital media. Special attention is given to the relation between radicalisation and education in various settings. Descriptions of counter-radicalisation policies in the project partners countries and the most important radical currents in Europe - radical Islam, the extreme right and the extreme left) are also covered by the handbook.
One part of the handbook is dedicated to guidelines to inform about targeted youth support. This part addresses the strategies that are employed to help vulnerable young people early to address their difficulties and to prevent their problems from escalating. Attention is paid to early detection strategies, prevention strategies, intervention strategies and exit strategies. This part of the handbook is closely linked to the toolbox since it addresses measures to combat radicalisation.
A toolbox will be created that consists of three separated boxes. In the first box we will store activities. This box contains training material in the form of exercises for immediate use in an educational context. The activities can be used for prevention ends but may also be useful in a setting in which counsellors work with radicalised youth. The activities have a duration up to a few hours and are grouped into categories. A search engine will enable professionals to easily find activities that fit their needs.
The second box will store good practices. In countries such as the Netherlands and Germany many successful initiatives have been realised that contribute to combatting radicalisation. Among these are school curricula to foster tolerance, training programs for parents of vulnerable youth and hotlines to report suspicions of radicalisation. The good practices show what kind of efforts are undertaken in radicalisation prevention and intervention. They serve as a source of inspiration for further development of counter-radicalisation programs in countries all over Europe.
In the third box we will store awareness raising material such as: general tools, multimedia tools, promotional materials. This material will help professionals to gain more insight in the phenomenon of radicalisation. In addition to the Ycare handbook, the material in the third box will help professionals in detecting radicalisation. Also, the material may help professionals to find organisations with expertise on youth radicalisation to which they can direct radicalising youth. ??
Online Platform and Mobile Applications
An online platform and mobile applications will be created to support the delivery of the outputs of the projects. The platform and applications facilitate interaction between learners and trainers. It supports electronic management, storage and presentation of materials. The online platform and mobile applications create the conditions necessary for a dynamic teaching environment.