YCARe is a unique international project aimed at supporting youth counsellors in preventing and combatting radicalization. Eight countries participate in the project, Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and The Netherlands. They collect guidelines and best practices. In recent years several national and international projects have been set up to exchange and disseminate knowledge and best practices.
YCARe’s added value stems from the feedback that is collected among the youth counsellors who use the tools. A teaching environment is created in which best practices and guidelines can be improved. The idea is that young workers may eventually be better equipped if countries learn from one another. The project Youth Counselling Against Radicalization (YCARe) is now carried out with funding from the Erasmus+ programme.
In the past few years radicalization towards violent extremist and terrorist positions is considered an increasing threat in the European Union. Because of recent terrorist attacks, an increase in young people who participate or sympathize with extremist groups and an increase in other forms of violence and intolerance (e.g. juvenile gangs, xenophobia, islamophobia etc.), radicalization has become a priority and a challenge on the political agenda.
The project aims to build professional capacity of first line practitioners and to foster empowerment, participation and active citizenship of young people. As regards the requirements to prevent radicalization a distinction can be made between three categories: Needs focused on professionals, needs directed to youth and needs addressed to the general population. Particular the first category is included in Ycare. The target group is Youth counsellors who are in direct contact with individuals at risk, or vulnerable groups in society.