Pointing out research related to the theme

First step into the future -publication is based on phone interviews realised by the Central Union of Child Care in order to find out what 16 years old tell about their support needs when becoming independent. Out of those young people reporting that the support received was not sufficient, the young people who already lived on their own were five times more compared to those who still lived at home. According to young people, basic education should take this into account, especially as homes don’t always provide enough support when it comes to gaining the skills necessary when moving out on one’s own. It also seems that for some young people it is more difficult to make choices compared to others. Moreover, it appears to be important to ask young people what worries them. One suggestion made in the publication was for young people to be interviewed by a youth worker when they finish basic education. Young people were asked what they think about the extension of compulsory education until 18 years. It is remarkable to notice that nobody has thought to ask the opinion of young people themselves on this matter. It was found that about half of the thousand responses support the extension, 20 % said no and the rest did not take sides. One important message in the publication was also that, according to the law, 18 year olds who are in foster care and for whom it is not possible to choose their way of living are obligated to move out to live on their own.

Reference: Custódio, Ira (2020) Ensiaskel tulevaisuuteen. 16-vuotiaiden nuorten ajatuksia itsenäisestä asumisesta. [First step into the future. Thoughts of 16 years old about living independently]. Lastensuojelun Keskusliiton verkkojulkaisu 3/2020. [The Publication of the Central Union of Child Care 3/2020.] Available in Finnish.

Stories of loneliness is a study which is written by Reetta Möller. She interviewed so-called older young people (under 29 years old) who feel lonely in the city of Lahti. One of the main topics was to find out what a city could offer young people in such a situation and of that age. Young people have a will to participate in low threshold activities, but they feel that such a place that is easy to come to and go from freely, and free of charge, are hardly available at all. Based on Möller’s research, such a place could be very meaningful in the life of a young adult. It can have an impact on mental well-being, be a factor in hindering loneliness and create an atmosphere of hope. According to her, this kind of action should be at the core of youth work, especially now when open youth work is mainly targeted at under 18 years old.

Reference: Möller, Reetta (2021) Yksinäisyyden tarinoita. Lahtelaisten nuorten aikuisten kokemuksia yksinäisyydestä. [Stories of loneliness. Experiences of loneliness among young adults in the city of Lahti] Opinnäytetyö. [Bachelor of Humanities] Kaakkois-Suomen ammattikorkeakoulu [South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences] Available in Finnish, includes an abstract in English at the beginning of the publication. 

Part of society in ones own right is a publication based on interviews with young people who have received support for their life circumstances from the Youth Shelters of the Red Cross. Growing up in society and having a position from which one can make an impact has started from birth. When young people become more independent, there is a tendency for them to reflect upon society and its expectations from another perspective. The publication points also to the need for mental support young people have when moving out from their parents. Society seems to think that everyone has a home and relatives who are close, with whom keeping in contact positively energises, but rarely is the opposite taken into consideration. Youth Shelters are available on the web and in five locations. 

Reference: Honkatukia, Päivi & Kallio, Jenni & Lähde, Miia & Mölkänen, Jenni (2020) Omana itsenä osa yhteiskuntaa – Itsenäistyvät nuoret aikuiset kansalaisina. [Part of society in ones own right – young adults becoming independent as citizens] ALL-Youth-tutkimushanke, Punaisen Ristin Nuorten turvatalo. [All Youth -research project, Youth Shelters of Finnish Red Cross] Available in Finnish, includes an abstract in English in page 109. 

Positive recognition is a publication which describes positive recognition as a process, which contains familiarisation, esteeming and support. As a thought scheme, positive recognition includes the strong view that for the well-being of society, social and societal support must be given to all children and young people. Positive recognition means that young people are noticed in a positive and profound way. Clearly this is also absolutely part of each youth worker’s professional knowhow. As a term, positive recognition clearly describes youth work.

Reference: Häkli, Jouni & Kallio, Kirsi Pauliina & Korkiamäki, Riikka (eds.) (2015) Myönteinen tunnistaminen. [Positive recognision] Helsinki: Nuorisotutkimusverkosto [Finnish Youth Research Network]. The book can be ordered via the link. The book is written in Finnish, it contains an abstract in English on pages 228-229.

In her master thesis called ”And I feel I’ve been heard” Saara Saukkola scrutinises the stories written by young people in foster care. The idea is to find out how other people and in which way, have recognised these young people from their point of view – or misrecognised and non-recognised.  The stories were published originally in the publication of Pesäpuu association in 2009 called Pinnalla – tarinoita selviytymiseen nuorilta nuorille. [On the surface – stories about coping from young people for young people]. When it comes to all the various social environments young people are living in, it is essential to keep multiplicity and positive recognition in mind.  

Reference: Saukkola, Saara (2019) ”Ja tunnen ett’ mut on kuultu”- Oikein ja väärin tunnistaminen sijoitettujen nuorten kirjoittamissa tarinoissa. [”And I feel I’ve been heard” – The recognition and misrecognition of foster youth in their own, written stories.] pro Gradu -tutkielma [Master thesis]. Tampereen yliopisto. [University of Tampere].

Survey on young people and housing 2020 is a study by the Ministry of the Environment based on survey responses of 1500 young people. In Finland, moving away from one’s childhood home happens at about the age of 19. The will to become independent is the main reason, but young people move out on their own also because of studies or work in another place, or to live together with their partner, due to crampedness of space in their childhood home, or quarrels with their parents. The process of finding a place to rent becomes challenging mostly for the following reasons: rent rates are too high, too much competition with others who are interested to rent, and / or the high cost of deposit fees. Those still living with their parents also need support in finding a flat. The biggest fears related to moving out were found to be possible financial problems and loneliness. It seems also that for many the corona epidemic has delayed the process of moving to live on their own. 

Reference: Aho, Pauliina & Myllymäki, Timo & Sandqvist, Sakari & Strandell, Anna (2021) Nuorten asuminen 2020. Kyselytutkimus. [Survey on young people and housing 2020] Ympäristöministeriön julkaisuja 2021:8 [Ministry of environment, publications 2021:8]. The publication includes a summary in English in the beginning of the publication.

The publication Are we part of the society contains results of the interviews of young people outside of education and work. Many of them think that being part of society is possible only when success has been achieved in studies and/ or work. Naturally, this shouldn’t be the case. Many of the interviewees have applied and been waiting for assistance, for example with regards to health concerns, but it seems that the service system is not able to recognise all the issues that have an influence on the well-being of young individuals. In this kind of situation, as it is now, a young person is actively rushed into society via the routes of education and work, while at the same time, it is young people who suffer the most disbenefits and pay the costs of a such hurrying. 

Reference: Gretschel, Anu & Myllyniemi, Sami (2021) Kuulummeko yhteiskuntaan? Työn ja koulutuksen ulkopuolella olevien nuorten käsityksiä tulevaisuudesta, demokratiasta ja julkisista palveluista. [Are we part of society? On the future, democracy and public services – Thoughts of young people outside of education and work] Helsinki: Kunnallisalan kehittämissäätiö [The Foundation for Municipal Development.] The publication includes a summary in English.

Citizens in training is a doctoral thesis by Georg Bold, aimed at empowering the professionals working with young people to take a second look at how participation opportunities within the system are created for young people. Who are those participating now for example in youth councils or in the processes of participatory budgeting? How equally accessible are the channels being created? A question which is still current is also whether the matters young people put forward are taken forward and how impactful the youth participation in general really is.

Reference: Boldt, Georg (2021) Citizens in training. How institutional youth participation produces bystanders and active citizens in Finland. University of Tampere, Doctoral thesis 374. The publication is available in English.