Context and aims
Both De Stap and De Leerwinkel have strong partnerships, which implies a familiarity of the services by partner organisations. Those partnerships are the result of intense efforts from staff members of de Stap and de Leerwinkel to promote their organisation and services to different organisations in the domains of Welfare, Integration, Education and Employment.
The outreach aims of de Leerwinkel were all linked to improvement of this network and partnership collaboration in order to have more efficient referrals at their outreach locations. De Stap focused on direct promotion and raising the target group’s awareness of theservice and its value by providing information sessions to groups of young low educated adults.
Both de Stap and de Leerwinkel have experience with a variety of outreach strategies. The strategies can be summarised in three categories:
- Networking and partnerships
- Outreach locations
- Information sessions to the target group
Strengths and achievements
Both the services put a strong focus on and invest a lot of time in collaborations with partner organisations and contributed to a higher awareness of the added value of the GOAL service to the partner organisation’s service. This had a positive effect on the referrals by partner organisations.
The services have succeeded in reaching their target group. Data show that mainly young adults are reached.
Challenges and barriers
The services and their counsellors have to take certain characteristics of the target group into account when determining outreaching strategies:
- Multi-problem situations – many GOAL service users have a multi-problem background.
- History of failures – Several of the GOAL clients have a history of educational failures.
- Low self-esteem – A history of failures and multiple problems combine to create feelings of frustration and low self-esteem.
Despite the collaborations with partner organisations, the most vulnerable adults, those who are the less connected with society, stay out of the picture – for example, those who left school, but are not officially registered as jobseekers. A part of this group is also not known by partner organisations. Efficient strategies will be necessary to reach this target group. Another challenge in future programme development is to identify and collaborate with partners to reach employed low educated adults.
Limited resources, time and counsellors are one of the main reasons why the services is dealing with a heavy caseload. The better the result of the outreach, the more clients there are to serve, which has negative influence on the quality if there is a lack of resources to cope with the increased case load.