Guidance activities and processes
Implications for future programme development
The needs of the target group are key to future programme development. When developing a program for a target group with highly complex needs, every aspect of the programme must take that into account. The program has to be flexible and responsive to client needs. The approach needs to be holistic, which focuses on the individual rather than a specific topic, e.g. job vs learning. The custom fit approach demands that counsellors be highly flexible and able to adapt to the clients’ needs. Strong interpersonal skills are required. Many clients in the target group lack initiative and need a detailed action plan concerning next steps. This might imply that the sessions need to be on a short interval (i.e. occur relatively frequently) to keep the clients motivated and interested.
The difficult and complex circumstances of the target group highlight the need for cooperation among different institutions and professionals. A system of referrals between specialists (e.g. social worker, financial advisor, psychologist, physical therapist) is needed if the aim is to meet the needs of the clients and work towards them becoming more active and fulfilled.
Implications of policy
Poor financial situation is one of the target group´s main barrier. The lack of funding and/or scholarships in the adult educational system can form a great barrier for the target groups commitment to further education.
Implications for policy
Vulnerable clients have a broad range of mutually inter-related needs. This suggests the potential for policymakers to support even closer links between projects such as GOAL and other initiatives aimed at the most vulnerable in society.
The GOAL target group in Iceland are in the highest percentage of cases those who need 2-3 sessions and who don’t know where they are heading. They are also many who require five or more sessions and have personal and other problems. This implies that there has to be an allocation of funds and resources if there is a desire to meet the target group’s needs within the adult educational system in Iceland.
The complicated and diverse issues that the target group in Iceland faces, highlight the need for a network of agencies, institutions and specialists that are able to assist the target group. A referral system between institutions and the sharing of knowledge is needed, as is joined up policy thinking on behalf of The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and The Ministry of Welfare.