Gap Work: Improving Gender-Related Violence Intervention and Referral Through ‘Youth Practitioner’ Training
This project aims to challenge gender-related violence against (and by) children and young people by developing training for practitioners who have everyday contact with general populations of children and young people ('youth practitioners'). Improved knowledge and skills will enable practitioners to better identify and challenge sexist, sexualising, homophobic or controlling language and behaviour, and to know when and how to refer children and young people (CYP) to the most appropriate support services.
The project brings together partners from four EU countries: UK, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and two further countries are represented by associate partners from Serbia and Hungary.
The project seeks to bridge potential gaps in practice between:
• support services for adults and for children
• specialist victim-support services and everyday professional contact
• supporting those affected and intervening to challenge violence
• actions focussed on dating violence or on homophobia. Hence, a broad definition of ‘gender-related violence’ (GRV) is adopted which problematises sexist, sexualising or norm-driven bullying and harassment whichever CYP are targeted.
Gaps will be bridged by the collaboration of victim-support services (NGOs) and youth practitioners. NGOs will provide training to improve practitioners':
1. knowledge of support organisations and legislation and hence their effective referring, and
2. skills to challenge violent or discriminatory language and behaviour, thereby contributing to the development of a protective environment for children, young people and women.
In return, youth practitioners will enable the NGOs to:
3. pilot new training based on understanding youth practitioners' information needs, and
4. review how they meet the needs of youth practitioners, and hence develop their service.
Training will be tailored to the particular professionals and context of each country, but may take the form of two one-day courses for particular groups who work with CYP aged 8-18 years on Norms, and Relationships, and a third training on skills-sharing.
Outputs in Italy, Ireland, Spain and the UK include:
• Training for at least 800 practitioners
• Training in ‘cascading’ to colleagues
• New information leaflets specifically for youth practitioners
• A new resource to help practitioners 'cascade' training
Direct beneficiaries include 800 youth practitioners trained and the victim support services whose service for those working with CYP is developed. The children/young people in contact with these practitioners or services will be indirect beneficiaries.
A findings conference will bring together trainers, academics and professional bodies, and at European level, we will contribute to the DAPHNE Toolkit of resources and publish a report identifying good practice in successful practitioner training on GRV and its evaluation, and of multi-national NGO experience on anti-GRV actions. This report will be published in five languages.
Associate Partners include: