Due to a multiplicity of individual and social problems, a large group of young people and adults is at risk of losing connection with society. Some have already lost connection. They are unable, or no longer able, to seek the right help themselves. In most cases those concerned are homeless, addicted to alcohol or drugs or have psychiatric problems.

The organisation Streetcornerwork has been working to improve the situation of these individuals for more than 40 years. Professionals from Streetcornerwork actively seek out people, in their own environment, who need help. They offer easily accessible and practical assistance: they identify problems with the target group, and work to find solutions. Where necessary they get specialist institutions involved and act as an intermediary between the target group and mainstream social and medical services. Streetcornerwork offers them new prospects by working with them to establish a stable living situation. At the same time, the organisation contributes to improving social cohesion, liveability and security in the neighbourhood.

Five boys gathering on the street
credits: Elvio Bordin

Streetcorner work is a concept from the United States that was introduced to the Netherlands in the 1960s. It was a response to groups hanging around on street corners and causing a nuisance to other people. Streetcorner work as a methodology forms the basis for a number of key approaches currently used in social work, such as outreach youth work.

There are significant indications that streetcorner work makes a positive contribution to the quality of life of the target group and that the method has an impact on their social environment. However, detailed research into this contribution has not previously been carried out. With support from Adessium Foundation, the Youth Spot research group (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) is carrying out a practice-based results study on behalf of Streetcornerwork. This study focuses on the effects that the street corner work methodology has on young people and adults in vulnerable situations and those around them. The results of the study are important for the development of Streetcornerwork and will also be used by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences to adapt its study programme for social workers. The study fills a need because, even internationally, research on the method has never been conducted before. The streetcorner work methodology, including case studies, literature and research into effects, will be described in a handbook with the working title “Street Corner Work Methodology”.

About this partner

Streetcornerwork works to improve the situation of people (both young people and adults) who have lost connection with society or are at risk of losing connection due to a multiplicity of individual and social problems. Streetcornerwork promotes a stable living situation and offers new prospects for this group. At the same time, the organisation contributes to improving social cohesion, liveability and security in the neighbourhood.

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