Center for Digital Youthcare (Center for Digital Pædagogik)
Vulnerable children and young people
The purpose of online counselling is listening and talking to, and helping, vulnerable children and young people via digital media. Early prevention is paramount. We refer to the analogue world – the cell phone connects wirelessly to services online. Our online counselling aims to be the preferred online socio-educational clubhouse for vulnerable children and young people.
The online counselling started back in 2004. For many years, we had been working on telephone consulting but saw that the young people went online and needed adults to help and advise them online about youth issues. For the past few years, we have developed and refined digital consulting, so today’s counselling has many digital opportunities for young people. Ever since the number of visitors has grown steadily, and today the online counselling has developed into a well-established digital platform, recognised and popular among a large group of children and young people throughout the country.
Our digital pedagogical offers can be divided into categories of ‘youth-to-adult’ and ‘youth-to-youth’. In short, children and young people are able to meet peers in a safe environment or receive counselling via chat and problem pages from professional adults coming from social working backgrounds. Based on voluntary and non-profit work, it is our mission to rethink the way we meet and enter into dialogue with children and young people. We do this by innovating the use of internet-based counselling and activities, as counsellors, and involving and developing children and young people on their own terms.
In order to go online with counselling for young people, it requires a chat or email function on your website where the young people can come in contact with an adviser. It also requires pedagogically trained staff who are trained to advise online. Everyone can operate the chat from the cloud and it requires only a minimum of installations to get started.
Young people in Denmark use the online advice in great style. Last year there were 780,000 unique visitors to the counselling website and the website had almost 2,000,000 unique page views. There were visitors from 52 cities in Denmark.
The online counselling has been considered positive by the young people and is continuously evaluated. The effect and satisfaction of the young people are measured.
Our experience is that social work with vulnerable children and young people can benefit online and thus ensure that the road to helping young people becomes shorter and faster. We reach young people through digital media that we otherwise would not reach through physical social work. In particular, we reach the lonely young people who sit alone at home behind the screen alone and without contact for advice.