In recent years EPR members have increasingly expressed interest collaborating in the area of working with young people with disabilities. The joint work started off in December 2020 at the (online) National Awareness Raising Event (NARE) in Germany where a number of EPR members presented their services and programmes for young people with disabilities. In addition, EPR is currently leading 2 Erasmus+ projects with members focused on young people, Jump2Job and TransitAction.
On 17 May and 30 June 2021, two meetings were organised to start off a thematically focused exchange and mutual learning on services for young people with disabilities. The participants identified a number of topics of common interest: 1) “Transition Management” for young people with disability (YPWD) from school and training into employment; 2) Improvement of the employability of young people with a disability or mental health issues, including by addressing motivational issues for them to learn; 3) Adaptation of services to new demands in the labour market for young people with a disability or mental health conditions and to their specific needs; 4) How to effectively accompany and support a shift to hybrid models of learning, teaching and training; 5) Inclusive education; 6) Organisation of trans-national exchanges for young people with a disability or mental health issues.
The first meeting in 2022 on 31 March focused on “inclusive education”. Information on the activities planned in the European Year 2022 on Youth relevant for social service providers was shared. The second meeting on 23 June was built around the topic “Transitions from education and training into employment for YPWD”. Additionally, recent developments regarding the main EU policy frameworks and EU funds relevant for child and youth welfare and/or youth policy were presented and discussed. The third meeting was organised online on 24 November, split into two parts: The morning session was dedicated to transition services and programmes for young people with disabilities. The EPR Secretariat present the DRAFT Report based on the collection of good practices from EPR members. Provided further input and jointly validated the success factors of those practices. The afternoon session was organised jointly with colleagues from the Working Group “Mental Health” and focused on services to address the needs of YPWD with mental health conditions, what this implies the (re-)organisation of services, the related qualification and skill needs of the professionals, etc.
The first meeting in 2023 will happen on 30 March in Esslingen. It will be focused around the specific challenges for social service providers, their staff and the users in services for young people with disabilities with special/intensive support needs or with mental ill health. The participants are kindly invited to let us know, when registering, if they are interested in making a contribution to the thematic seminar.
Practical information on the accommodation, the meeting venue, etc. will be shared with the colleagues who will register. Participants will arrive on 29 March and meet for a joint dinner. Participants are asked to fill in the registration form by 20 March, 12h00 CET, at the latest.