A series of guides have been produced by youth work organisations on how digital can be best deployed to maintain support for young people.
Youth work charities have come together to offer advice around tackling the coronavirus pandemic for those working with young people, including using digital to stay connected.
A central theme is how youth workers need to move activities for young people, including youth centre drop in sessions, online where possible by using social media tools such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Facebook.
With the youth sector largely moving from community to home working the guides also offer advice to workers on staying in contact with colleagues digitally, as well as with specialist support services young people may need.
This includes using work management and communication tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. Video conferencing service Zoom is also recommended.
Youth workers in the voluntary and public sectors and are also urged to recommend the range of digital support for young people offered by the charity The Mix.
Staying connected with friends is vital, according to the guide on supporting but young people. But it warns “if the 24-hour news is making you anxious, think about only reading a few headlines a day and limiting how much you see”.
“Acute youth work support is essential and should continue. More socially based youth work support (drop-in youth club etc) should cease.”
The guide for youth workers adds: “Use digital technology to facilitate connectivity to each other. Include video calls and phone calls too to try to alleviate loneliness.
In addition, a website compiling advice and resources for the youth work sector around coronavirus has been released by UK Youth and the NYA.
👇 Keep Calm, Stay Connected, Be Safe👇 t.co/kp6uYxZJJ2 @natyouthagency & @UKYouth have created and collected the essential resources and guidance for young people and youth workers during this time of instability due to #COVID19 #YouthWorkSupport pic.twitter.com/DRB0WoZ1nZ— NYA (@natyouthagencya>
\uD83D\uDC47 Keep Calm, Stay Connected, Be Safe\uD83D\uDC47 https://t.co/kp6uYxZJJ2 @natyouthagency & @UKYouth have created and collected the essential resources and guidance for young people and youth workers during this time of instability due to #COVID19 #YouthWorkSupport pic.twitter.com/DRB0WoZ1nZ— NYA (@natyouthagency) March 19, 2020
Called Youth Work Support it is aimed to an “online space for youth workers to access a range of tools and resources to support young people during this challenging time”, according to UK Youth.
This includes the three guides already produced and will be updated over the coming weeks with new resources.