Organising intercultural and interreligious activities

A toolkit for local authorities


Current Affairs Committee

Sedef Cankoçak

Tel : +33 3 88 41 21 10

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Straathoekwerk (Street Corner Work)

Best practice Educating young people

Straathoekwerk in Zaanstad (SWZ) started as a small NGO of street workers in the 1980s and is now financed by the local government. SWZ reaches out to all at risk young people who are entangled in problems of addiction, housing, job and social life, and/or show signs of radicalisation and violence, which includes right-wing and slightly increasingly also some Islamist sympathisers and related low-level gang activity.

SWZ colleagues are qualified social workers and operate in a detached manner, directly on the street. The methodological principles are trust and relationship-building, open-process, participatory and group-focused approach, supportive-challenging base attitude, intersectional perspective. In the face of temporary waves of neo-Nazi group formations SWZ developed an interdisciplinary team method engaging colleagues from social work, school and community police – and developed a method of preventive/ motivational family interviewing with group members and their families.

A particularly promising aspect of this approach might be how it came from the basic principles of good-practice street-work developed to a targeted method of prevent/ derad in the family context. In the future SWZ intends to explore preventive/ motivational family interviewing in other social contexts; also SWZ would like to increase its engagement in international practice exchange.