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Young Inclusion in

Kongsvinger region

An increasing number of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 are out of education or work. In our region, this challenge is greater compared to other regions. All six municipalities and NAV want to do something about this. The municipalities in the Kongsvinger region have a goal that more young people have the opportunity to support themselves and participate in society in a good way.

Who we are

The project's employees are Ingjerd Thon Hagaseth (project manager), Lisbeth Haveråen- Brattås (assistant project manager), Nina Wågene Engebretsen and Joakim Tollefsen (project staff). (Outi Jousenkyla is currently on maternity leave).

In addition, Vladislav Meshvez (County coordinator for youth efforts, NAV Innlandet) and Mette Sønderskov (Follow-up researcher, Høgskolen i Innlandet) are part-time members of the working group. Mette looks in particular at how we use the approach positive deviance (PD), or positive deviation in Norwegian, to strengthen the innovation capacity in the region.

Lars Thuesen and Mads Fly-Hansen assist us in the work of using the PD approach.

Background for the project:

An increasing number of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 are not in education or work. Compared to other regions, the challenge in our region is even greater. The challenges of outsiders have been dealt with over many years, and despite high priority and many targeted measures, both locally and nationally, the statistics show development in the wrong direction. More and more young people end up outside.

The municipalities in the Kongsvinger region have therefore started a development and innovation project in collaboration with NAV and others, where the aim is to give more young people the opportunity to support themselves and participate in society in a good way.

With the positive deviations approach, the Young Inclusion project will draw on experiences from the Kongsvinger region and identify methods and approaches to prevent and prevent young outsiders. The solutions exist locally, and we will help find and share them.

The aim is that:

1) More young people between the ages of 18-34 enter work and education and

2) More young disabled people are given the opportunity to be employed again, including with a special focus on those who have children.

Throughout the year 2022, the project has recruited and brought together local resource persons in learning networks who work with and for children and young people in the individual municipality. These have met for workshops where they have received training in the PD approach, and we have discussed various issues surrounding the problem. We have also met in learning networks/resource groups in each municipality.

In addition, we have worked on recruiting and connecting the people who "have the shoes on". The young people themselves, who have experience of what it is like to be or have been in an outsider. We have also worked to involve the youth councils in the municipalities, who have expertise in being young. If we want to solve the challenges of outsiders, we have to listen to those who have themselves experienced how this is experienced.

Read an article about the topic (coming)

Positive deviations as an approach:

The method is little used in Norway, and we are the first project to use the approach to promote service innovation on such a large scale, and to find solutions to the large complex challenge of young outsiders.

When we look for positive deviations, we must first identify what the challenges are. We have done a great deal of insight work to identify where the shoe presses in the individual municipalities. Once you have gained an overview of the challenges, we must turn the problem around and think: are there any cases where we actually succeed in this? Furthermore, we must explore what happens in these cases, how it is done, and why it is done. Is this something that can be transferred to others?

Here you can watch a short video about the positive deviance approach: What is the Positive Deviance Approach?

Since the project started in 2021, we have worked on

  • Anchored the work in all municipalities, from top managers to those who work directly with the young people.
  • Provided training and insight into the positive deviation approach through digital seminars, workshops and resource group meetings.
  • Put the spotlight on the challenge of outsiders in our region.
  • Carried out network analysis where we have mapped the cooperation between the various sectors and municipalities in the region. What is perceived as good, and what can be challenging?
  • Collected relevant statistics to carry out and create a baseline analysis of the current situation.
  • Collective insight, through conversations with young people who have experienced being in a form of outsiders, managers and employees in the services.
  • Presented the work to mobilize for joint efforts and to get a better connection between different development projects
  • Formed resource groups/learning networks across services in each municipality to create local anchoring and local development work. The resource groups identify and define what they feel is most important in their local community and based on this they have formulated a problem that each municipality wants to explore further.
  • Identified possible positive deviant behavior and practices in the support system around the young people and with the young people themselves.
  • The job was to test out and collect experience and assess possibilities for the spread of the solutions in the individual municipality/regionally.

Overview of the various municipalities and choice of direction/challenge area:

King's Wings: "The help measures and offers are unknown to the young people in Kongsvinger, and the employees in the support system are not available where the young people are"   

Various measures are being tested to make the support system and services more widely known. Among other things:

  • Breakfast club at upper secondary school (environmental team and rapid mental health care). We want to test whether we can make the initiative more popular by being available where the young people are. Preventive.
  • Interdisciplinary professional lunch - get to know each other better
  • Good public health - how to build good public health with the young people on the team and solve it at the lowest possible level?
  • Social media - showcase good activities and offers - young people communicate with young people

Eidskog: «When we map and coordinate services in the municipality, we will succeed in reducing alienation. How can we coordinate as best as possible when it comes to families on the outside who have children". 

Goal: Be included in the local community and break previous negative patterns. 

Some different measures being tested:

  • Breakfast club and evening meeting place for those who want to network. Purpose: Create relationships with citizens, get to know each other and use the insights to develop even better services
  • Joint consent for the entire municipality. Purpose: better interdisciplinary follow-up and internal collaboration.
  • Conduct interviews with citizens with experience. What can we learn? Why have some succeeded, despite?
  • The citizen in the center
  • Parental empowerment for all - offer of courses and empowerment for all parents in Eidskog.

Grue: «The junior high school does not interact with other actors to create more mastery and motivation in the pupils".  

Student councils, youth councils and young people who have been interviewed about their own experiences have together come up with various measures that they have experienced can increase coping and motivation. Some of those being tested are:

  • Thought virus for increased understanding of one's own mental health.
  • Interdisciplinary projects with other players, e.g. finance.
  • Outdoor school teaching to create more alternative learning arenas.
  • Closer collaboration with libraries for increased reading pleasure.
  • A more visible service with health nurses and environmental workers.
  • Joint midsummer celebration for the junior high school for increased cohesion and a safe arena.

Asnes: "No one feels that secondary school or upper secondary school facilitates a good transition".  

The Youth Council has organized a youth political day in the secondary school with the theme of mental health, substance abuse and education. Together with the students, they have come up with several proposals that they want to improve the transition to upper secondary school, some of which are being tested are:

  • Solidarity week with various activities for all levels at Solør primary school at the start of school.
  • Sponsorship in upper secondary school.
  • Education fair that embraces several educational opportunities and where young people themselves can have a hand in influencing the content.
  • Interest tests and other actors in the education choice lessons in secondary school.
  • Increased density of full-time nurses in upper secondary education and focus on coping with life.

North and South Odal: «Junior school students in Nord and Sør-Odal with various risk factors identify themselves as outsiders both academically and socially and many do not complete upper secondary school.' 

Resource group Odalen wants to work to help and prevent secondary school students from dropping out and not completing their education. Some of the insights that stand out as positively deviant and decisive so far are:

  • Help with transfer processes and applications in relation to transfer to new schools or fields of study.
  • Facilitation of work to achieve a sense of mastery in schooling
  • Being responsible for something or someone, that the threshold for not carrying out something becomes higher when someone makes demands on you.
  • Relationships, having people around you who genuinely care that things go well.
  • Observation work, where people who succeed in something in their work are shadowed by others with the intention of learning lessons and gaining insight.

Here you can see the relevant statistics

Quotes from the insight work:

- It is the first time since I moved back home that I have experienced interdisciplinary interaction in this way.

- We will continue to work on this in the municipality and focus on it in the coming years as well.

- We have to change the way we meet people - we have to focus on the person and put away the expert glasses we have as professionals. We must listen more than we speak.

- Just by us meeting, getting to know each other and getting to know each other, new collaborations and agreements arise.

- We must work together and build on what already works well - see everything in context.

- It is interesting to see how much work is being done on this topic, I did not think so. It gives me hope.

- If I can help someone else who is in a similar situation to get through, that's enough for me.

- The most important thing for people is to know that someone is rooting for you.

Presentation of the project:

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