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CfDP receives grant of 2 million DKK

The summer is finally here and this year our team can enjoy it with an extra wide smile on our faces. The Center for Digital Youth Care has received a grant from The National Board of Social Services of 2 million DKK for a new preventive counseling project for vulnerable adolescents. The aim of the initiative is to give the mentally vulnerable adolescents (aged 12-25) an easier access to adult help, where they can discuss their challenges. The counseling offer has a preventive aim and is primarily carried out by volunteers. It is free of charge, and gives the adolescents anonymous counseling without any prior agreement.

New preventive counseling draws on positive experiences
We are looking forward to initiate the project, which we believe can make a difference for a big number of vulnerable adolescents. The overall aim is to develop a free of charge, nationwide counseling service offering open and anonymous counseling sessions in group chats with permanent volunteer counselors. At the same time, the project ensures the transition between digital programs and public consultation. The special feature of the new counseling offer is the transfer of CfDP’s positive experiences with open digital group chat, focusing on digitizing methodology from physical group consultations, focus on permanent counselors, as well as individual selection of anonymous young group participants. A digital bridge building model is developed between voluntary social work and the municipalities’ professional treatment facilities.

The project covers needs in the counseling landscape
Thousands of adolescents contacts the Danish digital counselings annually because they can get advice while maintaining a high level of anonymity. Over the years, the digital counseling services have developed a more refined network of communication methods and media that can accommodate different needs of the target audience, but there are still a number of gaps in the relatively young digital counseling field. CfDP’s project seeks to fill more of these gaps with the new counseling form, which is more relationship-oriented and less volatile than existing anonymous offers. There is a great potential for more online group counseling. Over the past two years, on our existing counseling platforms (Cyberhus, Netstof and Mitassist) there has been an increase in the demand for and use of group chat, as the adolescents in this communication medium can reflect more actively in their peers than in those otherwise widespread 1-1 chats with adult counselors, which is the dominant digital counseling form in Denmark. Group chat allows more adolescents to participate in the counseling, allows them to form meaningful communities, and gives them a broader perspective on their own situation. However, the challenge of existing group chats may be that they are open and therefore also relatively hectic and sometimes unfocused. For this reason, CfDP sees thematic limited and group-defined chat sessions as a significant shortcoming in the Danish counseling services.

We are very pleased with the grant and the options it ensures. Especially the chance to develop and custom make the counselor services to the vulnerable target group and thereby contribute to a positive development in their lives.

We wish everyone a great summer!

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