Cyberhus has, after a year of intensive search for political and financial backing, just been granted a lifeline of DKK 2 millions.

About a year ago, the rug was almost pulled out from under Cyberhus when our application for government funds from the Ministry of Social Affairs was rejected. The application, which was on approx. DKK 2 millions a year, should have ensured our primary operations and retained our employees and nearly 100 volunteers over the next year, so we could have time to develop, establish, and consolidate the collaboration on virtual counselling and online social education with municipalities.

From the political side they risked, with the rejection of the application, to throw out six years of unique knowledge and experience with online counselling of marginalised children and young people. This is the reason we, throughout 2010, have tried to make ourselves heard by politicians, so six years of experience and financial backing will not be wasted, and so marginalised children and young people will continue having an online meeting place where they can receive help and counselling from competent adult counsellors who listen to the young people on their own terms.

Thanks to the spokesman of the Danish political party, Kristendemokraterne, Per Ørum Jørgensen, we have now been heard and financially backed. In connection with the budget negotiations, he set up a special fund for social projects, and it was a consolation for the historically small government funds that social organisations usually subsist on. Now it benefits Cyberhus and thousands of marginalised children and young people, since the Danish Parliament’s Finance Committee has recently approved a grant of DKK 2 millions.

 

A Roller Coaster Year Is Over

The million appropiation is a positive ending of a year, which has been something of a rollercoaster ride for Cyberhus. Last year’s rejection presented us with a very big challenge.

Even though our offer lies within the municipal supply requirement, it has been very difficult to get municipalities to take part in paying for a web-based nationwide offer.

The socioeducational work on the web is still a task that does not have a particular high priority in the various municipalities. However, we estimate that it is here the biggest development will happen from here on out, and not least opportunities to reduce some of the public costs.

We are well underway working on and establishing the collaboration with the municipalities, and there is no doubt that the municipalities have to pay their share of the costs. But it takes time.

We had hoped for support from the Ministry of Social Affairs for this process over the next couple of years, but after the rejection we were quite frankly faced with a somewhat more uncertain future, despite being able to document progress for our socioeducational meeting with children and young people on the web year after year.

 

Can Ensure Anchoring in the Municipalities

In Cyberhus and in our parent organisation, Ungdommens Vel (Youth Welfare), we have never doubted that an early social intervention towards marginalised children and young people is a gain both in relation to young people’s welfare and to society in general. A point of view that has been supported by CASA’s large analysis `Investeringer i tidlige sociale indsatser’ (Investments in Early Social Interventions) from November 2010.

We can wonder at the hitherto lukewarm support from national side, which has led to a very real risk that many successful ideas and projects would fail.

But now we receive the much-needed support for the further process, and we are ready to work to ensure our online drop-in centre and counselling offer will be continued and further developed benefiting the many marginalised children and young people who use Cyberhus on a daily basis.

We have been given a gift that ensures our further work on a number of platforms for a while,, and not least which gives us time to anchor our projects in the municipalities so we get a coherent socioeducational effort nationwide, which meet the socially marginalised children and young people where they are in increasing degree, namely online.

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