Centre for Digital Youth Care has received a grant of DKK 3 million to help vulnerable girls

Centre for Digital Youth Care has received a grant of DKK 3 million from VELUX FONDEN – the grant will initially strengthen vulnerable girls' well-being through new digital consulting opportunities. The grant from VELUX FONDEN will cover a three-year project developing new digital methods to make help more accessible.

"The grant from VELUX FONDEN can be of great importance for young people in Denmark and especially for vulnerable girls. We know that young people are online and have difficulty finding their way to the appropriate counseling. It is simply too confusing. The young people have to visit the municipality to enter into dialogue with a municipal employee. However in the future, the municipal advisor could be reached with one click", says Anni Marquard, who is Head of the Centre for Digital Youth Care. Anni Marguard is looking forward to getting started with developing and testing a digital educational service in cooperation with at least eight of the country's municipalities.

Centre for Digital Youth Care manage Cyberhus.dk, a digital youth counseling service mainly driven by volunteers, and they are contacted by a large number of girls who worry about eating disorders, self-harm, sexual assault, violence, etc. A large group of these girls has such severe problems that Cyberhus.dk refer them to municipal services. "Unfortunately, we find that many of the girls are lost in the transition between the advice from Cyberhus.dk and the youth counseling from the municipality thus not receiving adequate preventive care. At worst, the result is that the girls end up in severe failure to thrive", says Anni Marquard.

A new unique transition programme between voluntary organizations and the municipalities

Simultaneously the new project will make way for a new unique collaboration between municipal initiatives and voluntary work. "We are very conscious of the need to establish a closer collaboration across the voluntary social work and the municipal´s programs. Cyberhus.dk is often the first anonymous contact with the young. The municipalities have the concrete options to initiate an effort for the young. We can, in particular, complement each other and develop an offer that fits the girls' needs", says Anni Marquard about the unique collaborative cooperation between the municipality and NGOs.

"With a united and strong offer, we believe that we can make a real difference and change the way we think about youth counseling in Denmark", says Anni Marquard. She sees the collaboration as a way to ensure that a significant number of the girls go through to counseling. Centre for Digital Youth Care experience great interest from the country's municipalities and is currently creating partnerships with the first municipalities. So far, Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality and Copenhagen´s municipality will participate in the project.

"We have chosen to participate in the project on the grounds that young people's behavior and habits have changed significantly. At the same time, we unfortunately see an inclination that the group of both quiet and vulnerable young people is increasing. Cyberhus´chat is anonymous and a good tool for that the last group - those who carry problems alone and often sit at home in their rooms. Through the advice the may gain the courage to seek advice and guidance", says Allan Østergaard, Head of Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality's after school classes on the future cooperation and the potential.

The interdisciplinary cooperation has long been a wish for the Centre for Digital Youth Care. “It has been our dream for many years to create a partnership with the municipalities for a better effort, and with the grant from VELUX FONDEN this is now finally possible", says Anni Marquard.

Facts
Center for Digital Education is a socio-economic organization established in 2004 by social entrepreneur Anni Marquard. Today, the center works as an independent institution with 8 employees and about 90 volunteers. It is the country's leading knowledge organization in digital counseling for children and adolescents.

For further information please contact Head of the Centre for Digital Youth Care, Anni Marquard +45 50 50 24 13