In June 2022, Asociación Caminos conducted a focus group with 4 youth workers and 1 facilitator. The youth workers worked with young people in different fields, for example, as a trainer in courses, as a counsellor, as a supervisor etc. The participants were all from the region of Andalusia in Spain.
The participants highlighted that one of the biggest challenges at the moment is the transformation of youth work into digital youth work and the use of digital tools, the need to combat the lack of motivation of the youth population, largely caused by the high unemployment rates in the south of Spain and the consequent emigration to other European countries.
All participants think digital youth work has potential and allows for a deeper cooperation between young people and youth workers, they do see the main challenges in the lack of digital skills and competences to handle the new dynamics brought on by digital youth work.
In regards to digital work in general, the participants support an improvement of digital work in organisation, stating that a lot of organisations are already upgrading rapidly, doing a good job in adapting. They also stated the importance of developing tools to reduce overstimulation and excessive hours with digital devices.
All participants voiced their satisfaction with the digital tools they use at work, although they also reported a certain degree intoxication and sometimes not knowing how to switch off.
When asked how they would implement digital tools with a young person who has physical disabilities, they stated it depends on the kind of disability. Reaching a person who is blind is not the same as reaching a person who is deaf or has a degree of autism. It is important to know the audience they are working with to address these issues and find solutions for effective and motivating activities.
The participants named multiple objectives and recommendations which the Digital Youth Handbook should cover: