Housing, Care and Support: a journal on policy, research and practice vol:14 issue:2 pages:61-67
Purpose – The aim of this case study is to report on the experiences of four social work organisations in
four different European countries and their efforts to integrate the use of social media as a means to
support their work with Youth-at-Risk.
Design/methodology/approach – The case study reports on the activities of and challenges met by
these four organisations undertaken in the two years they took part in the EU-INCLUSO(FP7) project and
the year after the end of the project (2010). The initial findings were supplemented and updated based
on recent, in-depth interviews with representatives from the four pilot organisations.
Findings – The use of social media to support the work of organisations working with Youth-at-Risk has
much potential and has proven to be worthwhile, according to the experiences of the four organisations
that took part in the EU-INCLUSO project. However, successful adoption within the organisation
depends on management support, sufficient resources and staff coaching and training. The choice of
which tools can be used in a particular situation is largely influenced by the preferences of the young
people involved, putting emphasis on co-designing social media strategies together with the intended
target group. Finally, most organisations report that currently available social media tools, while useful,
are not always ideal; this makes the case for custom-built tools.
Originality/value – This case study offers a unique view into the experiences of four pioneering
organisations working with Youth-at-Risk and their experiences with implementing social media tools in