The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs

Supporting teenagers through high school

We developed a new, user-centred child welfare initiative for The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir). The initiative named Skolelos will be piloted in three municipalities during 2017 and 2018.

The brief

Statistics show that the amount of teenagers outside the Child Welfare System dropping out of high school, is twice as high compared with those within the system. This has a large and negative impact on their opportunities for a healthy and independent life. Can we develop a low threshold initiative to support teenagers who are at risk and their families, and help them complete high school?

Comte Bureau solution

Combining social science and service design methodology we gathered insight from professionals working with youth in our target group. Our goal was to gather practical knowledge from experienced professionals and to combine this with insight from schools, research literature and teenagers’ own experiences. After several iterations, we presented the initiative Skolelos. It is a program that is carried out through five steps:

1. Identify 2. The first meeting 3. LosLoop 4. Evaluation 5. Exit

Step 1, 2, 4 and 5 describe the start, the evaluation and the ending of the initiative. Step 3 of Skolelos is open, to be adapted to each teenagers’ individual situation. Inspired by the Supported Employment / Education methodology, this step will be centered around their own goals, small or big, to create actions that support these goals.

Skolelos will support and guide the target youth, through a focus on three specific tasks:

1. Cooperation with their school, so the teenagers will receive the necessary support and arrangements at school.

2. Empower the family, through guiding and facilitating communication between the parents and their child.

3. Taking part in coordinating other existing support services, e.g. health care.

We are very pleased that the directorate will pilot the initiative within three municipalities this year.

The project was carried out in cooperation with Jon Hovland, in Red Tape Crossing.