The aim of this study is to contribute to reversing the downward spiral of dropout of youth care workers by sustainably improving the mental well-being of youth professionals. For this reason, participatory action research was chosen, with close collaboration between the researcher and stakeholders in the field. Stakeholders are (future) youth professionals and their managers.

The first step in the research is an exploration of experiences in practice: how do trainee students and youth professionals experience their mental well-being? With what ambitions and expectations did they start out as youth professionals? And how are they now in practice?

To visualise this, focus group interviews are organised. First an interview with trainee students, then one with youth workers and finally one connecting the different perspectives of (future) youth workers, managers and client representatives.

Based on the results of these focus group interviews, the objective of the doctoral research is sharpened. This leads to a follow-up study, in which youth care professionals and education professionals develop and implement interventions and then measure their impact. This in turn leads to conclusions that are directly applicable in practice.

Research group

Excellence and Innovation in Education

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