Digital lecture series

Research into Youth Work
Digital lecture series in the Winter semester 2022/2023 and Summer semester 2023

The Academic Network on Youth Work, together with the German Youth Institute, invites you to a digital lecture series. The events offer opportunities to learn about and exchange research findings on child and youth work.

In 90-minute events, research results on child and youth work are presented, taking into account methodological approaches and theoretical-conceptual references. In this way, the Science Network and the German Youth Institute would like to increase the visibility of research in child and youth work and provide impulses for theory and practice.

Lecture series programme


Examining the Potential Benefits of Youth Work
Julia Hallmann, Julia Haubrich (DJI/TU Dortmund research association) j.php?MTID=m0ab50aa5414e1594e04fb64f02d758c2
Meeting-ID: 2743 382 4552,
Meeting-Passwort: pnSiZYeP578
Moderation Jens Pothmann

Folien (PDF)

This lecture will start with a brief introduction into the theoretical framework of the “Potential Benefits of Youth Work in North Rhine-Westphalia” research project, examining four specific potential benefits: community formation, assumption of responsibility, education and integration. The speakers will then explain the methodological approach and present a selection of empirical results. A particular focus is the differences between three reference groups: 1) non-participants, 2) participants and 3) volunteers engaged in youth work. The results, based on the data collected in the AID:A 2020 NRW+ study, show that there is empirical proof of traces of the specified potential benefits at the individual level. The speakers will also discuss the methodological challenges in this research project. We then look forward to a discussion with those present.


Unfortunately, this lecture has to be cancelled due to illness of the speakers.

Young Muslim Actors in Youth Work:
“Actually very effectively self-organised, but nevertheless...”
Cynthia Kohring, Inga Selent (University of Münster)
Meeting-ID: 665 7040 9429,
Kenncode: 419316
Moderation: Gunda Voigts

43% of the Muslim people living in Germany (a total of approx. 5.5 million) are under 24 years of age (Pfündel at al. 2021) and thus represent - not only because of their number - an important target group for child and youth welfare. Despite increasingly differentiated research perspectives on young Muslim life in Germany, it is clear that approaches to young Muslims as a natural part of plural youth cultures are still at the beginning. Also in the context of children's and youth work there is little empirically secured knowledge (Jagusch 2019). Within the framework of the research project Child and Youth Welfare under Muslim Sponsorship (2017-2020), special attention was paid to young Muslim people as users and providers of child and youth work. Using a participatory online survey, knowledge, interests, reasons for use and needs of young Muslims in the context of (open) child and youth work were collected. In the lecture, selected results of the survey and the research project will be presented and discussed together in order to discuss possible implications for child and youth work. In addition, first results of the youth survey gemeinsam∙verschieden∙jung (2022) can be included.


Biography - Images - Addresses: Images of Childhood and Youth in Open Child and Youth Work
Sebastian Rahn (Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, Stuttgart))
Meeting-ID: 614 4705 9063,
Kenncode: 7T9^FPC?
Moderation: Simon Hemmerich

Ideas about what childhood and adolescence are and which framework conditions are needed for a 'good' growing up are constitutive for pedagogy and thus also for open child and youth work as a field of work. The study on which this lecture is based therefore investigated how images of childhood and youth develop biographically among professionals in open work and what relevance these images have in addressing children and young people. Both the research methodological procedure including methodological (preliminary) considerations as well as central results of the study will be presented in the context of the lecture.


Child and youth work services in figures - contours of overarching lines of development and approaches to small-scale analyses based on official statistics
Julia Haubrich, Dr. Thomas Mühlmann (DJI/TU Dortmund research association)
Meeting-ID: 611 6536 6823
Kenncode: Ja95t2+U
Moderation: Gunda Voigts

Folien (PDF)

Since 2015, comprehensive official statistics have been conducted on the services offered by child and youth work. For the subject area covered by these statistics, they claim to be a complete survey. Using two examples, the lecture explains the possibilities and limits of using the data for scientific secondary analyses. On the basis of the latest results for the data year 2021, some effects of the corona pandemic on the offers will be shown. In addition, approaches for the investigation of correlations between the extent of rurality of a district - operationalised via the "Land Atlas" of the Thünen Institute (2022) - and the type or number of the respective offers of child and youth work recorded in the official statistics are explained. On this basis, new findings on the structures of child and youth work are described as well as questions of validity and generalisability of official statistics are put up for discussion. (Note: Title and contents were modified by the speakers due to topicality contrary to the first announcement).


(De-)Solidarisation in the Associational Self-Organisation of Young People. The Organisation of Entitlement and the Legitimation of Participation.
Nils Wenzler, Luisa Klöckner, Prof. Dr. Andreas Thimmel
Meeting-ID: 692 9159 0130,
Kenncode: 2u4DU9p*
Moderation: Wibke Riekmann

The article follows up on research results from the BMBF-funded study "Solidarisches Handeln in der Jugendverbandsarbeit und verbandlichen Selbstorganisation" (Solidarity in Youth Association Work and Association Self-Organisation), which was conducted from 2019-2022 at the Research Centre for Nonformal Education (TH Köln). The study asked about different practices of solidarity and how this is thought about, justified and practically implemented in the self-organisation of young people in associations and the institutionalised system of youth political representation of interests. The youth association system claims to represent the interests of all young people, although it has been clear for several decades that it is not able to adequately represent the plurality of society in the Federal Republic. This formal democratic system of interest representation systematically produces exclusions and denials of participation, especially with regard to self-organisations of young people who share the experience of being migrantised, alienated and minoritised as natio-ethno-cultural 'others'. In addition to the different practices of solidarity, this also raises the question of the (re)organisation of spaces of entitlement and the legitimisation of participation options in the field of young people's self-organisation in associations.


Mapping of European Youth Work Ecosystems
Dr. Frederike Hofmann-van de Poll, (Arbeitsstelle europäische Jugendpolitik am DJI und Pool of European Youth Researchers)
Meeting-ID: 2741 894 6972,
Kenncode: tAmBHk2CT93
Moderation: Wibke Riekmann
The aim of the European Youth Work Agenda (EYWA) is to promote the development of youth work in Europe by creating a common strategic framework to improve understanding and a more robust, coordinated approach to the implementation of different youth work activities. Actors are involved in measures and projects that implement the EYWA at the European level and in individual European states. The “Mapping European Youth Work Ecosystems” project examines which European actors are involved in implementing the EYWA, how they work together, the measures and activities they are using to implement the EYQA, and the extent to which these actors’ activities are coordinated. The project aims to promote the European youth work ecosystem – i.e. the complex European network of actors, topics, processes and structures as well as the associated activities and measures to implement the EYWA – and analyse its interactions. The study builds on the theoretical principles of social networks analysis (Stegbauer 2008). In this lecture, speakers will explore the (political) background to the project and its theoretical basis. They will also present the project’s methodology. It is based on a mixed methods approach in which standardised surveys are combined with guided interviews. The Delphi method (Häder 2000) is also used as a means of having the research outcomes validated by actors from the fields of politics and practice. Finally, the speakers will present recent research outcomes on the implementation of the Bonn Process (Hofmann-van de Poll/Kovacic 2022) and the preliminary results of this project.


Democratic Participation of Children and Young People in Rural Areas.
Solveig Langenohl, Oliver Stettner, Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Richter, Prof. Dr. Wibke Riekmann (Medical School Hamburg) j.php?MTID=mde37d3b4242539d8e663bd9e5b3ab690
Meeting-ID: 2740 843 5145,
Meeting Passwort: 94xDZqTdrq4
Moderation: Jens Pothmann

A three year research project* funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has been using participative research methods since mid-2021 to examine democratic practices and potential means of promoting democracy in rural youth associations, youth work and municipal youth politics (i.e. youth welfare committees, youth parliaments) and research the prospects for associational youth work as an actor in the regional development of rural municipalities/districts. An initial interim assessment has shown, on the one hand, how difficult it is to access the field and develop a common research question. On the other hand, the self-image of “democratic domains” (German Federal Youth Council – DBJR) and the specific practice of participation in the examined youth work actors certainly provide scope for development. The mission and challenge, particularly for policymakers and interest groups at the municipal level, should be to rectify the “structural faults” (Lindner 2017) in terms of the competencies and responsibilities of youth welfare and to support existing structures of democratic participation-oriented youth work at the local level by means of targets services and instruments


Perspectives from Young People with Disabilities: What Does Inclusive Youth Work Need?
Katharina Przybylski, Prof. Dr. Gunda Voigts (HAW Hamburg)
Meeting-ID: 2744 094 5761
Kenncode: mZytsPi2S4r4
Moderation: Simon Hemmerich

Various research projects supported by the Youth Work Unit at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences focus on the issue of implementing effective inclusion in youth work. The “Youth Work in the Age of COVID-19” research project examines the participation of young people with disabilities in open youth work (Voigts/Blohm 2022; Voigts 2022). A research project supported by supported by Aktion Mensch, “Through Young People’s Eyes – What Does Inclusive Youth Work Need?”, surveys young people with intellectual disabilities and experts from open and associational youth work (Petri/Voigts 2021; Heister/Przybylski et al 2022). This lecture will bring together empirical insights, thereby outlining the perspectives of young people with disabilities in relation to youth work and deriving recommendations for action. The speakers will also summarise the experiences of a cross-disciplinary research project integrating both youth work associations and disability services, taking the empirical results as the basis for a transfer into practice in discourse with these actors. The lecture will also provide an insight into the specific challenge of surveying young people with disabilities.

Organising team:

  • Simon Hemmerich (University of Siegen) –
  • Dr Jens Pothmann (German Youth Institute) –
  • Prof. Wibke Riekmann (Medical School Hamburg) –
  • Prof. Gunda Voigts (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences) –

The Academic Network on Youth Work:

The idea of establishing the Academic Network on Youth Work was born from a desire to promote academic engagement with the topic of youth work and facilitate a debate on academic developments in teaching and research. This network is connected to the Federal Network on Youth Work (BKJ). The project is supported by the research partnership between the German Youth Institute (DJI) and TU Dortmund. For more information, visit: