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You are invited to participate at the international conference of the Jarše youth home titled “Contemporary Challenges of Working with At-Risk Youth”, which will take place on from 7 to 9 June 2024 at Zdravilišče Radenci, Slovenia. The Jarše youth home is a public institution that educates children and adolescents. We cater to the needs of children and adolescents who have been victims of violence, neglect, abuse and inappropriate parental methods which have resulted in disruptive behaviour and/or emotional problems. The primary focus of the conference will therefore be at-risk youth.

This year’s meeting is also intended for professionals in the field of working with young people from vulnerable groups in both the governmental and non-governmental sectors, domestic and foreign practitioners and academics or researchers, and ultimately users – young people from vulnerable groups. It is customary to talk and discuss the latter a lot, but we don’t give them enough of a say to be able to speak about themselves as experts from experience. The ethics of participation dictates that the user participates in the problem and solution as a competent interlocutor, and in accordance with this paradigm, we subtitled this year’s conference


In addition to the novelty of the “living library”, the conference will emphasize current challenges and the search for new knowledge, guidelines, approaches, examples of good practices and ideas, as well as the mutual exchange of opinions and experiences, networking and the establishment of new professional (international) partnerships and support. Topics that will be of particular interest to us are related to the mental health of young people. What are the challenges and needs of young people in the field of mental health? How can we strengthen it? What are the approaches and methods of work that prove to be effective in helping young people in need? We will be interested in newer and lesser-known identity phenomena that appear among young people in the field of sexual orientation, gender identities and identification with different subcultures. How and with what goal do we professionals discuss these topics with young people? What do young people tell us? At the conference, we will also consider the impact of art, sports and other media that are being developed and used in the field of work with young people from vulnerable groups. Do you know new, effective methods of teaching and education, which include the use of various didactic aids, media and adaptations in the education system? This year we will open a space for you to share contributions with us or experiences that show innovative forms and methods of cooperation with parents and family. How to systematically and holistically approach support for families? How to involve parents and the adolescent’s significant others in professional treatment?

The basis of the conference is the question of programs and/or approaches which can provide at-risk youth with the support that is tailored to their needs, develop their competencies that will enable them a greater degree of social inclusion and autonomy, and empower them to overcome personal hardships and challenges.

We kindly invite you to attend the international conference either as a lecturer participant (presentation live at Radenci) or as a listener (live or via video conference on the Zoom platform). Registration fee and all organisational costs (travel expenses, food and accommodation) will be covered by ERASMUS+ programme for 50 selected foreign participants from ERASMUS+ programme and partner countries.

Take advantage of the unique opportunity to enrich your knowledge and acquire skills that you will be able to apply to your professional field of work.

Papers will be presented in Slovene, English, Croatian and Serbian. After the conference, the conference proceedings containing the collected papers will be published electronically.

We look forward to your participation at the conference!


Yours faithfully,

the organizing committee (Tomi Martinjak, Urška Opeka, Peter Steničnik, Damjan Habe, Miha Stele, Borut Velušček, Dominika Pajnik, Eva Breznik, Tjaša Steiner, David Žnidaršič, Vida Kokelj, Ina Kreft Toman and Marko Ocvirk)