CAD.20.011 – Join Up: developing and institutionalizing transformative youth governance networks

Route: Child and adolescent development, upbringing and education

Cluster question: 059 How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

The 2015-Youth Act marked the start of the transformation of the Dutch youth domain. The transformation intends to create a healthy, safe and fair environment for youngsters to successfully develop themselves in their various contexts (at home, at school, etc.). These objectives are far from being achieved. The youth care and pedagogical domain is compounded of many subsystems, which is partly caused by the fact that child and adolescent (youngsters) development simply takes place in a myriad of contexts. It is also fragmented and segmented because of a manifold of disciplinary, organizational, legal and institutional barriers. These barriers make it an extremely complex system for youngsters and their families to find their ways in, for professionals to work in, and for public authorities to govern it. Transformative youth care therefore requires ‘joined up’ governance across multiple institutional, organizational and disciplinary levels and scales. It requires professionals across the entire range, that is, child- and youth-psychiatry, (ortho)pedagogy, youth protection, social work, teachers, and so forth, to coordinate their activities and develop their knowledge in multidisciplinary teams and expertise-networks. It requires municipalities to develop new procurement and (inter-municipal) governance arrangements that facilitate such collaborations, including governance services networks within and across their jurisdictions. Finally, it requires new methods of ‘joined up’ inquiry (i.e. data-collection and diagnostic monitoring at the level of individual cases and populations) in order to detect, analyse and explain transformative trends in youth population outcomes so that stakeholders can collectively learn from transformative practices and account for their outcomes. This consortium aims to provide knowledge of the various conditions that foster a more coherent, interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to the realization of a positive developmental perspective for youngsters, so that their interests and rights are sufficiently served and safeguarded by the policy and practice of upbringing, education and guidance.


Child participation, Data Driven Policy, Knowledge Infrastructures, Learning by Monitoring, Network Governance, Positive Youth Development

Other organisations

Accare, Amsterdam UMC, gemeente Nijmegen, Ondersteuningsteam Zorg voor de Jeugd, Radboud Universiteit (Faculty of Social Sciences), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health), Rijksuniversiteit Leiden (Leiden Law School), StroomOp


Organisation Radboud University (Nijmegen School of Management, Institute for Management Research) (RU)
Name Dr. Jan-Kees Helderman