Journal Article

The Social Education Gap Report of a Dutch Peer-Consultation Project on Family Policy


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 29, issue 6, pages 903-914
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
The Social Education Gap Report of a Dutch Peer-Consultation Project on Family Policy

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Like their fellow Europeans, many Dutch citizens worry about the moral decay of their youth. Often the family is blamed; (other) parents have failed in their moral education. Recently the Dutch Government asked the present authors to advise them on family policy, taking young people's opinions into account. We asked a group of 24 pupils from vocational schools, aged 14 and 15 and from different ethnic origins, to interview ten classmates each on the subject and to discuss the results with us. Their findings were astonishing. The teenagers, mostly from underprivileged neighbourhoods, said that the problem was not so much the family, but the whole of their ‘educational’ environment. Occasional family problems can easily get out of hand because of what we term a ‘social education gap’. Neither within their neighbourhoods, nor within their large, anonymous schools do they find enough adults who really care, sec to their safety or provide help and attractive activities. To them, the family and the outside world are interdependent educational entities. The absence of caring adults in their social world puts all the pressure on their families, an unfair burden that some parents cannot bear. Their advice to the Government was therefore: invest in educating adults and facilities, and involve young people in policy-making.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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