Lectoraat Residentiële Jeugdzorg

Projects and subsidies

In the Netherlands

Improving living group climate in Estonia

Invited by the Estionian Ministry of Justice, Leiden University of Professional Sciences is working together with 5 secure juvenile institutions and prisons in the country to measure and improve living group climate in these facilities. Three times  the living group climate (PGCI, adolescents) and work climate (staff) will be assessed together with interviews. Leiden University will provide feedback tot the Estonian facilities together with recommendations from experts for improvement.

Horizon Jeugdzorg & Onderwijs and Stichting Gereformeerd Burgerweeshuis

Horizon Jeugdzorg & Onderwijs (Horizon Youth Care & Education) and research group Residential Youth Care have formed a partnership to conduct several projects in the context of the living group, learning and work climate at the care-institutions and special education schools of Horizon. In the conducted projects, the collaboration and cooperation of care and education is the main focus. The situation in the several facilities is being monitored by follow-up climate research among children, adolescents, and staff-members. The collected data is used to allow care and education to cooperate more effectively. The meta-question is formulated as follows: what is the added value of the dual approach to youth care and education?
Read more about Horizon Jeugdzorg & Onderwijs and Stichting Gereformeerd Burgerweeshuis

Climate research in all Dutch Correctional Institutions for Juvenile Offenders commissioned by the Ministry of Security and Justice

In the Correctional Institutions for Juvenile Offenders (Justitiële Jeugdinrichtingen, or JJI), the living group climate is an important concept. At the request of the Custodial Institutions Agency (Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen, or DJI), the research group is conducting climate research in all the Correctional Institutions for Juvenile Offenders in the Netherlands (living group climate, learning climate and work climate of staff-members). Research focuses on monitoring the living group climate, learning climate and work climate. The results are being described in a report and communicated to the management and staff of the institution. Furthermore, the results related to the living group climate are being discussed with the adolescents and the team (staff) using leaflets. This allows the team to formulate concrete goals, emerging form the results. The integrated results for all the Correctional Institutions for Juvenile Offenders will be described in an annual report for the Ministry of Justice and Security. Results from the 2007-2014 studies show a significant improvement of living group climate over time.

These projects are coordinated by Veronique van Miert.

Learning climate research at Secondary Schools for Special Education 

Structural research is being conducted at currently 140 special education schools into the learning climate in the school and classroom, supplemented with work climate research amongst teachers. More and more often, the perception of one’s own position and opportunities in society, safety and the development of identity is assessed as well. This will provide schools with insight into the perceptions of students and teachers with the result that feedback cycles can be started by way of discussing the results.

In the NRC Handelsblad newspaper on Saturday 14 March 2015, an article appeared (p. 26) about the  wrap around care that School2Care (part of Altra) provides, from 8am-8pm. Research, conducted by our research group, has shown that the pupils are quite positive about the support that they get form their coaches and the meaningfulness of going to School2Care. This was a valuable insight for the professionals, because of the diversity of problems the pupils our suffering with.

Sia, RAAK-publiek. Project title: I’m going back to school

For a period of two years (2014-2015), a large scale project is being conducted financed by a Raak-publiek grant. The Leiden University of Applied Sciences is coordinating this project. This project was conducted in cooperation between regional practitioners of Leiden (coordinator) and Windesheim University of Applied Science and 60 school for special education aims to convert implicit knowledge into evidence-based knowledge through practice-oriented and scientific research. The objective is to use concrete innovative products such as a teaching method, teacher training and unbiased measuring tools to improve the quality of the learning and work climate. By way of a Randomised Controlled Trial involving 500 young people the effectiveness of the program will be assessed. The project will be set up in an initial pilot phase with regional partners before being rolled out nation-wide at the partner practitioners and universities of applied sciences in the area where both universities of applied sciences already have a close partnership.
Read more about Sia, RAAK-publiek


Germany: living group climate research in Correctional Institutions for Juvenile Offenders (Justizvollzuganstalt, JVA) in Germany

Currently, research is being conducted into the living group climate in several large juvenile detention centres in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. These detention centres differ from the Dutch juvenile detention system in many aspects. For example, within one JVA there are 300 places for young people between 14 and 25 years old. Research is being conducted into how these young people differ from young people detained in the Netherlands based on these differences and how this affects the living group climate, with the aim of learning from each other. Following the validation of the GCI in the German language, the Treatment Motivation Questionnaire, the Basic Empathy Scale and the Living Group Work Climate Inventory are currently being translated into German.
More information: please contact Evelyn Heynen

Belgium: research into living group climate and incidents involving aggression in secure youth care institutions.

In cooperation with the University Psychology Centre (UPC) at the University of Leuven, we are working on a project about living group climate and incidents involving aggression in residential youth care institutions in Belgium. In a small scale longitudinal study, the effects of living group climate on the occurrence of aggressive incidents on the group is being examined.
More information: please contact Evelyn Heynen

At the University of Gent, in collaboration with ‘Ons Tehuis’ Youthcare in Ieper, living group climate research is conducted on a regular scale. Recent results show living group climate to improve after targeted interventions. Contact Delphine Levrouw:  delphine.levrouw@votjeugdhulp.be

In the past, living group climate research has also been conducted in the following countries:

  • Aruba, Curacao, Haiti (secure youth care institutions)
  • Ukraine (secure youth care institutions for girls)
  • India, Turkey (correctional Institutions for juvenile offenders)
  • England, Scotland (long term adult prisoners)

For the purpose of these research projects, the living group climate questionnaire has been translated into several languages: English, German, Papiamento, Russian, Turkish, Hindi, Afrikaans, Xhosa.