Menu Nederlands

Stay on Track

Displaced youths returning to school

This project investigates, together with displaced youths and the people around them, how the return to school can be improved, so that the youth can participate in society in a meaningful way and make better use of their talents.



This project focuses on the stories and solutions of young people themselves. Yorrick, Yorrick-Lars, Sulyvienne and Yasmin have experience with living away from home. Together with students and researchers of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, they are doing research into the school careers of young people who (temporarily) live in an institution. Watch the video of the experienced youngsters here.

We also ask important people from the network of these young people to think along with us. Co-researchers who have experience on the subject are used in the research. Students also participate in the research. Together we look for solutions. Some of the solutions will be tested, evaluated and adapted. If everyone is satisfied with them, these solutions will be implemented permanently.

Project description

The life course and learning pathways of young people who have been placed in care show many cracks. Often a lot has gone wrong at home and at school before they were placed in care. In spite of all the initiatives from the past, the connection between youth help and education for these vulnerable young people is still far from being realised.

Within the project we combine participatory action research and design-oriented research. From the start we work on an equal footing with the end users, the young people themselves. They are co-researchers, designers and advisors. We also involve parents, youth protectors, teachers and youth workers at school.

This project is part of the Regional Knowledge Workshop Youth in Rotterdam.


The objective is to improve the return to school of young people between 12 to 23 years of age who have left home, so that they can participate in society in a meaningful way and make better use of their talents. The solutions of young people themselves are central to this.

Link with education

Bachelor and master students of health care, social and teacher training participate in all phases of research within the framework of, among other things, minor and graduation projects.

In phase one, after special training, students will, together with an experienced co-researcher, conduct life course interviews with young people and with other important people from the young people's network. The interviews are analysed and themes, portraits and solutions are distilled from them. In this phase, research is also carried out into existing good practices. 

In phase two students participate when the results are fed back to focus groups with all relevant stakeholders. In this phase, the solutions are chosen and worked out in more detail. 

In phase three, students are involved in design research, in which building blocks of solutions are developed and tested in practice together with all relevant stakeholders. Students also investigate the training needs of professionals to be able to put the building blocks into practice.

In phase four, the building blocks will be put together and we will have ten to fifteen young people return to school in the new way. Students question young people and those around them to evaluate the new way of working.