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is a professor of social work with focus on the system of child and youth welfare at the University of Applied Science in Erfurt in Germany. She did her doctorate in a graduate college that was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). At the moment she is particularly concerned with complex help constellations and failing help processes, in which one aspect is some kind of behavior of children or adolescents that challenges the professionals.

  • She has lived and worked in Berlin for ten years. There she worked at the Round Table “Sexual child abuse in dependency and power relations in institutions and in families” chaired by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs (BMFSFJ). She also worked as a practitioner in a residential group and later as an ombudswoman in a counseling center.
  • Her main research fields are professionalism and arranging professional help relationships with focus on social pedagogy, the child and youth welfare, child protection and children’s rights. She is currently the project coordinator of an international exchange of professionals about challenging help constellations.
  • Nicole was a passionate tennis player and motorcyclist in her youth. Now that she is old, she loves jogging, mountain hiking and learning to dance the tango. Because she has been a challenge herself in growing up, she is particularly passionate about making the “unheard voices” of young people heard who are less fortunate as her because of a lack of engaged adults in institutional systems.


The lecture will present the main results of the KIDSCREEN, the European screening for promotion of health-related quality of life in childhood and adolescents as a health perspective. The study examined emotional well-being and behaviour in national representative samples and the variation across countries and crucial aspects and risk factors.

We will also have a look insight the results of the COPSY study about mental health and psychological stress of children and adolescents in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will become clear that social work has many potentials to support the young people. On the one hand, we have to build up and acquire professional knowledge to really support the young people. But on the other hand, we also have to reflect, that the care system itself includes risk factors that have a damaging effect on the psychological well-being of children and adolescents. These are, for example, dominance of normative ideals of professionals, unreflective involvement in case dynamics, stigmatization, humiliation and disregard for participation.

dr. MATEJA HUDOKLIN, PsyD, Spec. Clin. Psychol. (Slovenia)

is a clinical psychologist and director of the Counselling Centre for Children, Adolescents and Parents Ljubljana.

  • In addition to managing the Counseling Center, she also provides counseling and therapy to children, adolescents, and their parents. Her approach is primarily cognitive-behavioral therapy. Recently, she has focused on working with adolescents who have emotional problems and disorders in her clinical practice. She also has experience working with children who have been victims of abuse, neglect, and violence or who come from families experiencing high-conflict divorce.
  • She works as a court expert, a member of the steering committee, and a researcher. She is also a member of the NIJZ expert group for the implementation of the National Mental Health Program 2018-2028 for the mental health of children and adolescents, where she leads the group for mental health of children and adolescents. Additionally, she is a member of the expert group at the Ministry of Justice for the establishment of the House for Children in Slovenia and an expert of the European Commission in the field of work with children who are victims of sexual abuse.


In recent years, and particularly in the post-pandemic period, the topic of mental health among young people has come to the forefront. Experts in the field of mental health for children and adolescents are facing a multitude of challenges and changes that young people are experiencing in their lives, including in the realm of mental health, and they are urging us to find effective ways to provide assistance.

The lecture will cover various factors that impact the mental health of young people. It will emphasize the role of school in promoting the mental well-being of youth, and provide information on signs of mental health issues that educators can recognize, as well as guidance on where to seek help in case of identified problems or disorders.


was born in Mexico City and has been living in Berlin for almost 17 years.

  • She studied psychology in Potsdam and did a specialization in systemic therapy for children and adolescents. She has been working with adolescents for 10 years and her goal is to empower youths and help them to understand that even if they have been victims of difficult situations in their lifes does not mean that they have to live as victims of circumstances forever.
  • For the last 7 years she has been working in a girl emergency center Wildwasser in Berlin. Working with teenagers reqiuers to be prepared for unexpected events and constant changes and still find the best possible way to go through them.
  • She is a dog lover and she believes that the relationship with animals is an excellent tool to help youths develop empathy and fell free to show their sensitive side.
  • Ana loves to travel, so one of her goals is to get the youths to see this world as interconnected on so many levels and that they play an important role in making a better society. 


Self-harm is a behavior that has long been exhibited by adolescents, who have suffered some type of trauma, nowadays we can see that this behavior is increasing rapidly among youths. But what is really behind this and what are  tools social workers can use to help at-risk youth?

We will discuss some of the psychological and social reasons, for example social media, that accompany this type of behavior, taking into account the personal experience of each person. 

This topic will be approached not only from a theoretical point of view, but also from our extensive professional experience working with adolescents, who exhibit this type of conduct. We will provide different tools, that based on our experience, help youth go through a very difficult period of life.

As social workers it is our responsibility to take this type of behavior very seriously, to show empathy and at the same time not to stigmatize adolescents, but rather to support them in finding another way to express their distress.

TEA TOMAŽIČ (Slovenia)

holds a Master’s degree in psychology and is a practitioner of expressive arts, a mentor and a leader for youth expeditions in the MEPI Program – international recognition for youth and a professional associate at the MEPI National Office and the director of the AGB Expressive Laboratory.

  • Tea delivers lectures and leads workshops and training sessions for teachers on mentoring and experiential learning methods for young people in the MEPI program. She organizes and facilitates experiential workshops and camps for 14-29 year old youth, focused on career development, personal growth, and mental health.
  • She teaches within the Expressive Arts Therapy program and educates in the field of expressive arts therapeutic methods. She runs the AGB Expressive Laboratory Institute, promoting the field and supporting the development of expressive art therapy practitioners.
  • In her work, she seeks to create interactive and practical learning experiences to facilitate a faster acquisition of new knowledge and recognition by young people.
  • She enjoys various leisure activities, including fitness, pole dancing, and playing video games.  Her top pastime, however, is savoring a delicious cup of coffee.


Establishing a safe and inclusive environment for experience, exploration and dialogue, where the young person is in control of the rules, pace, and approach, is crucial for empowering them. This can be achieved through various methods and tools, but the use of expressive arts methods makes the process more organic, spontaneous, and impactful.

Art can provide a pathway to answers not easily found, and can surface emotions that are difficult to articulate. Often, we struggle to express our emotions and may not have clarity on what we’re feeling. This is particularly true for individuals who have endured emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Artistic forms such as drawing, poetry, drama, movement, dance, sound, or music, can act as a medium of self-expression, allowing us to delve into the unconscious and shed light on our challenges, offering potential solutions and opportunities for growth.

The lecture will be interactive and immersive, as participants will have the opportunity to try out Expressive Art Therapy methods themselves. You know, when you experience, you understand.

LAURA VOS (Georgia)

is a trainer and project manager in Georgian NGO “International Center for Peace and Integration”.

  • She grew up in the field of youth work as a Scouting member, from 2010-2016 she was involved in the organization as a youth worker where her love for outdoor education originated.
  • She has degrees in Orthopedagogy (Remedial Education) and Social & Cultural Work. From 2012-2021 she did multiple internships, jobs and volunteered in organizations and institutions in Belgium and Suriname, mainly working with children/youth from 3-21 years old, with a special focus on those with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and fewer opportunities. Her main responsibilities included creating educational programs, facilitating workshops and educational activities, youth residential care, organizational management and communication, project management.
  • Since 2021 Laura has been mainly involved in international training of youth workers.
  • Laura loves nature and hiking, she sees the outdoors as our home and therefore the best environment for connecting to ourselves, nature & to each other. She loves connecting to people and building bridges between people all over the world, through the love of nature, the power of education and with the help of sports, music & art.


Health is one of the biggest concerns of the 21st century. Physical inactivity remains one of the biggest threats to our health and overweight is a serious health threat for 20-30% of adolescents in Europe and neighbouring countries. The Covid-19 pandemic which hit us in the last years, did not only affect our physical health but also brought to light mental health issues in our societies. Uncertainty, loneliness, grief, anxiety. These powerful emotions have enveloped the lives of many millions of adolescents. The evidence of recent research during the pandemic shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and externalizing behavioural problems.

To grow and develop in good mental as well as physical health, adolescents need information, including age-appropriate comprehensive education; opportunities to develop life skills; health services that are acceptable, equitable, appropriate and effective; and safe and supportive environments. They also need opportunities to meaningfully participate in the design and delivery of interventions to improve and maintain their health. Physical activities and outdoor education are important tools and an opportunity for youth workers to contribute and positively impact the mental as well as physical health of young people, through support and motivation.

What are the benefits of sports and outdoor education for youngsters? How can we integrate outdoor and physical education in our youth work practice, raising awareness on the physical health benefits as well as the importance of spending time in nature for mental health among youngsters, through non-formal education methods?


is a former basketball coach and youth worker, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Security and a Master’s degree in Social Work.


    • Tilen is a member of the Logout expert team, a leading specialist center established in 2011 providing help and resources for various negative online behaviors. Their mission is to promote digital well-being by offering resources for balanced and healthy screen use, particularly for children and young people. They are committed to providing quality psychological counseling with a holistic approach, constantly updating their techniques and raising awareness of the impact of digitization on mental health among the general public.
    • Tilen is an avid sportsman, amateur chef, traveler and adventurer who educates young people on the risks of excessive technology use and promotes preserving or reviving aspects of the analog world for a balanced relationship between the real and virtual world.


The interactive lecture will delve into the online world of young people, including their methods of connection, grouping, and the pros and cons of digital interactions. We will focus on the issue of disconnection and lack of communication between young people and their parents and other adult figures, particularly for professionals working with youth. Changes in values, communication methods, and channels, as well as ways of interpreting and spending leisure time are highlighted, as they are vastly different from previous generations.

The lecture will center on the topic of building and maintaining connections between today’s youth and important adults. We aim to provide professionals with insight into the online experiences of young people and providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively connect with them.