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In 2015 the new Youth Act has entered into force in which youth care has come under the responsibility of the municipality. This means that it is no longer the Youth Care Offices and the insurers that determine whether and how young people receive the necessary youth care (compensate) to get, but that this is with the municipality. The decentralization of youth care and the developments in the field of online assistance provided inspiration for the innovative and cost-reducing youth aid method 'Coach & Care’. A replicable methodology that uses, among other things, online assistance.

The goal of Coach & Care is to ensure that not every municipality has to reinvent the wheel and that unity is created and continues to exist in the work of professionals in Dutch youth care.. The methodology was developed in collaboration with the Dutch Youth Institute in Utrecht, Berenschot Utrecht, the Professional Register of Social Work and Social Work and the Dutch Association for Social Work.


The ambition for the development of the Coach & Care method was created after gaining the following insights:

  • The fact that the decentralization of youth care gives municipalities the freedom to allocate and organize youth care in an innovative way, but do not yet know how they will allocate youth aid allowances.
  • The development of more specialized methods in youth care, while the development of generalizing methods is widely promoted, including by the Council for Social Development.
  • A lot of uncertainty within youth care about work, responsibilities and duties.
  • The effectiveness of online assistance in combination with increasing use of mobile and internet.

Based on the above observations, the content of the Youth Act and processes within youth care have been further mapped out. There are several reports for this, studies and theories consulted. All insights are integrated , supplemented with stakeholder analysis, interviews, expert opinions and Berenschot advice. In this way, the methodical manual, made the functional ICT design and business plan.

The methodology consists of- and offline coaching modules that enable young people between the 12 and 23 years of intensive help in achieving educational goals. They receive a counseling allowance from the municipality for this. The methodology consists of several modules that differ and are separately affordable. to under- or to prevent overtreatment, it is checked after each module whether the next module is necessary.


The service has been discussed and demonstrated at various municipalities. Despite the interest, no one agreed. Failed to sell the service and ran out of money. It turns out to be difficult to

fixed providers to come. There is no direct demand from the municipality for an innovative method. They stick to existing methods that were also used before decentralization.

As long as the government reimburses parenting aid, there will be no demand for innovation and cheaper methods and services such as Coach & Care. The government pays for municipalities. And the municipalities pay providers through purchasing contracts and/or subsidies. As long as the municipalities receive a fixed amount for youth care from the government, there is no need for municipalities to look for innovative and cheaper methods.. The consequence of the fees is therefore that no market forces arise.

Coach's Labor Standardization & Care is complex, so it is difficult to explain the added value of the service without a pilot. In addition, the comparability of the existing services is limited, the seven types of youth care are difficult to define and the clients are individual subjects. The result is a vicious circle, where a pilot cannot be realized without financing. Without a pilot, municipalities will not see the added value and if they do not see it, there will be no compensation.

The lessons

  1. Innovation in the public sector has a different dynamic than in a commercial sector. Within government you still have to deal with a complex field with sometimes conflicting interests. Being fast and agile is often not possible within the government. Only companies that have to take into account the direct wishes of paying users can do this, namely young people and parents.
  2. It is difficult to explain the added value of a complex product. Financiers are therefore reluctant, as a result of which no pilot can subsequently be realized. Without that pilot, explaining the added value remains a problem. Complete the adventure privately with savings is impossible. The 3 is that you have to learn to deal with the fact that municipalities, due to their own organizational structure and the divergent interests of the various parties involved, are not
  3. You have to learn to deal with the fact that municipalities will not focus on creativity or innovation because of their own organizational structure and the divergent interests of the various parties involved.. Let alone that they adopt an entrepreneurial attitude or embrace risks.
  4. There is always an 'entry barrier' and almost all providers are able to maintain their heterogeneous oligopoly (in volume) to secure and block. Because private individuals don't buy youth help (they don't pay themselves), there is no demand for a better and cheaper service.
  5. When you create something and you have a clear vision, you gotta keep your own course. Work together and consult where possible, but be careful not to cloud the vision, otherwise you no longer fully support your own creation and you lose focus and perseverance.

Name: Reint Dijkema
Organization: Coach & Care


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