In Norway, there are increasing concerns for the growing number of young people who are neither in education nor employment who are simultaneously struggling with mental health issues. These are challenges that cut across different welfare policy areas. In its monitoring of young people who are on the verge of dropping out of upper secondary school, Norway engages its follow-up service (legislated in the Education act), which has specific responsibility for this group.
People who are not registered in the education or labour system are covered by the outreach service, run by the county authorities (municipalities). The outreach service conducts preventive and outreach social work among young people. It offers advice and advocacy in dealing with issues related to work, school, drugs, housing or similar. The service seeks out young people who need support or assistance, but who receive inadequate or no help from other support institutions. Contacts are made in city centres, shopping centres, train stations, traffic hubs, petrol stations, fast food restaurants or wherever young people hang out. The service is regionally based and cooperates with youth clubs and schools, child welfare services and school health services, health centres for young people and their families, and the police.
The 0-24 cooperation focuses on early intervention, close individual follow-up and good interdisciplinary cooperation across the health, labour and education sectors for vulnerable people between 0 and 24 years of age. The goal of the cooperation is to increase the number of learners who complete upper secondary education and engage in the labour market.
The Youth guarantee (ungdomsgaranti) is one important policy which ensures that access to labour market measures is granted to NEETs under the age of 20. For unemployed young people in the age group 20-24, the guarantee means that an activity plan (measures, means of employment, welfare management and services) is prepared within one month of NAV`s decision that labour-oriented assistance is required.
Systematic cooperation between municipality and county municipality about close follow-up of poorly performing students has been developed. Cooperation between the county municipality and NAV has also been improved and common goals for greater completion of upper secondary school has been set up. For instance, the Follow-up Service (FuS) was developed to help with the reintegration of NEETs in education, training and/or work programmes. It was the result of good cooperation between schools and PES.