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BAST Quality Standards


Quality standards (English)


Estándares mínimos (Español)

BAST Quality Standards

Version: June 2007

I. Basic principles

1. Voluntary participation
Frequency, substance, and duration of the contact to streetworkers shall depend on the requests and the acceptance of the clients.

2. Confidentiality and anonymity
Streetwork shall not disclose any data on clients to third parties, except upon approval or request of those affected.

3. Critical partiality
Critical partiality is based on a sensitive perception of the needs and problems of the clients. This means that these persons will be unreservedly accepted, yet it does not mean that all their attitudes will be approved or condoned. In this respect, Streetwork / Mobile Jugendarbeit must assume a lobbying function for the clients.

4. Accepting attitude
It is important for streetworkers to maintain an accepting attitude toward the clients and to put their client’s interests at the centre of their professional practice.

5. Low threshold
Using this approach, it is possible to make social work, social education, and youth culture services accessible to a target group that is unable/unwilling to accept conventional services provided by institutions.

6. Transparency
Openness and honesty toward the clients are indispensable requirements for streetwork.

7. Focus on milieu
The main characteristic of the special Streetwork method is that clients are approached at their usual meeting places. The precondition for the acceptance and involvement with the respective target group is a corresponding knowledge of its characteristics and realities.

8. Mouthpiece role
The task of Streetwork / Mobile Jugendarbeit is to publicly address the needs, problems, and possible solution approaches of the clients upon their request. In order to assume this task, it is necessary to seek cooperation with other institutions, including political ones. Streetwork / Mobile Jugendarbeit also assumes the role of an attorney and mediator for the clients, making sure that their needs are publicly formulated and claimed.

9. Focus on resources
The objective of Streetwork / Mobile Jugendarbeit consists in promoting and developing the existing potential and resources of the respective target groups.

10. Flexibility and mobility
Working hours must be relevant to the work milieu. A streetworker’s presence in a working environment may require an adjustment to the rhythm of life of the respective target group; therefore, targeted interventions are only possible through flexible response, even if this means exceeding normal working hours. This, however, does not necessarily imply that overtime work is compulsory! It shall be possible to receive payment for overtime work instead of taking days off.

11. Accessibility
It must be possible for clients to access streetwork services unbureaucratically and adequately, and without any conditions attached. Furthermore, it must be clear to the recipients when and where these services are available.

12. Continuity
The development of constructive relations to the clients requires a continued and tolerated presence at the meeting places which are relevant for the target groups.

13. Gender-specific approaches
Specific services are designed to allow a more sensitive approach on the level of relations between genders - the focus being on revealing structures that result in inequality, degradation, marginalization, and oppression.

II. Structural standards

1. Identification of social conditions

  • Field analysis
    To ensure that work is carried out in an efficient manner, sufficient time must be given at the beginning of the project for an adequate field analysis. The duration is at least 2 months – taking into account the seasonal variation in the number of clients participating (at least 2 persons).
  • Documentation
    under consideration of the basic principle of anonymity
  • Adjustment of the basic concept, creation of workplace descriptions, development of models
  • Mandate
    To be developed upon consultation with the employer

2. Personnel requirements

  • At least 3 individuals with not less that 30 hours/week each
  • Gender parity
  • Remuneration based on the intended use, not on education - at least in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement for the association of health and social workers (BAGS)
  • Fixed employment, no service contracts
  • Long-term financing (e.g. 3-year contracts)
  • Sufficient time must be guaranteed within working hours for continuous team consultation, supervision (both group and individual supervision), and at least 3 days per year for team meetings (reflection and planning)
  • Health care, e.g. hepatitis vaccination, application of general accident insurance provisions

To guarantee the quality, efficiency, and professionalism of Streetwork / Mobile Jugendarbeit, it is absolutely necessary to be able to work in pairs – if possible of mixed gender - when establishing contacts to clients. Reflection and information exchange within the team, and communication of expert knowledge are indispensable for implementing the working principles. The continuity of relations (e.g. in case of sick leave, vacation) is linked to the availability of adequate personnel.

  • Hiring of new staff
    The team shall be responsible for the selection of new members. The possibility of in-service training must be provided for those staff members that do not have psychosocial education.

3. Material resources

  • Facilities
    Streetwork projects require suitable facilities appropriate for the target group. The facilities must be equipped to allow for the following activities to be carried out efficiently:
    - Consultation
    - Exchange within the team
    - Office work
    - Group work

In addition, these premises must be suitable for use by the streetworkers as a place of retreat.

  • Contemporary technical infrastructure
    PC, telephone, mobile phone, fax, Internet, telephone answering machine, ...
  • “Pocket money”
    Money required for ad-hoc events and provided without the requirement to present vouchers.
  • Mobility guarantee
    Public transport costs are covered (e.g. season ticket), or suitable vehicle is provided (e.g. bus, bicycle...)
  • Accessibility
    Internet, mobile phones, telephones
  • Educational budget
    Sufficient budget for educational, cultural, and sports activities and the purchases required to carry these out.

4. Structural conditions

  • Networking and cooperation as part of the mandate
  • Public relations
  • Sufficient insurance coverage for staff members
  • Legal protection, comprehensive coverage, third-party liability, passenger insurance
  • Official identity card

5. Quality assurance

  • Further training
    Regular external and internal further training courses are necessary to acquire a wide and constantly updated expertise (not least due to a rapidly changing milieu) and to exchange experiences with colleagues in Austria and abroad
  • Evaluation material
  • Financial and time resources
  • Consultation with colleagues
  • Team support, gatherings, team talks, closed meetings
  • Qualified coaching of new colleagues in new projects
  • Supervision
  • Participation in expert seminars
  • Documentation

Adopted by the General Meeting of BAST on 8 Februar 2007 in Reichenau an der Rax.