Transition to adulthood

The change from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood, from primary to secondary and higher education or to a professional, working life... Children and young people go through several important phases of transition as they move towards independence.

In order to face the challenges that come with these evolutions, young people may be supported and guided by their parents, friends and family, by teaching and psycho-social staff in (secondary) schools, but also by the social-educational staff in youth centres and services for young people.

Emotional and sexual education

The promotion of emotional and sexual health encourages children and young people to get accurate and impartial information on the various aspects of sexuality as well as to develop the essential skills they need to have a positive and responsible attitude towards sexuality. The objective is to empower them to self-determine their sexuality and their sexual relationships throughout the different stages of their existence, and to enable them to have loving relationships and experience their sexuality in a way that is respectful and fulfilling, free from constraints, discrimination and physical, sexual or psychological abuse.

By considering one’s emotional and sexual life as a whole, the promotion of emotional and sexual health is not limited to physiological, biological and emotional aspects, it also considers aspects such as friendship, emotional experience, mutual respect, equality, trust, safety, self-determination and shared responsibility. This action is relevant to all stages of an individual’s life.

It will be adapted to the target audience’s age, sex, gender identity, origin, culture, health status and level of development. It will take into consideration the specific needs (including psychosocial, cultural and gender-identity needs) of the target populations.

Within this context, the Service de la jeunesse (Youth Department) coordinates the implementation of all the planned actions with a view to meeting the objectives set out in the Plan d’action national pour la promotion de la santé affective et sexuelle pluriannuel 2019 (Multi-annual national action plan for the promotion of emotional and sexual health 2019).

Housing for young people

The ministry finances the implementation and support of housing facilities for young people who are transitioning to an independent adult life. The offer is intended for young people aged between 18 and 27 years, who do not wish to or who can no longer live in their family home. The services concerned offer rooms or studios at a reduced price. The socio-educational work carried out within these housing facilities encourages life as part of a community, the development of young people’s independence and facilitates the provision of individual support where needed.

The said service focuses on the following activities:

  • supporting communal life within the facilities;
  • managing the housing units;
  • providing young people with contact persons and professionals where needed.

More than 220 dwellings have been created for young people throughout the country by various housing managers (statistics from June 2022).

In close collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, the aim is to continue to create housing for young people, as well as to develop a range of alternative dwellings – known as tiny houses.

State-approved youth services in the area of housing in 2022:


With a view to improving methods for preventing addictions within educational and childcare facilities, the Service de la jeunesse (Youth Department) is coordinating and implementing objectives for prevention and educational actions defined in the 2020-2024 National drug action plan.

Working alongside addiction experts and with interministerial collaboration, the Service de la jeunesse has developed universal prevention measures that are intended to help professionals within the education sector and to help children and young people directly. These measures consist of providing professionals in the education sector with the scientific knowledge and guidelines that may allow them to adequately support children and young people in need. Children and young people will be able to benefit from courses aimed at strengthening the skills necessary for their well-being, because increasing their well-being reduces the risk factors that could lead to the early use of drugs.

Playful prevention with video games

Digital games have become an integral part of young people’s everyday lives. Video games can become a potential learning tool for our youth; they are increasingly available to teachers and educators as an educational tool.

The use of video games in non-formal education requires professionals to guide young players. Linking non-formal education and youth work with (video game) worlds offers perspectives for new media educational and action concepts. Its implementation must be accompanied by educators and youth workers.

Therefore, the book Play seriously, prepared by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, addresses the targeted use of computer games for educational purposes. It is intended to serve as a handout for educators and youth workers in non-formal education to link the digitalisation of young people’s everyday lives with new ways and methods of non-formal education and youth work.

Employment for young people

An important part of the offers of the Service national de la jeunesse (SNJ) (National Youth Service) is support for young people during the transition to working life, which includes volunteer programmes, exploratory work placements, and local branches that offer individual career advice and support to young people, who receive guidance and assistance to work out their career plans.

Another fundamental programme is the Youth Guarantee (Garantie pour la jeunesse).

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