In the framework of FamilEU project partners developed Transnational State of Art and Gap Analysis Report. The O1 refers to the Transnational FamilEU State of the Art and Gap Analysis Report which developed through the compilation of the 7 National Reports and the 1 EU Report developed by the partners. The purpose of the O1 was to collectively present the current State of the Art in the provision of training in the areas of social work oriented literacies through ICT tools to adults and to discuss the gaps in these fields and the needs of the target groups in the partner countries and the EY. The transnational report conclude providing specific suggestions, recommendations, and guidelines for the development of a user-friendly, adaptable and widely accessible training package on social work and support for disadvantaged families' adults.
To render the findings of the various national focus groups in a coherent and effective way was not an easy task. Some difficulties arise from the fact that the FamilEU consortium reunites seven Countries from different regions of Europe (the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Middle and Eastern Europe), with a different history, background and welfare system.
Oxfam Italia Intercultura, with feedbacks by all other partners, created the common tools to be used for the field research but given the specificity of each Country with the relative population and the scope of each project partner, slight differences in the composition, transcription, and results of the focus groups were already expected. Hence, we decided to write a quite detailed section about focus groups held in each partner Country, followed by a summary of the recurring indications or results.
Technology is nowadays widespread and both experts and families agree that it could be a very important source of information and training and a meeting point for people living in a similar situation. The other side of the coin is that internet can be a dangerous instrument if it’s usage by disadvantaged family members, or their relatives, is not guided and mediated by professionals. Social workers themselves, including social office workers, especially in Mediterranean Countries need some ICT training to give to their clients the right information. In addition to that, european Countries of the Mediterranean area have an increasingly old population (another disadvantaged group), less familiar with technology and probably ashamed to follow ICT classes. It was therefore suggested to organise ICT trainings for different age groups, in order for everybody to feel more comfortable, not hiding their inabilities and so profiting more of the trainings they attend.
Originally the project was intended for social workers, working with families since many years, but from some of the focus groups emerged that the scope of the project had to be widened to include social office workers and in the case of Czech Republic it has already been done. In fact, these professionals are those who need to acquire more skills in dealing with difficult clients, skills that an experienced social worker already has. In other words, social workers may need some ICT training, in order to pass their knowledge to families with disadvantaged members, while social office workers need to acquire soft skills (inspiration, motivation, detachment, calm...) in order to be more effective with difficult clients.
Many subjects are operating in the area of family care: public institutions, private organizations, NGOs, and associations. One of the main problems is the lack of knowledge and networking activities between all these entities, in the case of Italy even between public institutions of two different territories. With a better communication and understanding of the activities carried out by each other, services could be provided to the people in need in a more effective way and to this purpose the internet could be a very useful tool.
Another issue that emerged from various focus groups is that of the social stigma: disadvantaged people still have to overcome stereotypes and prejudices. Education is a fundamental factor in fighting the social stigma and FamilEU outputs and products could be used to raise public awareness and combat this issue.
In general, it is necessary to rethink the whole family care sector trying to involve each family member with a specific role in the welfare of their disadvantaged relatives. This is how volunteer associations work. They get in contact with a family in need and help the relatives to deal with the sick or dying family member. Volunteers are trained by experts and by taking care of the person in need they care about the family as a whole. Most of the times, then, a family member becomes in his turn a volunteer and goes to assist other families. Anyway, for this purpose ICT tools are not enough, and good organisation and funding is required.
Finally, as emerges from the Czech focus group, the society as a whole is transforming and an increasing number of people is remaining behind, because the job market requires too much flexibility, adaptation, resistance to stressful and difficult situations. This is one of the common features of all partner Countries and ICT tools could be used to keep such people updated and expendable on the labour market.
Based on these results and findings FamilEU partners are in the process of developing the online curriculum and modules that will be hosted on the online platform of the FamilEU project.