Promoting supporting to adults’ members of disadvantaged and marginalised families is a major challenge to European societies. Within Europe 2020 strategy Cyprus has to reduce the number of people at social exclusion by 27.000 meaning that to reduce the percentage from 23.3% to 19.3% (Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance, 2014). Additionally, the recent economic and financial crisis in Cyprus demonstrate the need for actions that can empower social cohesion and adult members of families with socio-economic and other problems to act as social worker.

According to Cyprus national research, which is conducted in the framework of FamilEU project, it seemed that growing socio-economic transformation in the EU affect, also, and families in Cyprus. The recent financial crisis in Cyprus and its effects (e.g. increase of unemployment rate; low financial resources for social welfare provision) demonstrate the need for projects like FamilEU that offer free and easy access to training courses that can help families to prevent any problems that faced and can enhance their social cohesion.

In the framework of FamilEU project and the first intellectual output, CARDET conducted a desk review and field research in order to identify the current training opportunities for adults in the areas of social work through ICT tools in Cyprus, initiatives in providing training on social work, what are gaps identifies in those initiatives and what are the registered needs of families and their members in terms of social and psychological work and support.

The Social Welfare Services is the main governmental body in Cyprus through which several actions and programmes has been implemented for supporting social cohesion and families members with socio-economic problems social and work integration. Additionally, various governmental services, NGOs and local authorities through European and other funded Programmes and in the framework of their social activities implement training activities, experimental workshops, events, conferences and other actions for increasing population information and awareness on social issues. Furthermore, based on the research it seems that family support programs, face to face training seminars/ workshops and preventive measures against family malfunctions are, mainly, implemented by governmental services and NGOs. However, training for adult members of families with socio-economic problems is not very popular in Cyprus, while, the numbers of online courses on family care are reduced.

Additionally, through FamilEU questionnaire that was developed during the first outcome of the project the responders evaluated as the 3 most important issues for supporting families with marginalized members are (1) supporting families with socially marginalized persons; (2) Communication and Collaboration Skills for Social Workers – Research and Training; (3) Motivation and Guidance for Social Integration and Social Work. In addition, based on the data analysis it seems that there is a preference on blended learning courses related to the topics exploded by the FamilEU project.

By summarizing the Cyprus national report is seemed that growing socio-economic transformation in the EU affect, also, and families in Cyprus. The recent financial crisis in Cyprus and its effects demonstrate the need for free resources and easy access training that can help adult family members to prevent any problems that faced and can enhance their social cohesion and reintegration.


Bibliography

Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. (2014). Cyprus National Social Report 2014. Nicosia: Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.