Development of the empowerment of educators and beneficiaries in the field of youth at risk and social exclusion : an innovative project financed by the Erasmus + agency
Educ-Europe partners are gathered once again for a new project whose aim is to promote new means of considering social intervention. Indeed, social workers agreed that it is essential today to change the attitude to persons supported and to facilitate the involvement of beneficiaries by developing their empowerment, therefore by getting to evolve professional practices and by setting up new interventional devices.
In order to face this issue, Educ-Europe offers a reflection on two topics that concern all the partners, each at their level, field workers as well as trainers, to identify how the empowerment is helping the beneficiaries’ development:
– for educational support of youth at risk with issues involving justice;
– in social work with adults in insecure situations.
-To train educators and social workers without borders, in spirit and in practice.
-To promote the sharing of good practices, common thoughts on pedagogy and social interventions experimented in other european countries.
-To allow their professional mobility inside Europe as an asset for their present time and future employability.
→ The research-action approach
Social workers, trainers, beneficiaries or former beneficiaries only usually meet in very defined areas and contexts where each actor plays its part, defends its prerogatives or fights for its rights. Into the research-action context, they will learn all along the process to work together, to diagnosis, to seek to understand the mechanism of social exclusion, to look for solutions. Gradually, a collaboration link between researchers will appear on a similar research topic. This inductive and reflexive process also reflect an application of the empowerment in training situation and is based on the belief that field workers, trainers and beneficiaries can look for the most fitted solutions together.
1st Session: During the first meeting in Paris, from November 24th to 28th of 2014, two groups have been constituted in order to work on the “Development of the empowerment of educators and beneficiaries in the field of youth at risk and social exclusion”. These groups are characterized by their cultural and professional diversity (social workers, trainers, researchers and beneficiaries or former beneficiaries) that represent an asset for the training of social workers.
2nd Session : From the 18th to the 22th of May 2015 in Poland, the participants shared their experimentations. They built up some tools, have done some interviews on one hand with youths and their parents and on the other with professionals. These materials have been used for the preparation of the second session. The participants came back in their institutions with new ideas, a different conception of their action that will allow them to adjust the place of the beneficiaries into their socio-educational back-up. Some action-research diaries are written in order to summarize the evolution of their reflections and of their experimentations. Their preconisations will be communicated to a wide audience.
3rd session: From the 9th to the 13th November, a new group of around thirty participants met in Antwerp, Belgium to continue the experiment for another two sessions. The first challenge in this project is to enhance education and training beyond the borders of their own country, their language and socio-professional groups. The second is to reflect on the place of beneficiaries during social and educational support and the development of their empowerment in the search for the solutions. This experiments aim, in a global way, is the evolution of practices, professional postures and most importantly, the improvement of the quality of social support regarding European practices.
4th session: From 1st to 5th February, participants met in Rome for the last research-action session. They resumed their previous work and prepared the last phase of the project. Their intellectual output will provide content for future research diaries, online training modules, and for the Valencia seminar scheduled from 18th to 20th May 2016.
Valencia Seminar: From 18th to 20th May 2016, in Valencia, Spain, was held the international seminary « How to use the force within us ». Organized by Fundación Amigó, the Educ-Europe Spanish partner, the seminar was the high point of a two year Erasmus + project, whose results, presented at Valencia, contribute to the European Union resolution to fight poverty and exclusion. The seminar’s objectives are: to disseminate the results of two years of research and knowledge transfer about empowerment carried out by social actors, and to provide current tools and practices to promote empowerment in the field of social intervention.
To see the seminar, Spanish version on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVi_IP24iqQ
To see the pictures taken in Valencia:
Educ-Europe flyerAll the informations about the Educ-Europe project are available in PDF.