Family and Educational Support

Family and educational support are central research topics of the Centre for Family Studies. The research is practice-based and is often conducted at the request of and in close collaboration with various organisations in this field. Our centre aims to map out the needs of the parents and to help align the assistance offered by the organisations to those needs. It also helps to expand the scope of these organisations.

Our centre has already successfully completed various projects concerning family and educational support. In 2018 students of the Bachelor programme made an analysis of the websites of various Flemish “Houses of the Child”, centres for educational support set up by local authorities. Also in 2018 we asked parents in Brussels and Brussels-based services for educational support which needs they identify for parents, and the possibilities and preconditions they see to arrive at an integrated approach to family support.

At the request of the Flemish government our centre made an evaluation of the ‘Thuiscompagnie’-project, that aims to improve the assistance offered to families living in poverty and to tailor it to better meet their own life goals. Our centre analysed how this project’s specific approach was experienced by families and aid workers in the province of Limburg. In order to help expand the scope of the project, the experiences and research findings were translated to  a scenario to be used by other actors in the field.

Our centre also conducted research into the needs of parents confronted with  a suicidal child. On the basis of this research an online tool was developed to enhance the educational skills of parents of a suicidal child.

Furthermore, research was conducted into the role of parents in the participation of children and youngsters in youth work in Flanders. This research stimulated societal debate on the importance of youth work and lead to the development of ‘Meet the parents?!’, a tool that can be used to help youth workers reflect about their relationship with parents and to stimulate dialogue.

Families with different backgrounds have different views on education and, as a result of this, also different educational needs. The Centre for Family Studies has applied its expertise to map out the points of view and needs of different societal groups. For example, research was conducted into the Islamic views on relationships and education and for two decades our centre offered a training into this topic for social workers and organisations in the field. Here you can read more about the projects and research concerning diversity and family and educational support.

Family support also implies the support of partners in their partnership relations and of the children during family transitions. The centre has conducted research into the problems children and youngsters encounter when their parents divorce. We are currently working on the development of an e-learningtool for employees of the Houses of the Child and other social workers dealing with families in the process of divorce. Here you can read more about the projects and research concerning family and educational support of families dealing with changes in couple dynamics.

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Parents and youth work

What is the role of parents when it comes to the participation of children and adolescents in youth work in Flanders?

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Shared Pedagogical Responsibility?

Conference book presenting the upbringing pledge
Author(s): Hans Van Crombrugge (ed.), Wouter Vandenhole (ed.), Jan Willems (ed.)
Intersentia, 2008

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