Vulnerable families

In collaboration with policy-makers and social professionals the Centre for Family Studies and the Bachelor programme in Family Studies conduct research into the perspective and the position of families experiencing societal vulnerability.

Especially for families experiencing societal vulnerability, informal networks offering assistance and support often function as a lever towards a higher quality of life. After all, a strong social network can offer the emotional and practical support that cannot always be provided by professionals.

In 2017, in behalf of the Flemish government, we conducted research into the critical success factors for the enhancement of the informal personal network of people living in poverty. This research resulted in specific policy recommendations on the application of network enhancing methodologies, and how they can be supported and expanded. Both the Centre for Family Studies and the Bachelor Programme in Family Studies are involved in a ‘learning network’. The idea is that professionals in this network give feedback on each other’s efforts to help enhance the personal network of people living in poverty.

From 2015 to 2018 we conducted a research project into active network enhancement for disabled persons. Policy-makers wanted to develop a shared care system, in which the network between professional organisations and informal care providers was enhanced and expanded. Our research project focused on methods to enhance the network between organisations and individuals and to link people with disabilities with a broader formal or informal supportive network.

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 their own life goals. Our centre analysed this project’s specific approach and how it was experienced by families and social workers in the province of Limburg. In order to help expand the scope of the project, the experiences and research findings were combined into a scenario to be used by other actors in the field.

Currently our Centre is conducting ESF funded research into activating groups experiencing societal vulnerability by applying the ‘Stuyfplek’-methodology. A ‘Stuyfplek’ is a safe space in which people can actively look for new opportunities for personal and professional growth. We want to investigate how we can actively lower the thresholds for societal participation for these people and facilitate their access to organisations and services, how to better participate with local support networks and provide a better access to the services concerning job placement and/or entrepreneurship already available.

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Personal network reinforcement of people living in poverty

Scientific research of models and critical success factors for the personal network reinforcement of people living in poverty.

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Twee tieners luisteren naar muziek

Network reinforcing work in youth support. The perspective of youth and parents, mentors or guardians

The Decree of Integral Youth Support put the socialization of care first. The effort of non-professional networks of clients is a very important driving force.

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Twee tieners luisteren naar muziek

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Coaching of vulnerable adult students

European Social Fund (ESF) – Lifelong learning in higher education: coaching programmes for the support of vulnerable adult students.

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Vrouw en rolstoel in douche

Disability and living in Flanders

Living & taking care and concerns about living

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Vrouw en rolstoel in douche

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Bijscholing 'Eigen Kracht-conferenties: de kracht van een methodiek'

Maximaal inzetten op de kracht van gezinnen... hoe maak je dat waar in de praktijk? Eigen Kracht-conferenties vzw werkt volgens een besluitvormingsmodel dat de eigen krachten en verantwoordelijkheden van gezinnen en hun omgeving maximaal aanspreekt.

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