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.

Short course 'Own Strength-conferences: the strength of a method'

Maximizing and utilizing families' strengths... how to make this happen in practice? The Own Strength-conferences organisation uses a decision making-model which speaks to the families' own strengths and responsibilities and those of their environment. This method can be utilized in organizations or by caregivers for families and for teenagers.

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Date 
Friday, November 18, 2016 - 09:30
Organized by 

Training course: 'Own-Strength' conferences in (youth) welfare

During this training course you are introduced to the principals of 'Own-Strength' conferences, you learn how to put them into practice and you join in on the discussion about the feasibility and ethical aspects of this method. (Dutch)

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Date 
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 09:30 to Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 16:00
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Afbeelding 
Lachende man in rolstoel aan het werk met twee vrouwen

L.ink. Active, network-oriented work for people with a disability

Network-oriented working will become more important under the influence of the policy 'Perspective 2020'. Organizations and caregivers will have to develop and strengthen their competences as networkers. In this project we're looking for methodical, organisatory and personal growth towards better networking in terms of inclusion.

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Afbeelding 
Lachende man in rolstoel aan het werk met twee vrouwen

Conference: Who takes care of care giving families?

Families who deal with a disability, are faced with extraordinary questions about healthcare and support. How do the different family member experience this? And who takes care of them?

Conference in cooperation with the Gezinsbond (Family Federation) on friday May 29th 2015.

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Date 
Friday, May 29, 2015 - 09:00 to 16:00
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Short course: Protection without restriction. New regulations to protect vulnerable adults.

Short course by Marianne De Boodt, lecturer and legal counselor.

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Date 
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 10:00
Organized by 

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