Empowering Practitioners in Social Work from Rural Communities

Increasing social workers’ participation in the rural community life and developing complementary skills that help them facing current social problems of the vulnerable groups from their community.

Project Summary

To develop a joint non-formal and permanent framework for empowering social workers from rural areas of 7 European countries in increasing their participation to the rural community life and developing complementary skills that help them facing current social problems of the vulnerable groups from their community.


  • To improve the knowledge and abilities of 84 social workers and to enable and encourage them to use the community resources and ICT technologies for a better assistance of the vulnerable groups from the rural communities where they work and most of them live;
  • To provide to those 84 social workers the opportunity to create a culture of self-care and reflective practice and to develop and implement innovative practices related to management of stress, frustration from failures and moral distress that occasionally occur in their professional activity and could lead to burnout and compassion fatigue;
  • To foster collaboration and networking within the European Social Work community and to strength the institutional capacity of 7 european institutions, active in the field of social work education or social inclusion intervention, to develop a non-formal educational network in rural social work research and practice and to create and sustain an effective support mechanism for social workers from rural areas in addressing their professional needs.


  • Conducting a comparative study research on the perceptions and the needs of the social workers from the rural regions of the project partners in addressing the about burn-out phenomenon.
  • Organizing national short-term training sessions about how to develop community and professional networks and effective methods of evaluating the impact of their interventions, based on the same content of the training curricula and course support, in order to ensure a unity of information, methods and tools and a base for further discussions at the transnational workshops;
  • Organising 2 international conferences about the need for empowering practitioners in rural social work, aiming to promote the role and place of rural social work in the national and European system and to find and promote among existing communities of practice, different European methods for empowering social workers from rural areas and enable them coping and reducing the burn-out phenomenon;
  • Organizing 7 intercultural and transnational practice-research-workshops for social workers aiming at confronting practices, ideas and methods, putting in practice learned experiences, working in common for making new researches in the field and joint creation of new working tools for addressing the learners needs;
  • Creating a handbook with tools and techniques for empowering social workers from rural areas as a method of demonstrating the efficiency of their participation to the 7 transnational practice-research workshops;
  • Organizing 2 short-term joint staff training events to Italy and Slovenia, aiming at discovering and learning about effective support mechanism created for the networking and exchange of practices at regional level.
  • Organizing informing seminars with local institutions representatives from each rural community of project learners;
  • Organizing focus-groups with the stakeholders participating at the informing seminars for assessing their potential involvement in a regional network for supporting social workers in doing their job in the benefit of vulnerable groups and to promote the social inclusion of those people in their own communities;
  • Establishing 7 Regional Centres for Rural Social Work. Each project partner will establish in the project framework a Regional Centre for Rural Social Work, which will act like a supporting instrument for the 7 regional networks with regional stakeholders.

The project, co-founded by the Erasmus+ Programme (2018-1-RO01-KA204-049515) is coordinated by Universitatea din Pitesti (UPIT) and is implemented by six nonprofit organizations: Contextos – Cooperativa para o Desenvolvimento e Coesão Social CRL (Portugal), St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria), Smart Umbrella (Greece), Associazione Dar Voce (Italy), Association for Developing Voluntary Work Novo Mesto (Slovenia) and The Andalusian Municipality Fund for International Solidarity – FAMSI (Spain).



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