Erasmus+

EPSWRA

Empowering Practitioners in Social Work from Rural Communities

Giving the rapidly changing social context Practitioners in Social Work, and mainly those from disadvantaged areas as rural areas or small villages, face a strong need to develop approaches that respond to the new social challenges of the disadvantaged communities, but mostly to the burn-out phenomenon they often face. In this context, the project consortium proposes to develop a joint non-formal and permanent framework for empowering practitioners in social work from rural areas of 7 European countries in increasing their participation in the rural community life and in developing complementary skills that help them facing current social problems of the vulnerable groups from their community.

Objectives

  • To improve the knowledge and abilities of 84 social workers and to enable/encourage them to use the community resources and ICT technologies for 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 the 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 strengthen the organizations overall capacity, 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.

Main Activities

  1. Conducting comparative study research on the perceptions and the needs of the social workers in addressing the burn-out phenomenon;
  2. Organizing national short-term training sessions about how to develop community and professional networks, and effective methods of evaluating the impact of their interventions,  in order to ensure a unity of information, methods, and tools and a base for further discussions at the transnational workshops.
  3. Organizing 2 international conferences about the need for empowering social workers 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 PSW from rural areas and enable them coping and reducing the burn-out phenomenon;
  4. Organizing 7 international training courses 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 learner’s needs;
  5. Creating a handbook with tools and techniques for empowering social workers from rural areas;
  6. Organizing 2 short-term joint staff training events in Italy and Slovenia, aiming at discovering and learning about effective support mechanisms created for the networking and exchange of practices at a regional level;
  7. Organizing informing seminars and focus groups with local institutions and relevant stakeholders to assess their potential involvement in the creation of a regional network for supporting social workers;
  8. Establishing 7 Regional Centres for Rural Social Work.

Expected

Results

  • At least 84 adult learners and at least 21 staff members involved in the project activities;
  • A European virtual online platform of discussions acting as a virtual community of practice for practitioners in social work from rural areas across Europe,
  • 7 regional databases with social workers from rural/disadvantaged areas of each partner region, and with their workplace institutions;
  • 7 national research reports on the perceptions and the needs of the PSW from the rural regions of the project partners in addressing the burn-out phenomenon,
  • A common European profile of the perceptions and the needs of the PSW from the rural regions of the project partners in addressing the burn-out phenomenon
  • 1 European comparative research report with the results of all 7 national research reports
  • A joint training curricula and support course for the short-term training session of three days, with the project learners
  • 7 short-term training sessions on how to develop community and professional networks, how to evaluate the impact of their interventions, and how to use the ICT tools created in the project
  • 2 international conferences about the need for empowering practitioners in rural social work,
  • 7 intercultural and transnational practice-research-workshops for PSW in rural areas with the 84 learners of the project target group,
  • At least 45 people participating in each transnational practice-research-workshop
  • A handbook with tools and techniques for empowering practitioners in social work from rural areas, created by the project 84 European learners, as a result of their participation in the transnational practice-research-workshops, translated in the national languages of all project partners
  • 2 short-term joint staff training events, of 7 days each, in Italy and Slovenia, aiming at observing and learning about effective support mechanisms created for the networking and exchange of practices at a regional level,
  • 20 people participating in each short-term joint staff training event
  • 84 informing seminars with local institutions representatives from each rural community of their own project learners, about the need to work in the network for supporting social work activity in their communities;
  • 84 focus-groups with local stakeholders participating at the informing seminars for assessing their potential involvement in a local network for supporting practitioners in social work
  • Regional Centres for Rural Social Work in each region of the project partners.
  • 7 Regional Networks and a European Network for supporting practitioners in social work from rural areas, with the stakeholders included in the databases of the 7 regional centers for rural social work.


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Check out the team involved in making this project happen and find out more about their experience, role and input!
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Jorge

Machado

Jorge is passionate about projects and initiatives that promote the transformation and the evolution of individuals. He has been involved in the youth sector at the local, national and international levels for more than 7 years.
Founder & CEO

Jorge Machado


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Gloria

Trisciuzzi

Driven by a strong will to learn and a very organized spirit, Gloria is the one in charge of planning, monitoring, and implementing project activities, communicating with partners, and ensuring that all the objectives are in reach.
Project Manager

Gloria Trisciuzzi


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