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EurofamNet Newsletter
Spring 2022 Edition

The 2022 spring edition of the EurofamNet newsletter has been published and is available in the Toolbox section of its website. Celebrating the International Day of Families and in the spirit of continuing to work with the aim of continuing to provide evidence in this framework and in the policies and practices in this field, we are glad to inform you about updates regarding the structure and general activity of the network, the recent achievements of its working groups, recent and incoming events relevant for EurofamNet, and details on current calls on networking tools. We hope that the content presented will be helpful to show the impact and results achieved through networking as well as to raise awareness of the importance of networking and the need to remain committed to the fulfilment of children's rights as well as to good practices related to work with families. To read all the information, click on the following link:

About the Network

The European Family Support Network (EurofamNet) is a bottom-up, evidence-based, multidisciplinary network funded as an Action (CA18123) under the COST program.

EurofamNet aims to inform family policies and practices towards the ultimate goal of ensuring children’s rights and families’ well-being by building collaborations between researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, children and families, public and private agencies, and general society.

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. COST Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation. www.cost.eu

EuroFamNet in numbers

In November 2021, the third COST Grant Period of the Network began.

34

Countries

Building bridges within Europe and beyond

151

Participants
125 full members + 26 associate members

From academia, front-line practice and policy sphere involved in EurofamNet activity

12

European organizations

Representing relevant European institutions in Family Support arena

5

Working Groups
+1 Policy and Practice Group

Working together with one group dedicated to coordination and one to dissemination

More details about EurofamNet structure are available at:

Family support activities during the
pandemic

A member of the policy and practice subgroup, Johanna Schima from Make Mothers Matter (MMM), is pleased to share three examples of Family Support work which was developed during the pandemic.

1) “Made in social Europe virtual exhibition of good practices” hosted by the social platform organisation. Some of our members activities during Covid are exhibited there

2) MMM Unesco unites with its associate members against the pandemic: https://makemothersmatter.org/mmm unites with its associate members to fight the pandemic/

3) MMM voices. A page to hear first hand from a number of our grass roots members around the world. In a series of recorded interviews conducted by MMM teams, to hear their stories seldom covered in mainstream media, as they r eveal the unique challenges their organizations are facing during this global crisis.

Forthcoming events

Forthcoming events

8th EurofamNet Management Commitee Meeting


The next meeting of the Action is planned to be held face to face in Faro (Portugal), from June 28th to 30th 2022 inclusive.

Training school: "How do we generate evidence in family/parenting support?"

Training schools (TS) are a COST Action tool focused on the development of early career researchers, particularly those involved in Ph.D. studies and in post-doctoral roles. The purpose of EurofamNet Training Schools is to contribute with high quality training of the future generations of European researchers in the field of family support from an evidence-based and pluralistic approach.

EurofamNet will run two training schools over its life. The first one will be focused on Evidence Based Programmes and related topics of evaluation and quality standards and will take place from 7th September 2022 to 9th September 2022, inclusive. The event will be held in Tenerife (Spain). To see more information visit:

WG4 Workshop with stakeholders

WG4 group will perform a workshop with stakeholders the 28th June 2022. The title of the event is “Skills in Family support: in search for participative conceptualization”. In this workshop the aim is inform and exchange on state of the arts and research findings in the field of family support workforce skills, beginning of the process of building consensus on family support skills and consultation with stakeholders on how to develop and implement a standardized set of skills cross-disciplinary and multi-sector. The active contribution of stakeholders in the exchange of experience and conceptualization of approaches to skills for FS workforce is expected.

European Social Services Conference 2022

This event’s main topic is “Rethinking recovery. Reshaping social services with new tools”. It is planned to be held face to face from 8th to 10th June 2022 in Hamburg, Germany. https://essc-eu.org/ The Chair and WG3 Co-leader will present a communication, entitled “Quality standards in family support programmes. Contributions from EurofamNet”.

IPSCAN Congres


The focus of the congress lies on “Child Protection for the Most Vulnerable Children and Families”. It is planned to be held face to face from 13th to 16th June 2022 in Tallinn, Estonia. https://www.ispcan.org/estonia-2022-home-page/?v=402f03a963ba. Several EurofamNet members will present 5 communications in a symposium entitled Advancing a Family Support Agenda at European Level: Contributions from the European Family Support Network.

XI Simpósio Nacional de Investigação em Psicología

The EuroFamNet Portuguese team has organized a symposium entitled O Apoio à Família e à Parentalidade. A European Family Support Network-EurofamNet.
The conference will take place from 20th to 22nd of June 2022. The Simpósio Nacional de Investigação em Psicologia (XI National Symposium of Psychological Research) is organized by the Associação Portuguesa de Psicologia (Portuguese Psychology Association) in collaboration with the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD). This conference is usually organized on a biennial basis and is the main Portuguese forum in all research domains of Psychology. http://appsicologia.org/Snip/

XI Simpósio Nacional de Investigação em Psicología

The EuroFamNet Portuguese team has organized a symposium entitled O Apoio à Família e à Parentalidade. A European Family Support Network-EurofamNet.
The conference will take place from 20th to 22nd of June 2022. The Simpósio Nacional de Investigação em Psicologia (XI National Symposium of Psychological Research) is organized by the Associação Portuguesa de Psicologia (Portuguese Psychology Association) in collaboration with the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD). This conference is usually organized on a biennial basis and is the main Portuguese forum in all research domains of Psychology. http://appsicologia.org/Snip/

Forthcoming events

National experience: Spain

Familias en Positivo (Families in Positive) is a collaborative and transactional initiative for the adoption of Evidence Based Practices (EBP) in Spain in child and family services and NGOs. It seeks to systematise actions within the Spanish territory through the diversity of intervention approaches aimed at different types of families. This initiative is guided by three driving forces: a collaborative scheme between different Spanish official institutions (Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, the Spanish Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 and the group of experts from seven Spanish Universities), a transactional model that links research with practice and the official website familiasenpositivo.org operating since 2015 with specific content for different agents: families, politicians, practitioners, researchers or students. Familias en Positivo has implications at different levels: at the policy level (child protection laws and social services laws, plans and strategies for child and family support, positive parenting as a reference framework in the actions in the social, educational, health, and judicial sectors) and at the practical level (cooperation and collaboration between researchers and practitioners, quality assurance based on an online protocol of EBP and a Plan of Improvements in positive parenting services and programmes and finally, in the implementation and evaluation of EBP programmes).

Conference presentations

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the COST Action, on behalf of EurofamNet, made a presentation at the conference for 9th Annual Social Work and Social Care Research in Practice Conference. This event was carried out on 9th March 2022 and the presentation was entitled Advancing a Family Support Agenda at European Level: The EurofamNet experience, which focused on EurofamNet progress in each of its areas, highlighting key findings and useful resources for conference delegates. You can watch the video of the presentation here.

EurofamNet achievements

wg1

WG1 "Management and Coordination"

WG1 has organized the EurofamNet webinar "COVID-19, Vulnerable families & Family support". The event was held on 9th February 2022 from 12:30 to 14:30 CET, addressing the relationship between COVID-19 and family support, while, on this occasion, paying special attention to vulnerable families. WG1 has also prepared the EurofamNet 7th MC meeting and the interactive workshop that took place during the event.

WG1 keeps working on the sustainability plan for the Network and the website update: a new section, called about EurofamNet, has been created. In this section you can find relevant information about the structure and the products of the Network in different formats such as videos, infographics and a brochure.

Finally, WG1 members have been advancing on the national mapping of key family support actors across Europe as well.
wg2

WG2 "Developing the European conceptual framework on family support"

WG2 has produced a compendium of national reports about the contexts, current developments, and policy actions in the area of child and family support in 27 countries across Europe: https://eurofamnet.eu/sites/default/files/toolbox/WG2_ChildandFamilySupportPoliciesacrossEurope.pdf

WG2 has also performed a review of academic literature about the conceptualisation and delivery of family support in Europe: https://eurofamnet.eu/system/files/the_conceptualisation_and_delivery_of_family_support_in_europe_2.pdf

Moreover, WG2 is working on a methodology and position paper to inform the scoping study of the conceptualization and delivery of family support in Europe.

Finally, the WG2 is also working on a synthesis report on family support in Europe.
wg3

WG3 "Quality standards and evidence-based programmes"

WG3 has developed a catalogue of family support programmes which is available on the EurofamNet website: https://eurofamnet.eu/toolbox/catalogue-family-support-programmes

The group has also published an article: The Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Family Support across Europe: A Narrative Review.

WG3 members from Portugal have translated into Portuguese language the policy brief about Webinar on “Bridging quality standards for evaluation with professional practice” (Como fazer a ponte entre os padrões de qualidade da avaliação e a prática profissional”).
wg4

WG4 "Developing a Standardisation Framework on Skills"

WG4 has published A review of books and handbooks related to the workforce skills in family support.
The group is organizing a Delphi study too.
wg5

WG5 "Dissemination of activities and results"

WG5 has created a video on the conceptualisation and objectives of EurofamNet and how is the approach to address them. This information is on the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym4lG6sZ_zI&ab_channel=EurofamNet

In terms of dissemination, the group has boosted and implemented a new format for long documents and reports in order to include a brief summary in every Action output to reach the general public. This is an important improvement because it includes the main result and conclusion of the study and two results relevant to the general public on the front page of each document. This helps to reach more interested people.

Another achievement for WG5 members is the website tool: EurofamNet members’ outputs, which groups a compendium of publications, conference presentations, and projects of EurofamNet members. A second output collection has now been launched for network members to share their publications. This is an ongoing project, so more outputs will be added to it in the future.

EurofamNet is present on social networks, follow us for more details.

EurofamNet February 2022 Open Webinar

On Wednesday 9th February 2O22, from 12:30 to 14:30 (CET), the EurofamNet open webinar "COVID-19. Vulnerable families & Family support" was held. The event was hosted by the COST Action 18123 European Family Support Network (EurofamNet), supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

Bearing in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the world population, in recent times with new variants that continue to make life difficult for people and in particular for certain families and children, this edition of the EurofamNet Open Webinars (corresponding to its 'Knowledge Exchange' section) has once again addressed the relationship between COVID-19 and family support, while, on this occasion, paying special attention to VULNERABLE FAMILIES. For this purpose, and as always, three experienced professionals in the field gave presentations on different levels: an academic, a practitioner and a representative of the administration, who shared their expertise in an educational spirit. Each intervention had an interactive space for dialogue with the audience that will reinforce learning development.

You can find the video recordings of the session as well as the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations at: https://eurofamnet.eu/toolbox/open-events/eurofamnet-webinar-covid-19-vulnerable-families-family-support
February webinar

International Children's Day 2021

On 20th November 2021, the world celebrated National Children’s Day. The theme of the day was A Better Future for Every Child.

As we reflect on the past two years of a global pandemic, families – and so children – have witnessed and endured so much. The tragedy of loved ones being taken ill and sometimes dying, missing school and friends, reduced opportunity to play have all been part of our children’s lived experience.

They have missed out on so much!

Which is why it was right to look forward on this International Children’s Day. We want a better future for every child. But what does this mean?

More than ever before, families right across Europe (and wider afield) need support. Parenting is a complex job, and most parents will benefit from the wisdom, advice and guidance of others. Lockdown has made access to family support services more difficult; more so where these families are digitally disadvantaged.

This is why the work of EurofamNet is so important! Academic colleagues are producing carefully written and helpful papers which those of us working in policy and practice can use to guide our thinking. Ultimately this will help the families that most need our support.

International Children’s Day quite rightly focused on seeking to ensure that there is a better future for every child. Members of EurofamNet can be proud that as we create a research-informed family support offer around Europe, we are contributing to that ambition.

Andy Lloyd (UK)
Chair
Policy and Practice Subgroup

EurofamNet meetings

meetings

7th EurofamNet Management Committee Meeting

The 7th EurofamNet meeting was held online from the 7th to the 9th February 2022. It was originally planned to take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, but was moved online due to the Covid-19 situation. On Monday 7th the meetings started with parallel working group sessions where leaders organized their work with their respective subgroups. The Policy and Practice group meeting also took place on the 7th, as well as the Young Researchers Group. To end the day, the Core group meeting was held. Both WG and Horizontal leaders reported their progress and coordination issues were discussed. On Tuesday 8th a special workshop was held focused on exchanging learning from the working groups across the full network. It started with a Plenary session in which the Working Group leaders updated the network participants on the advances made regarding outputs and deliverables. After that, participants were divided into smaller, mixed groups containing members from the different working groups. The Workshop was closed with another Plenary session where participants shared their experience and reflections from the small group sessions. On Wednesday 9th, representatives from 26 out of 34 COST countries attended the Management Committee meeting. Among the decisions taken were the approval of deliverables and the inclusion of new participants of the Network. The meetings were closed by a stimulating Knowledge Exchange session, in which the voices of academics, practitioners, policy representatives and families were heard.

COST networking tools

During its third Grant Period, EurofamNet has granted the following COST networking tools:

1

Inclusiveness Target Countries Grants (ITC Grants)

Aimed at supporting Young Researchers from Participating ITC or NNC.

3

Short Term Scientific Missions
(STSMs)

To promote exchanges in other countries.

1

VMG (Virtual Mobility Grants)

To foster the establishment of existing networks through virtual collaborations.

1

VNS (Virtual Networking Support Grants)

Aimed at promoting virtual collaboration trough a virtual networking strategy.

Calls for grants

EurofamNet opens its 3rd Grant Period second call for ITC Grants, STSMs and VMG. This call is open on an ongoing basis from 9th February 2022 until further notice. Applications will be assessed within 15 days from the submission. In addition, the call for dissemination grants has been launched. The congresses approved by the Management Committee to be fundable by Dissemination Conference Grants for the 3rd Period are the Estonian IPSCAN congress 2022 and the European Social Services Conference 2022. The application period is from 13th April to 27th April 2022 and evaluation period is from 28th April to 12th May 2022.

Also, a call for a VNS Grant was opened and awarded. The application period ended on March 18th 2022 and the evaluation period on April 3rd 2022.
A second application period for the Training School has been open until 27th May 2022 and the evaluation period is from 30th May to 3rd June 2022. (https://eurofamnet.eu/activities/training-schools)

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