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EurofamNet Newsletter
Spring 2021 Edition

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.

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 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.

EuroFamNet in numbers

In April 2020, the second COST Grant Period of the Network began. Since then, 7 full members and 20 associate members have joined EurofamNet.

35

Countries

Building bridges within Europe and beyond

161

Participants
141 full members + 20 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:

Forthcoming events

Families in positive + European Family Support Network: Projects to develop the positive parenting approach and the family support

The Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Regions (FEMP) will organize a webinar in co-coordination with EurofamNet, the Spanish Ministry of Social Rights, and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), aimed to introduce the Network to municipalities and local authorities across Europe. The event will be held virtually on June 1st, 2021, from 10:00 to 11:30 (CET).

6th EurofamNet Management Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the Action was planned to be held in Nicosia (Cyprus), but due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is decided to be held online from June 16th to 18th, 2021 inclusive.

EurofamNet webinar “Family support & COVID. Learning and responding from a European perspective”

Next Friday 18th of June 2021, from 12:30 to 14:30 (CET), EurofamNet open webinar "Family support & COVID. Learning and responding from a European perspective" will be held.

A panel of researchers in family support, as well as high-level practice and policy stakeholders will present projects or actions that are being developed to meet the current challenges in family support arena at national and European level. Also, Roma girls involved in the RoMOMatteR project will share some testimonials at the event.

Workshops


During 2021, EurofamNet will organize two workshops with invited relevant experts and stakeholders.

WG3 Stakeholders Workshop “Bridging quality standards for evaluation with professional practice” will be held virtually on June 11th, 2021, from 9:00 to 12:00 (CET), involving policy-makers and service providers responsible for Child and Family Support agencies from COST Action countries. The main focus is to scope the efforts to introduce evidence-based practices in child and family policies and professional work with families across the COST Action countries.

The WG2 Expert Panel on “Targeted needs and new realities” will be focused on poverty, mental health, and work life balance in the context of Covid-19. This is scheduled for 24th September 2021 and will be held virtually.

More information available at: https://eurofamnet.eu/activities/workshops
achievements

EurofamNet achievements

wg1

WG1 "Management and Coordination"

The WG1 has developed a booklet of the relevant European stakeholders in family support, which is now available on EurofamNet website: https://eurofamnet.eu/toolbox/european-stakeholders-booklet. This group is also working on the creation of map of national family support stakeholders.

In addition, WG1 has developed an internal guidance document on authorship and has presented an Intermediate report to COST, in which information on the activity of the Network during the first half of the COST Action is reported.
wg2

WG2 "Developing the European conceptual framework on family support"

WG2 is currently working on a wide-ranging scoping study that aims to review 'the conceptualisation and delivery of family support' across European countries. A final synthesis report will be produced in 2021. Up to now, a methodology and position paper to inform this scoping study has been developed by WG2.
wg3

WG3 "Quality standards and evidence-based programmes"

The ‘Map of international agencies on family support programme evaluation and quality standards’ developed by WG3 is now available on the website: https://eurofamnet.eu/sites/default/files/toolbox/WG3_AgenciesEvaluationQuality.pdf. Also, a search engine has been developed on EurofamNet website from the content of this deliverable: https://eurofamnet.eu/toolbox/agencies/programme-evaluation-quality-standards

WG3 has also been working on the organization of data collection of evidence-based programs and the establishment of evidence-based approach at national level.
wg4

WG4 "Developing a Standardisation Framework on Skills"

Deliverable developed by WG4 ‘Map of international agencies on workforce skills standards in family support’ has been published on EurofamNet website: https://eurofamnet.eu/sites/default/files/toolbox/WG4_AgenciesSkillStandards.pdf. A search engine has been developed from its content and is available at the Toolbox section (https://eurofamnet.eu/toolbox/agencies-skills-standards/agencies), where also useful documents regarding skills standards at international level in family support arena can be found.

In addition, the WG4 product “Workforce skills in family support: A systematic review” has been recently published in Research on Social Work Practice (Volume 31, Issue 4). You can get access to the article by clicking on the following link:
https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/FAKDSFRTPZUYKKKBJJJQ/full.
wg5

WG5 "Dissemination of activities and results"

Since past autumn, WG5 has developed a monitoring report with an emphasis of social media presence due to the pandemic and a special section on mostly virtual conferences presence of the network's ongoing progress.

This group has also been working on tackling dissemination activities with the introduction of a smart dissemination plan to attract more attention to the Network work in the digital era.
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EurofamNet January 2021 Webinar

Past January 22nd, 2021 the first EurofamNet Open Webinar “Family Support in the European context” was held. It aimed to encourage mutual knowledge exchange in family support research and practice across Europe.

During the event, a panel of researchers in family support, as well as high-level practice and policy stakeholders discussed some of the current challenges in family support arena at European level. Five EurofamNet papers were presented.

You can find the video recordings of the event by clicking the following link: https://eurofamnet.eu/toolbox/first-eurofamnet-webinar-family-support-european-context
Flyer_Webinar-January-2021-v2

International Day of Families

We have just celebrated the UNICEF led International Day of the Family. The theme this year is Families and New Technology.

In the EurofamNet policy and practice group we have many members from around Europe. All of us have stories to tell of how we have made use of digital technology to engage with families during the lockdowns due to the pandemic. It has really been very impressive how families have adapted to this work and how organisations have developed new ways of working, of delivering training courses and having time with parents who have struggled during this time.

However, this has not been the case for all families. The concept of the digital divide is not new but has become much more stark during the lockdowns. Families who do not have access to the internet and a device to connect to the internet have found themselves missing out on desperately needed support. Children who have been home-schooling have not been able to join in with their classes – or have had to wait in turn to use the single family device.

These are matters that we need to address as we move out of lockdown around Europe. Members of the policy and practice group have learned a great deal about how best to use technology in our work with families – both parents and children.

But we have also learnt about how lack of access to digital technology causes some of our most needy families to miss out on vital support and help.

We will be sharing some of our learning as we meet over the next few months with a hope that we can help the thinking and drive towards reducing the digital divide.

Andy Lloyd,
EurofamNet Policy & Practice Group Leader

EurofamNet meetings

5th-eurofamnet-meeting

5th EurofamNet Management Committee Meeting

The fifth meeting of the Action was held online from February 3rd to February 5th, 2021. The meeting commenced on February 3rd with coordination meetings, one between Working Group 1 and Working Group 5, and one involving the Action coordinating group. Throughout the day on Thursday 4th, individual working Group meetings proceeded. Representatives from 30 out of 34 COST countries attended the Management Committee meeting on Friday February 5th. We welcomed the Action’s scientific officer, who provided insights in a number of areas. During the meeting, the overall progress of the Action was presented and several decisions were approved at Management Committee level.

20210412_093217

WG3 small meeting

A WG3 small meeting was held in Tenerife (Spain) from April 12th to 16th, 2021, inclusive. The main focus of the meeting was to work on the catalogue of family support programmes from all member countries. Significant progress was made in relation to the database, results exploitation, and program classification strategy.

Workforce skills in Family Support: A systematic review

The article developed by EurofamNet WG4 “Workforce skills in Family Support: A systematic review” has been published in Volume 31, Issue 4 of Research on Social Work Practice.

This article is a review of the current knowledge and state of the art regarding the family support workforce skills, which aims to promote the understanding of family support as value-based practical approach. It informs about service delivery, professional education, research, and policies by using a common set of concepts.

You can find the article available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/FAKDSFRTPZUYKKKBJJJQ/full
workforce-skills-in-family-support

Conference presentation

On October 23rd, 2020, Professor John Canavan, Action Vice Chair, presented a paper at the National University of Ireland, Galway / Tusla Joint Training Series titled “Five Questions for Family Support”. In focus in his presentation were key challenges for Family Support. Professor Canavan highlighted the ongoing work of the Action in addressing these and other questions.

COST networking tools

During its second Grant Period, up to now EurofamNet has granted the following COST networking tools:

8

ITC Grants
(Inclusiveness target countries grants)

For PhD students from inclusiveness target countries.

1

Short Term Scientific Missions
(STSMs)

To promote exchanges in other countries.

2

Dissemination Meeting Grants

To attend high profile events and conferences.
In responding to the current situation, COST has launched new Virtual Networking Tools (VNT) for the promotion of virtual networking. EurofamNet will launch information about it soon. More about VNT is available at the Section 10 of the Vademecum:
Open Calls

Incoming calls

EurofamNet keeps open its calls for ITC and STSM Grants up to September 30th, 2021. For further information click on the image above.
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