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An analysis of needs for in-service training of carers, educators and foster parents with special focus on transversal competencies (a short summary)

An analysis of needs for in-service training of carers, educators and foster parents with special focus on transversal competencies (a short summary)

19 june 2015 08:41
All countries involved in CareComp project, (supported under the European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme) Romania, Austria, Hungary and Croatia face the challenge of transition from institutional to community based child care and therefore changing the institutional culture that includes re-training and continuing competence development of careers and foster parents who look after the children facing multiple disadvantages and being highly exposed to the risk of social inclusion.

In order to successfully help overcome these challenges activities of CareComp project have been grounded on a throughout analysis of the current situation.
The needs analysis report includes (1) a short overview of the social welfare system for children without appropriate parental care in partner countries, (2) changes in characteristics and behaviour of children in the past 10 years and (3) existing training and education system of foster parents, carers and educators in all four countries. The report offers a throughout description of: (a) requirements, training and education of foster parents, carers and educators; (b) regulation of their recruitment, licensing, education and monitoring; (c) their support in the field of cooperation with experts (social workers), biological families and with the child placed in a foster family; as well as (d) possibilities for improving the existing models of education of all three target groups.

Based on interviews and questionnaires with 130 project beneficieries (41 foster parents, 68 carers and 21 other experts) the report reveals the needs for developing transversal competencies of foster parents, carers and educators in each participating country.

Based on results a set of the interviews and desk research recommendations have been formulated for improving the existing models of education of foster parents, careers and educators:

Suggestions for improving the existing models of foster parents’ education:

a)      more frequent courses and workshops, themed lectures by experts, make practical counselling more available when real problems in foster care appear (Croatia);

b)      organize meetings, make more available exchange of experience with other foster parents (Croatia);

c)       offering psychological assistance (Croatia); 

d)      more training on topics about developmental difficulties and child behaviour (Croatia);

e)      ensure availability and possibility of including foster parents in support groups, in supervision groups (Croatia);

f)       recognising the role of the foster parent as a partner in the system of social welfare (Croatia); 

g)      actively include foster parents in the process of developing an Individual Care Plan covering the needs of the fostered child (Croatia);

 

Suggestions for improving the existing models of education of carers are:

a)      provide continuing education (Huungary);

b)      strengthening careers in their role (Austria);

c)      make them visible in society and resources they provide (Austria);

d)      make available supportive measures for dealing with and upbringing foster child (Austria);.

 

Suggestions  for improving the existing models of education of reducator are:

a)      strengthen the capacities of experts in the process of deinstitutionalisation and transformation of social welfare homes and the need to: develop training guidelines and a handbook on the process of transformation of institutions aimed at experts providing social welfare, attending study trips to at least one EU member country (Croatia);

b)      introducing, implementing, monitoring and improving quality standards of social welfare provision also allow for improving training of carers (Croatia);.

c)      assessing the need for further training for experts and the training program development (Croatia);

d)      provide finance for education/training for educators (e. g. choice of the educators is determined by the price) (Hungary);

e)      decrease criteria regarding professional experience (Austria).

 

Further recommendations have been formulated for selection of educational areas and improvement of transversal competencies for foster parents, carers and educators

Area of work that foster parents assess as most critical:   

a)      Working with adolescents (Austria)

b)      Work in area of motivation for school and education (Croatia)

c)      Working with children to develop a positive outlook for future (Hungary)

d)      Work and task overload (Hungary)

e)      Dealing with non-fullfilment of tasks by children (Romania)

f)       Lack of respect for authority (Romania)

Areas of work that educators and carers assess as most critical:

a)      Working with children with behavourial problems (Austria, Romania);

b)      Working with children who have learning difficulties (Croatia);

c)      Coping with stress and task overload (Croatia, Hungary);

d)      Working with children  to develop a positive outlook for future (Hungary);

e)      Motivating children for school (Hungary);

f)       Children's free time(Romania)

Assessment of most required competencies for foster parents, carers and educators:

•         Area of communication - active listening

•         Area of relationship development - empathy

•         Area of social skills - resolving conflict

•         Area of values and attitudes related to work - coping with change and stress

 

As a conclusion the report stats that the biggest risks in working with children are: trauma, depression and aggresive behaviour.

 

Training curriculum and training materials will be developed to address the needs identified in the report.
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