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Achieving work-family balance for single parents
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context of project:The project was created in response to the European-wide growing need to integrate single parents into the job market more effectively, lowering the risk of poverty in single parent households and allowing this target group to unlock its full potential in contributing to the European workforce in 21st century. Single parents often experience in-work poverty. The necessity to balance employment with parenting and the covert discrimination they face at the labour market leads single parents to seek less qualified, lower paying precarious employment. What is needed are easily accessible learning tools for both employers (HR specialists, small business owners etc.) and single parents to help them to work more efficiently together and help achieve the considerable potential of single parents. Objectives of project:This project aims to support single parents to stay employed and to engage with employers and HR specialists to achieve this. Experiences of APERIO and W&L show that employers welcome activities that contribute to employee satisfaction, and thus to increased profit. This project will significantly contribute to sustainable employment of single parents, reduce their risk of poverty, and prevent further social risks to single parents and their children. The project will also explore ways to involve parents and employers more intensively in online learning, and maximise their long-term learning outcomes.Description of activities:-Two outputs focus on both single parents and employers:O1. Disadvantaged single parents in employment who struggle to keep and progress in their jobO2. HR specialists and small business owners who want to use the professional potential of single parents and avoid fluctuation of experienced staff-Our project will develop practical educational modules both for single parents and HR specialists from a variety of organizations.-These modules will combine experience and best training practices from all partners. We will achieve a wider accessibility of the modules by making them available online.Number and profile of participants: The project will benefit approximately 2240 people in total; 50 persons employed at all partners, 10 + 8 persons attending the dissemination event, at least 100 persons (stakeholders) from each country who will watch the dissemination event materials, 50 persons at piloting stage of both programmes in each country,100 single parents from each country who have participated in the single parents programme in the first 12 months after the programme launch, 25 HR experts/small business owners who have participated in the programme for employers in each country in the first 12 months after the programme launch, 200 stakeholders (NGOs, civil servants, social workers, charities etc.) who will have heard about the project and its activities during the project and 12 months after its conclusion, will understand more deeply the situation and needs of single parents, and have access to good practices in helping them stay in employment.Methodology to be used in carrying out the project:-Application of participatory, blended and evidence based methodology. -Website development using blended learning methodologies to facilitate life-long learning and support professionals’ development. -Evidence-based design applied in Preparation phase and partners’ experiences ensure a systematic and empirically informed approach.- Qualitative and quantitative surveys of participants’ experience- Collaboration in transnational teams to ensure intercultural relevance and experience transfer- Mutual experience exchange and evaluationResults and impact:Parents will:- gain free access to learning modules built on tested methodologies, so far mostly available only in "classroom" learning modules;- learn new ways to enter and stay in the labour market;- plan a career path and continued progression; - know the key components to finding and keeping meaningful, balanced and sustainable employment and understanding supports - increase crucial intra-personal and inter-personal skills associated with personal empowerment and professional success Employers will:- learn to support single parents in the workplace- identify positive aspects to having single parent employees - gain knowledge on diversity in families in society and create intercultural sensitivity, so as to work with, and employ, all parents and families without judgment.Longer term impact and benefits:-Single parents: prevention of or progress out of social exclusion, poverty and exhaustion-Improved employment rates for single parents and better collaboration between single parents and employers.-Employers and other stakeholders: increased awareness and ability to serve and work with diverse families -Society as a whole: increased awareness of needs of single parents and fragile families via dissemination activities
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