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Improving the protection and wellbeing of children in Europe: enhancing the curriculum
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context/background This project has developed from the recognised need, amongst international agencies and higher education institutions, for consistency in responses to, and understanding of, child welfare and protection issues across Europe. Trans-European organisations have identified the need for a common set of core modules to inform professional development. Safeguarding presents challenges to all child support agencies where there are concerns regarding child welfare and these challenges require a co-ordinated response. Objectives The project aims to create a suite of core child protection modules for social work child protection training in South East Europe. The creation of complementary child protection training within partner institutions will provide a template for future transnational collaborations and improved cross border collaboration. Such a joint enterprise will enhance the quality and relevance of the learning in social work education and increase the capacity and professionalism of a skilled workforce to address the challenges of child protection and welfare in a globalised world via improved competency and knowledge base of social workers. The identified modules include: - Practice / skills base / risk assessment (including online e-learning skills scenarios) - Effective practice / evidence base / monitoring skills - Collaborative working / multi-agency approaches (including co-production with children and families) - Working with hard to reach children / families - Transnational social work (include issues of poverty and / or culture) Number and profile of participants The project group comprises eight universities with specialised areas of skill and expertise. Terre des Hommes Foundation "Lausanne" in Hungary complements the group as a voluntary organisation with strong pan-European working relationships, existing networks in South East Europe and a close understanding of the particular practice issues which the project group may face. The University of Stirling is recognised in the UK and internationally for the quality of teaching and research in the field of child welfare and protection. Led by Professor Daniel, the team at Stirling have the expertise and experience required to head and coordinate large partnership arrangements. The University of Kent provide additional depth in their international reputation for teaching and research in child welfare and protection. In relation to this project specifically the University of Kent have developed innovative technologies for delivering learning opportunities online and their expertise will inform the development of online skills and practice resources. The partner Universities represent key institutions for teaching and research in child welfare and protection in the respective partner organisations: Chisinau Ion Creanga State Pedagogical University Univerzitet U Beogradu Universitatea Din Bucuresti University of Tirana University of Prishtina Nov Bulgarski Universitet Description of activities The project will achieve the goal of creating a suite of core modules for child protection education through a 3 year programme of activities. In phase 1 (first three months) the project group will carry out a needs assessment to identify the specific and shared needs across South East European counties. There will be five transnational meetings to manage the project, in addition to regular e-meetings facilitated by an advisory / steering group. A total of six multiplier events held in each of the SE European regional countries will disseminate project findings to local stakeholders and facilitate an ongoing sustainable feedback loop, extending beyond the completion of the project. Process Partnership working across the project group will draw on local knowledge and expertise while the overarching leadership of Stirling University will bring consistency and coherence to the materials developed. Theories of adult learning will underpin the development of the curriculum and teaching methods The project will develop and embed training material for social work educators to deliver a consistent child protection modules across South East Europe. This will result in shared, innovative educational practice for addressing the target group of social work professionals. Core social work child welfare texts will be made available to social workers in the target areas through translated materials and the creation of multi-language e-learning materials. Potential longer term benefits. Improved transnational cooperation between social work / child protection education providers will be followed by enhanced collaboration and research opportunities. Development of shared understanding in terms of the priority issues for child welfare and protection - both in terms of educational provision for professionals and the challenges in practice will ensure sustainability
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