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Sozialbetreuungspraktika in Europa
Start date: 18 Jul 2016, End date: 17 Jul 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

22 students of the Caritas’ “Training Center for Caring Professions” participate in the project “Praktische Handlungskompetenzen in Sozialberufen im europäischen Vergleich” (“Social and practical competence in Europe”) and will partake in internships in 8 different institutions, lasting from 19 to 56 days. During the project all participants will be in the third and last year of their certified social worker training, with the focus on working with the elderly, families or accompanying of persons with disabilities. Additionally, all students have decided to take part in the project voluntarily and must fulfill certain criteria, such as taking self-initiative by contacting the respective institutions in order to be selected to participate in the project. The project’s aims include not only the goals for the required internship according to the curriculum, but also the following extended objectives:- Describing the current state of social care in Austria and comparing the local and national conditions of social care - Comparing paradigms in social care, applying the principle of normalization and inclusion, and describing current pedagogical concepts in all internship positions- Illustrating international trends and directions of social care- Developing sensitivity towards other cultures- Sharing and spreading experience and knowledge gained in internships abroadThe internships aim to develop, promote and expand the students’ skills concerning compassion, assessing situations quickly and taking appropriate actions. By linking theory to practical experience, an optimal evaluation and reflection can be achieved. Holistic learning, which always integrates own behavior, experience and attitudes, has priority. The training’s aim at our school “Training Center for Caring Professions” is that students possess abilities at the end of their training which are necessary for work in social services. Such a result can just be achieved by combining school and practice in an optimal and comprehensive manner, as it can be seen in this project, which will be expanded on a European level. The project’s impact on the participants is expected to take place on several levels: the expansion of self-competence and social competence by means of personality development, as well as the expansion of professional competence and possibilities to work throughout the EU, which will increase the students’ chances of using their newly acquired qualifications. In the long run we expect the project to positively influence the concept development in the field of social care. At our training facility, internships abroad have already become a sign of quality. Experience within the last couple of years has shown that students doing EU internships gain and spread a wealth of personal and professional skills. This practical experience can just be complemented but not substituted by theoretical training. In fact, the practical experience is necessary to develop theoretically acquired knowledge, such as in the field of self-determination or dementia. When it comes to the theoretical training, topics such as “diversity,” “intercultural aspects” as well as “normalization” and “empowerment” are essential. In terms of these topics, the project fits perfectly to these key subjects and supports them with the selected internship positions.
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