sabato 2 ottobre 2010
AIFREF 2010: 13th International Conference Family Education and Childcare Services, Fortezza da Basso, Florence, 17-19 November 2010
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Childcare services have by their nature developed a focus on relations with parents. In the best experiences, parents are involved on a number of occasions, from individual interviews to group meetings, from workshops to parties. Childcare services seem thus to be ready to meet a new challenge, becoming a family education setting.
1. Parenting support policies
Parenting support includes a broad range of activities, from prevention, information and education carried out by social and health services, to the actions increasingly implemented by childcare education services aiming at combining early childhood and parenthood education. Which are the strategies identified? How can services monitor social change in order to adjust their actions, and how do they assess the outcome of their activities?
2. The educational role of the members of the "family system" (mother, father, siblings, grandparents, etc. )
The transformation in family models is generating new types of families and a change in the parental figures of the mother and father, and of the grandparents as well. This in turn deeply modifies the educational roles taken on by the members of the family system as a whole. Whatich are the new needs generated by the family roles reconfiguration? To what extent are family education and parenting support providing instruments to cope with this change?
3. Families' participation in childcare services
Parenting support actions allow help to stimulate parents or future parents to reflect on their educational role, providing them with guidance, references and useful competences for their parental function. These actions also allow for the assessment of parents' participation in the services and programmes addressed to them, as well as their involvement in the care and upbringing of their children. How can services monitor and strengthen parents' participation and involvement? Which strategies are they adopting to reach those parents who are not involved in socio-educational services?
4. The educators' skills (competences and professionalism)
Professionals and educators working in parenting support programmes and services require sound theoretical and practical skills, but must also be able to recognize parents' own competences and the resources provided by their working environment. What are the training opportunities available for these professionals so that they become appropriately qualified to support parenting? Which are the basic qualifications and continuing education required for them?
5. The biographies and experiences of stakeholders (children, parents, educators, etc…)
Parenting support services, both social(socio-medical) and educational, are a potential vantage point on the stakeholders' life experiences. The emphasis on such experiences is instrumental to a more appropriate conception of actions and a more fruitful reshaping of strategies. In parenting support initiatives, to what extent and through which strategies is this focus applied, and what are the results obtained by working on stakeholders' experiences and perceptions?
6. Family education and health
Pedagogy is reappropriating a number of dimensions connected to family -life that over time had become the exclusive competence of medical knowledge. Educators increasingly interact with medical and healthcare staff and with psychologists in the framework of family counselling centres or, for instance, of birth and post-partum preparation courses. Which competences (What skills )are needed by the educators involved in these educational activities? Which are the most important lessons to be learned from their experiences?