Cohesion policies in Europe are an instrument for reducing inequalities and achieving long-term transformation. Data from the VIII Cohesion Report show that cohesion in the European Union has improved, but disparities remain. Although 17 million people have been lifted out of poverty and social exclusion between 2012 and 2019, more than one in five people in the EU are still at risk of poverty or social exclusion. In 2020, the pandemic increased the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion by 5 million. Pockets of poverty persist even in the most prosperous regions and there is a need to improve not only quantitative but also qualitative support services.
An innovative project approach with a strong focus on in-depth learning will be organized around 5 learning events dedicated to the different challenges faced by the model change, bringing real cases from 4 different regions of Spain, the Czech Republic, Finland, Belgium, and the national experience of Italy. Study visits and peer-review workshops organized back-to-back to the learning events and staff exchanges will complete the learning route. NEAR will deliver 20 Good Practices on tools, skills and trainings, 4 Regional Diagnosis and the NEAR project guide “Towards person-centered community-based social models in Europe”.
What will this project change
NEAR aims to support regions to develop or improve person-centered community-based social models that intervene both with the person (seeking the maximum development of their capacities) and in their relational environments (seeking to maximise the primary support that the person receives). The adoption of these models implies a change in professional praxis, from a role of expert to a role of accompaniment, provision of support, guidance, and motivation. NEAR will identify approaches and methodologies for professional action that facilitate this change and will transfer good practices in training social service professionals for the new praxis.