Development of the empowerment of educators and beneficiaries in the field of youth at risk and social exclusion

The project "Development of the empowerment of educators and beneficiaries in the field of youth at risk and social exclusion" is a response to the aims of the European Union to fight poverty and exclusion. It allows associated professionals to develop and strengthen their skills and employability and directly deals with the issues of inclusion and supporting young at risk.

It was initiated by the Educ-Europe Network consortium of 12 European organizations working in the field of child protection or those belonging to the sector of higher education and vocational training for educators. Established in 2006, the network has since evolved and incorporated new organizations.

Apprentis d’Auteuil, and more specifically its Directorate of HR Development in charge of the training of professionals, is the applicant organization for the project. This foundation acts in France for almost 150 years, fighting against social exclusion of disadvantaged young people and their families (a common area with other partners).

7 other members of the network will be partner organizations of this project: HEB and KDG Belgium, UKW in Poland, CRIPS in Romania, INFA in France, Amigo in Spain and CNOS -SCS in Italy.

As the Educ-Europe partners have been working together for 8 years now, they observed the emergence of common problems, at the origin of the design of this project.

They indeed found that the field of social assistance is now struggling to involve beneficiaries, even though getting each actor to make decisions for his own life would significantly improve the quality and impact of the supporting programmes. To accompany this development the social work education and practice need to help educators questioning on how the empowerment is helping the beneficiaries’ development.

Thus, in a context where problems - including social - transcend borders, all European partners expressed the need to respond to issues of empowerment and social support for minors with issues involving Justice concerning the educational support for young people whose problems require the intervention of Justice on the one hand, and of empowerment and social work with adults living in a highly precarious situation on the other hand.

The real desire of professionals and organizations to enrich their support programs by opening themselves to innovative practices and educational problems met in other EU countries is a facilitating factor.

8 partner organizations, experts in their field of action, collectively built this project in logic of innovation transfer, in a spirit of reciprocity, and with a desire for lasting changes regarding ways of assisting beneficiaries of social work and innovation in training methodologies. They all participate in each stage of the project and mobilize practitioners of social intervention, trainers and beneficiaries or former beneficiaries.

To meet with the objectives of the project, 4 groups (each gathering 2 participants from each partner organization) will meet during 2 sessions of 5 days. All sessions use the methodology of action research to enable participants to use their knowledge from experience, to cross it with the theoretical knowledge and to conduct experimentations. This method of training, active and participatory, combines joint experimentation and reflection to open new opportunities by crossing different points of view and experiences, helping to raise awareness and enabling an enriching exchange of best practices among multidisciplinary actors.

In addition to trainers organizing every action research session, members of  Educ-Europe  network will meet. They are in charge of coordinating the project, capitalizing results through the production and dissemination of research journals at the end of each session, working on online training modules and organizing the international conference (also organized on a participatory pedagogy based on empowerment) which will end 2 years of partnership.

Programmed deliverables are the following:

  • 4 research journals
  • 2 training modules
  • 1 international seminar

The project's impact will be direct and long-lasting for each participant, holder of an innovative project; for institutions, because of the evolution of content and methods of training for educators, and the improvement of their child protection services; for the entire sector (including other organizations specialized in training) which will then recruit trained educators and thus access the results of the project.

More info


+32 3 613 12 27

  • Duration: 2014 - 2016

  • Partners: Fondation d’Auteuil (France), Fundacion Amigo (Spain), CRIPS (Romania), HEB (Belgium), INFA (France), UKW (Poland), SCS/CNOS (Italy)

  • KdG-participants: Mario Haine, Koen De Loos, Lieve Geerts, Tania Mouton, Els Allaert, Tine Andries