Youth and Family Office, community-based model for raising vulnerable children.

Youth and Family Office, community-based model for raising vulnerable children.

Youth and Familiy Office

Community model of care for vulnerable children and teenagers in the Austrian municipality of Graz, which seeks to strengthen resources for families, and to identify and resolve their specific needs. It is designed so that the child or teenager and the family are at the center, with an approach that takes into account the domestic and social context in which they live.

The initiative has been developed in four districts of the city, and focuses mainly on avoiding the institutionalization of the most vulnerable children. The program’s approach is preventive, offering families who are expecting a child to receive information free of charge and to participate in a wide range of activities to prepare them for future parenting. Some of the activities offered are home visits by professionals, as well as free lectures and courses. Attendance at these courses provides a booklet with stamps that provide an economic incentive exchangeable for other services in the city, such as visits to parental counseling centers.

Once the children are born, parents receive counseling, and if special needs are identified, they can be transitioned to specialized services. The program is also aimed at older ages, including adolescence, with services such as nursery schools or youth centers, as well as leisure activities and digital support.

Graz’s model promotes flexible assistance tailored to the needs of each family, which is always involved in the research and identification of solutions.

Vila Veïna, a new public community care system

Vila Veïna, a new public community care system

Barcelona City Council

A new public care system in the city of Barcelona that aims to achieve a model of social and health care that is smaller and closer to the users.

To achieve this, it structures the service in a set of “Super Islands” of care, which encompass a group of houses and neighborhoods of between 10,000 and 30,000 inhabitants, with a reference point located in an open community space (for example, a library) to manage the needs of service users in an integrated manner. Thanks to this new innovative service model, professionals enjoy greater autonomy in the organization and management of their work, since they know the users more closely and are able to deal more directly and satisfactorily with all of them.

Each Vila Veïna has the essential services and benefits related to care in a centralized manner, in order to be able to deal with them closely. It also has emotional support groups and a resource bank for the care of children and the elderly, which provides material such as crutches, cradles, wheelchairs and other items necessary for the care of children and the elderly. It also offers legal and employment advice for caregivers and families in need, as well as talks and outdoor activities. The aim is to provide caregivers with access to information about existing services, as well as to create communities of care and proximity.

Each Vila Veïna has a professional who dedicates his or her working day to promoting networking, programming activities and attending to citizens in relation to care. The new profile of this professional is essential in innovation and requires a set of skills for community activation, as well as knowledge of municipal administrative systems and other administrations.

The project is aimed at the entire population living in the territory, because it is based on the idea that ‘we all take care of each other’, and the goal is to achieve a more caring community with all the people who are part of it.

In short, it is an innovative model that humanizes services and contemplates the participation of people, both caregivers and those receiving care, who are part of a community network and co-responsible for the collective welfare.

By 2022 there will be 12 Vila Veïna spaces in the city of Barcelona, and the goal is to have 115 throughout the city in the future.

P.I.P.P.I., intensive care programme for vulnerable families with young children

P.I.P.P.I., intensive care programme for vulnerable families with young children

Laboratory for Research and Intervention in Family Education of the University of Padova, Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies

Girls playing.

Intensive and multidisciplinary intervention programme in vulnerable families to reduce the risk of children being removed from their nuclear family, articulating a set of combined actions in relation to children’s needs: intensive home care, group activities with other parents, accompaniment by volunteer families, and joint work with teachers and social workers from schools and social services.

In line with the aim of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to develop measures to ensure the best interests of the child, the Italian Ministry of Social Welfare, in partnership with the University of Padua, designed and implemented from 2011 this intensive care programme for vulnerable families called the Intervention Programme for the Prevention of Institutionalization. Its abbreviation, P.I.P.P.P.I. is at the same time inspired by the fictional character Pippi Långstrump, a creative and surprisingly resilient girl known all over the world.

As its name suggests, P.I.P.P.P.I. aims to prevent out-of-home care and respond to problems related to child neglect, taking into account the right of all children to quality care. When parental neglect is involved, and there is a subsequent removal of the child, the removal itself expropriates the competence of the parents. This practice does not seem to be the most desirable intervention, so P.I.P.P.Y. experiences a social response that attempts to put the developmental needs of children first.

P.I.P.P.P.Y. represents a co-ordinated and co-operative work between different institutions, professions and disciplines of social services, psychology and pedagogy to act together in order to achieve a reduction in the number of children removed from their families. At the same time, P.I.P.P.P.I. has developed its own tool for the assessment and evaluation of cases based on models from Scotland and Quebec.

P.I.P.P.P.Y. is now widespread throughout Italy, and several academic studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this intervention model. The evaluation report of the seventh edition of the programme 2018-2020 provides evidence of the bonus results achieved.

Centro Nazionale di documentazione e analisi per l'infanzia e l'adolescenza

Alella Poble Cuidador, a community support network in loneliness, illness and the end of life

Alella Poble Cuidador, a community support network in loneliness, illness and the end of life

Ajuntament d’Alella, Fundació Sant Francesc d’Assís and Fundació La Caixa

Picture taken from Alella Poble Cuidador’s web.

Community network that promotes the articulation of collective action to care for people in the municipality who suffer from loneliness, a chronic illness or are at the end of life, and their families, so that they feel cared for and accompanied , whether they live in their private home or live in any of the health and social entities in the village. The goal is to create a safe, friendly, and caring community environment for these people.

Alella Poble Cuidador acts in three areas of intervention: care and support, training, and education and awareness. In each area of ​​intervention it has structured a set of resources (families, social and health centers, schools, companies, etc.) to promote the development and use of personal and community skills and resources for the care and the accompaniment, and to assert, throughout the life cycle, the values, beliefs and practices for good living and good dying.

At the same time, it carries out activities such as care and support; group meetings of bereaved people and caregivers; training of professionals and caregivers; support for the preparation of the advance directives document; exchange of orthopedic and sanitary equipment; support for the organization of farewell ceremonies; intergenerational musical encounters; and theatrical lectures.

Emotional and professional support available to everyone.

Citizens of the municipality can participate in the network by registering, at no cost, to benefit from the services offered; becoming network partners and participating in working groups; becoming network volunteers; collaborating financially; or following current affairs and network news.

A consultancy has externally evaluated the results of the program, which can be consulted on the web. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. The network has, in addition to volunteers, a team of specialized professionals.

Alella, poble cuidador

TippyTalk, a solution for people with a verbal disability to communicate

TippyTalk, a solution for people with a verbal disability to communicate


Kids using TippyTalk on a tablet. Picture taken from TippyTalk website.

Application that allows people with nonverbal autism to express themselves through images representing elements of everyday life. By choosing different icons, they can decide who they want to talk with – their mother or father, for example – and tell them what they need, how they feel or what draws their attention. Parents, or the caregiver, receive a text message that allows them to understand what the person with autism cannot explain by words.

The person who takes care of someone with autism can download the app from the App Store or Play Store, and create several items that will be chosen by the person who uses it. These can be your own photos, drawings or any image, and anyone doing this will also be able to write the text that you will receive via SMS according to the selected items. For example, when a fridge is pressed, it means that the person is hungry. In addition, you can also typeset a sound or a word that sounds each time an item is selected.

Currently, the application is only available in English, although you can change settings to put the words in any language. In terms of subscription, TippyTalk is a paid application, but they offer 14 days of free trial.


Helpper, people with support needs connect with people willing to help them

Helpper, people with support needs connect with people willing to help them


Young helpper helping an elderly woman to do groceries. Retrieved from Helpper’s website.

Service that connects people who need some support for their daily life tasks (helppies), with people close to them, in the same neighbourhood or village, who are willing to help them (helppers).

Helppper is a model that seeks the comfort of both sides, because it allows helppers to specify what their availability is (schedule, types of service they can offer, if they offer it free or with remuneration, etc.); and the helppies to select the support to be received (what person, for which support needs, schedule, modality, price, etc.). Helpper offers three subscription modalities: Basic, Standard and Premium, to make it easier for each person to personify the level of assistance they want to receive.

People with disabilities, with chronic diseases, elderly people, parents and mothers who are very busy, and even carers who need help in caring for dependents, can access the service.

The types of assistance or possible tasks to offer/receive include: small home repairs; food aid; support with administrative processes; travel and transport support; company to mitigate unwanted loneliness; babysitting; etc.

The service is available in French and Dutch.