Funded by

Erasmus+ KA2

SERN Secretariat


Learning to Innovate with Families

About the project

The Learning to Innovate with Families (LIFE) project will seek to develop new skills, competencies, training products and methodologies to enable social workers and related professionals to innovate and adopt more effective interventions in working with families experiencing multiple and complex difficulties.

The need for the project was identified through a major research study undertaken jointly by 2 of the partners, the R&D Centre Linkoping in Sweden and the NTNU, Trondheim Child Welfare Research and Innovation Centre which involved 900 families and concluded that despite interventions by a range of professionals, there was often little change in the situation of these families over time due to a lack of innovation skills at practice level and the need for a more holistic approach. The project has a strong partnership which also includes the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, the APCC, an NGO in Portugal specialising in disability issues, and the Municipality of Cervia in Emilia Romagna in Italy.


The objectives of the project are:

  • To undertake a Baseline Study/Needs Analysis to map the competency and skills needs required by social workers/other professionals involved in this work and develop a Competency Framework
  • To develop a ‘Knowledge Triangle’ learning model which will use abductive learning to strengthen links between researchers, educators and practitioners working with vulnerable families
  • To develop a transferable Innovation Skills Development Programme together with a ‘toolkit’ of supporting learning materials
  • To test these products through a pilot programme involving professionals from each partner region who will each work with a small number of families during the course of the programme
  • To review the results of the piloting including impact on work with the families and to amend the products
  • To produce a project report and organise national and transnational mainstreaming and dissemination, including through the use of ECVET.


The impact and long term benefits will be to support the development of new and improved practice, in particular through the use of innovation skills in working with vulnerable families and in addressing the disadvantage faced by the families, enhancing their social inclusion.

The common skills gaps identified within the partner countries reinforces the need for a European dimension.

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