Over 400 families taken care of, support for more than 600 students: all the numbers of the “InRete” project

The “InRete” project is two years old, a project selected by “Con i Bambini” as part of the Fund for the fight against child educational poverty and promoted by the Forlì-Cesena Social Solidarity Consortium, which is its leader, together with the social cooperatives L ‘Hospitality, Domus Coop, Paolo Babini, DiaLogos, Salvagente and with the partnership of the Good Shepherd Foundation (Caritas). The goal is to act on support for problematic families as a central element for combating child educational poverty in the Forlì district. The results of the project, which had reached halfway, were presented at the meeting for sharing objectives and practices which took place on 19 December in the Assembly hall of the Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì Foundation in the presence of the councilor of the Maurizia Squarzi Foundation and by the Councilor for Educational Policies of the Municipality of Forlì Paola Casara.

Compared to the numbers of these two years of activity, there are around 400 units taken over by the Family Mentors of the cooperatives involved in the project; the territorial area is that of Forlì and some municipalities in the area (including the valleys). For each school year affected by the project (2020/21 and 2021/22) 32 alternative teaching laboratories were activated for lower secondary level and more than 600 hours of study support were provided for minors with academic difficulties of that age range 27 expressive-relational workshops were also carried out for primary school classes for each school year and more than 400 hours of school support were provided for secondary school students (foreigners and/or at risk of dropping out/abandonment from school) .

At the table Caterina Dress coordinator of the Project, Barbara Ghetti coordinator of the family mentors, Ilaria Monti (Paolo Babini Cooperative), Agnese Bernardini (L’Accoglienza Cooperative), Gianni Matteucci (Domus Coop), Agnese Rustignoli (Lifeguard), Fulvia Fabbri (Dialogos) . Participants included Filippo Monari (Director of Caritas Forlì), Maria Teresa Amante (Sports Service and Educational Quality), Gabriele Passerini (Cassa dei Risparmi Foundation of Forlì) as well as representatives of the schools involved in the project.

The “InRete” project was born in 2020 from the analysis of a particular context in a privileged area, that of Forlì, rich in services and alliances, with coordinations, networks made effective by the institutions, the presence of the Cassa dei Risparmi Foundation which for years has been promoting actions that have a significant impact on the responses to the needs of children and adolescents through the Community Territories project. But it was also born in a period in which the same territorial context has been greatly modified by the pandemic with an increase in the instability of households, an increase in the vulnerability of minors and a worsening of conditions in the school which has paid the greatest consequences of the lock down.

Among the most important peculiarities that emerged from these two years of work: first of all addressing families directly, thus trying to prevent situations of hardship that could consolidate if not impacted; actively collaborate with schools to collect from teachers the criticisms of minors present in the classrooms; it was also important to coordinate with the local social services and with the Diocesan Caritas. The analysis of the path followed also highlighted the “success” obtained by the figure of the “Family mentor”, the main and innovative figure established within the Project as a reference point in support of needy families. A support to the family who needed help even before the pandemic and whose needs are increasing every day and becoming more and more complex.

The family mentor is a directing and bridging element who has a function of listening and accompanying the nuclei and who has grown in recent years. The project is moving in the direction of refining a modeling of this figure to bring it to value with a profile of skills and role.
The “Scuola InRete” was also highly appreciated, the set of activities for various school orders which followed the path of those already historically carried out by cooperatives in schools, through the implementation of a broader direction.

“Some of the elements presented are crucial – stated the commissioner Casara -. The Administration is willing to put more resources into play because the need emerges clearly with respect to the surveys on the 16-35 age group. There is an urgent need to systematize what already exists to accompany families and young people towards information, to find ways that respond to their needs. I thank the actors of the InRete Project for the precious and focused work they are carrying out, capable of taking charge of people at 360 degrees and working with a virtuous method”.

The project was selected by “Con i Bambini” as part of the Fund for the fight against child educational poverty. The Fund was born from an agreement between the foundations of banking origin represented by Acri, the National Forum of the Third Sector and the Government. It supports interventions aimed at removing the obstacles of an economic, social and cultural nature which prevent the full use of educational processes by minors. To implement the programs of the Fund, the social enterprise Con i Bambini was born in June 2016, a non-profit organization wholly owned by the “Con il Sud” Foundation. www.conibambini.org”.

Over 400 families taken care of, support for more than 600 students: all the numbers of the “InRete” project