Departments and Centres
The project “A community that cares” forms part of the Piedmont Regional Authority’s strategy for social innovation, WE.CA.RE, and is funded with resources from the European Structural Funds for regional growth. The project involves the Department of Economics and Business Studies at Università del Piemonte Orientale, the Municipality of Novara, the Novara Local Health Authority, The Centre of Solidarity and Subsidiarity – Services for the Territory (CST) of Novara and VCO, and the social cooperative Vedogiovane.
The project actions focus on the issue of keeping the non-autonomous individual (disabled and/or advanced in age) in their own home with the assistance of family caregivers.
The project aims to help the old or disabled to continue living in their home by establishing a new culture of governance in social-support and health services, whereby the public authority is no longer seen as a mere supplier of services but as an active promoter of collaboration between different entities in the region.
From the point of view of governance of procedures, two monthly working groups have been set up (for disabled and old people categories), involving the leading associations in the private social sector in the municipality of Novara. The round tables, designed to promote reflection between the authorities/organisations on different issues as well as allowing practical collaboration on specific projects, are attended by the Department of Economics and Business Studies, as well as the Novara Local Authority and Health Authority. The project is based on the concept of a local welfare system created by a virtuous circle of relationships.
The project has launched two initiatives: Spazio Fragilità (Fragile Area) and the Service for Families and Domestic Care-givers.
Thanks to the support of staff from the Municipality of Novara, Health Authority and volunteers, Spazio Fragilità represents a meeting point which offers families information on available services in the area (home assistance, local health services, alternative solutions to home-based residency, guidance on current legislation, activities and initiatives offered by associations and project partners) designed to support old and/or disabled people.
The Service for Families and Domestic Care-givers, set up by the social cooperative Vedogiovane, is designed instead to collect applications from domestic carers searching for work, and assist those looking for home-based assistance.
At this support centre, the staff offer comprehensive responses thanks to their knowledge of the network of operators in the region and their specific skills. This service is complemented by initiatives by the Municipality of Novara, designed to offer an opportunity for exchange of ideas – for families with disabled children or relatives – to discuss their problems and management within a guided work group.
The UPO researcher team work consists of helping the authorities/organisations to define the type of regional welfare to be pursued, as well as establishing the way to activate the networks and the nature of the proposals. The analysis of procedures and evaluation of the results of the project, will allow them to draw (possible) conclusions in terms of good practices that can be transferred to other contexts.