Neues vom CARER-Projekt: The end of CARER+ is a new beginning

The end of CARER+ is a new beginning:

Care workers and carers are the missing link between the digital tools and elder people.  CARERplus set out to support the link between care and better quality of life for elder people in the digital world. The project trained and enhanced the digital skills and competences of care workers and carers across Europe making the home care service they deliver better and improved the professionalisation and job opportunities of the participants.

The Carer+ project identified the ICT competences of care workers and informal carers (the “Digital Competence Framework”) and developed these by designing and implementing a set of learning paths and educational resources for mobile and work-based learning that responded to major challenges to their professionalisation: isolation, access to technology, flexibility of study modes, lack of support and motivation, formal accreditation, recognition of prior experience, and scalability. 
The CARER+ partnership designed a tailor-made technological environment for self and professional development, supported by a blended-learning approach with peer-to-peer and intergenerational learning methodology. This programme was piloted in 13 sites across 5 countries (France, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain), with an average length of 10 months, involving a total of 500 users (250 older people who are cared for at home & 200 care workers and 50 informal caregivers). During the implementation of the training, all the care workers and informal carers were equipped with an Internet Tablet and completed their localised programmes.     

The positive impact of the piloting experience has been confirmed by the final impact assessment results. A majority of care workers and informal carers declared the homecare they delivered was enhanced an enriched by digital competences and tools: over a 70% would use a tablet device in their caring practice in the future. The survey showed that quality of life of the older people was improved, especially as regards the mental/emotional well-being, the attitudes toward ICTs and the capacity and competence to use ICTs.
Our results - Your chance

The partners now offer a set of open resources enabling the replication and the adaptation of Carer+ outputs, tools and results. A website with comprehensive information and resources collects information for care workers, VET providers, researchers and policy makers.

The Digital Competence Framework

Created as a basic instrument defining the knowledge, skills and competences of a digitally competent care worker, it is based on Domains, Competence Areas, Competences, Examples of Learning Outcomes, and Application Levels. Its three main domains are: General Digital Competence; Enabling Digital Competence in home care; Care-Specific Digital Competence. It contains a total of 41 ICT competences and was created on the basis of:

Learning outcomes gathered from France, Italy, Latvia, Romania, and Spain

8 focus groups, 39 interviews to European experts in the field of social care and ICT
158 questionnaires to care workers and caregivers
Desk research of approximately 100 articles, book volumes, project reports and other deliverables and policy documents

The certification process of digital competences for carers

A European process for a certification of ICT competences for care workers was drafted. Following a survey carried out to identify the stakeholders particularly relevant in the field of ITC competences and home care, 3 national workshops (ES, FR and IT) were organised, together with a European workshop in Brussels. As a result, the Handbook for certification of digital competences in care social sector was published on the web.

The learning resources for the piloting programme, a ready-to-use tool

On the basis of the Digital Competence Framework, a complete programme structure was developed, containing a total of 5 interrelated modules organised under 3 themes:

- Foundational skills
- Managing social care with ITCs
- Providing home care through ICTs.

The Virtual Learning Environement was created by using Drupal Commons and Moodle 2.5, and five language platforms were created: an original one in English and 4 for the piloting partners in their local languages (France, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain). Learning resources and modules were originally produced in English and then translated and adapted to the local contexts of the piloting partners.

The toolkit for developing ITC competences, “how to deliver smart homecare”

This Toolkit provides Guidelines, procedures and practice examples to support the successful implementation of the Carer+ programme in the wider care sector. These Guidelines, procedures and practice examples cover three levels: the ‘macro’ level (the policy environment needed to support competence development); the ‘meso’ level (the organisational infrastructure required to develop competences) and the ‘micro’ level (what is needed to apply the competences on the ground within the home care environment).

For further information relating to CARER+ activities, please contact:

Gloria Ortiz, IPERIA L’Institut, Pôle expertise et innovation:

CARER+ was a European project that uses Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to improve the quality of life for people who require care in their homes. It was a non-for profit project supported by the European Commission. Its purpose was research into potential benefits of technology on the quality of home care.

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