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Education and work of social carers

Country

Italy

The overall management and organising of the education of social workers in the country is the responsibility of

Regional governments

Financing of the education of social workers

The financing by state funding is of moderate level, financing by local governments is at low level.

The rights to acquire education of social workers in the country

Foreign residents should have a permit to stay

The organisation of the further education of social workers in the country is the responsibility of

Regional governments

Financing of further education of social workers

The financing by local governments is at low level, other sources are lacking

Amount of students of social worker education in the country

There exist only students of short time courses, their number is not sufficient

Overall management and implementation of European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIPAHA) in the country is the responsibility of

Regional governments

The main resources of financing of European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

The financing by state funding and by local governments is at low level.

The required background of the social workers in the country

The leavers of short time professional courses can freely work as social workers. Persons with elementary of secondary education can work under control.

The requirements to the professions of social worker concerning the level of ICT skills

The ICT skills are not considered important, except the smart phone use for remote control and the remote health monitoring which is considered preferable but are not required.

The standards of the profession of social worker (social carer) in the country

Are developed at the regional level.

System of carers activities in the country

Homecare services to support or substitute for family care in Italy are addressed to elderly people and vulnerable users. Social welfare services are provided at the users’ residences and aim at preventing and removing situations of need and distress, facilitating family and social integration and encouraging the users’ permanence in their homes. There are various types of elderly homecare services, both public and private.

Programming of public social welfare services is carried out at regional level, whereas delivery of services is entrusted to municipalities.

Public homecare services

The main types of public homecare services are the following: Homecare, Integrated homecare services, Homecare allowance.

Private homecare services

In addition to public services provided by the municipalities, further elderly homecare services are provided by private companies and/or individuals:

·    Health and social welfare services;

·    Daily living care services, mostly provided by foreign workers (‘family care assistants’ or ‘caregivers’).

Homecare services provided by private caregivers are the most common services in the Italian welfare system. They are regulated by an employment contract between the family of the elderly in need of assistance (employer) and the caregiver (employee). A vast majority of caregivers come from foreign countries.

Individual rights to carer’s VET in the country

Training policy in Italy is entrusted to Regional governments; the terms and content of training programmes for caregivers are defined by regional decrees and specific guidelines.

The Emilia-Romagna Regional Government Education and Training Service designed a training path for caregivers divided into three subject areas: institutional, relational, technical-operational.

Training for caregivers is provided by regionally accredited training providers (VET centres). A list of accredited training providers is available in the website of the Regional administration (www.regione.emilia-romagna.it). Training courses provided by accredited providers are formally recognized by the Regional Government.

Training courses are mainly funded by expressly allocated national funds or by the ESF, and are free of charge for the trainees. The contents of the courses must comply with those defined at regional level.

Legal framework of carer education in the country

The Emilia-Romagna Education and Training Service has designed a training path for caregivers divided into three subject areas:

1. Institutional skills. Understanding the social and institutional context relevant to private homecare services and applying the principles of professional ethics

2. Relational skills Effective communication

3. Technical-operational skills

·    Supporting the care recipient’s mobility

·    Taking care of the care recipient’s personal hygiene

·    Providing assistance to food preparation and care recipient’s feeding

·    Taking care of the care recipient’s environment hygiene

The contents of the courses provided by regionally accredited training providers (VET centres) must comply with those described above.

Opportunities for carer’s VET in the country

Requirements for access to training are:

·    Permit of stay (for foreign trainees)

·    Entrance skills assessment (including Italian language skills for foreign trainees).

Courses last 120 hours (field practice included) but they may have shorter duration if trainees already hold a qualification or a certificate of competence.

Some courses for caregivers include a module on basic computer literacy in addition to the three central subject areas.

The evaluation of the trainees’ learning attainments is performed by trainers in itinere through observation and assessment of the trainees’ performance during the training.

Certification system of carers in the country

Formal qualification of ‘Carer’ as such does not exist in Emilia-Romagna. However, regional regulations mention a number of skills relevant to caregiving, which can be certified through a declaration of competence. This allows credit recognition for access to further training aimed at achieving a qualification (‘Healthcare Assistant’). In case of early interruption of the course the trainees are entitled to receive a declaration of the competences acquired as of the date of interruption (relevant to the Training Units actually attended and for which formal testing of skill has been taken).

System of validation of prior experience in the country

Procedures systems and models for validation of prior learning in Italy are heterogeneous since they are usually structured at regional levels and not necessarily coincide in all contexts from the point of view of approaches and methodologies.

Evaluation of the situation in the labour market of carers in the country

High demand (need for home care services). Supply is made up mainly of female workers coming from foreign countries – often low-skilled and often undeclared

Evaluation of the participation of the country in the European collaboration in the field of care on the old age people

The country is involved

General description of the professional status of the carers in the country

No special professional status – often low-skilled workers.

Description of the place of work of the carers in the country

At the homes of the person being cared for

Requirements to the personality of the candidates for carer (moral stability, physical condition, addiction to nicotine, etc.)

N/A

Requirements to an immigrant as a candidate for carers job

Depends on the employing family.

Work regulations of carers in the country

·    Working hours: live-in basis or hourly basis

·    Rest period and rest breaks: to be agreed with employers

·    Night working: to be agreed with employers

·    Holidays: based on National Bargaining Agreement

·    Sick leave, maternity leave: based on National Bargaining Agreement

·    Unemployment benefits: None

Main principles of payment system of carers

Salary paid on monthly basis. Minimum salary for a caregiver (regulated by the National CBA) is 750.00 euro per month for 3rd grade workers and 850.00 euro per month for 2nd grade workers. The costs are entirely sustained by the employer (i.e., the elderly or the elderly’s family) who also defines the recruitment modalities.

Other benefits of carers additional to the salary (telephone, covered transportation expenses, any discounts, etc.)

None

The motivation for job of carer

Usually done by foreign citizens – not on choice but due to need for a job.

Average duration of work in the position of a carer?

On average some years, after which the workers go back to their countries. It also depends on the health conditions of the person being cared for.