Families with multiple complex needs require a great deal of help and support from care services. The cumulative effect of the concerning situations that occur increases the risk of neglect, maltreatment or abuse. This also applies to the risk of serious behavioural and developmental problems in children. There is a dire need for a broader-based, more comprehensive approach to their problems. In order to address this need, on 1 February 2021, the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences will open the new Expertise Centre for Families with Multiple Complex Needs.
Although the situation regarding the children in these families can be alarming, interventions only have a limited effect. It is important to take an open-minded view and approach, but there are no simple answers to the problems these families face. We have a lot of knowledge and we can do what is necessary, but there is still so much that we do not know. The main aim of the Expertise Centre for Families with Multiple Complex Needs is to generate, collect, share, refine and implement academic and practical knowledge.
The first step was to explore the field, with the help of representatives from the Academic Workspace Groningen, municipalities, national and regional initiatives, social teams and professional institutions. This exploration revealed a need for a broader-based, more comprehensive view and approach to the target group. The Expertise Centre for Families with Multiple Complex Needs will form a central point, filling the void and responding to ongoing developments.
The Expertise Centre will focus on research, including practice-oriented research at various levels and in various settings. It will also contribute to teaching/schooling/training for students and care workers by, for example, giving lectures and holding study days and workshops. Finally, the Expertise Centre will gather knowledge, link people to projects and offer advice to professional institutions and municipalities to help them to develop their work processes and policies.
Jana Knot-Dickscheit and Daniëlle Jansen are the initiators. They have worked together for many years in various departments of the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen. They are experts in the field of families with multiple complex needs and already participate in national and international collaborations revolving around teaching and research. They are also firmly grounded in the northern regions.
Management of the Expertise Centre: Dr Jana Knot-Dickscheit (Director) & Dr Daniëlle Jansen (Deputy Director); Project coordinator: Dr Carolien Lunenborg
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