On 18 and 19 July 2022, respectively in Prato and Florence, the two consultation sessions of the professionals of the care systems of the Società della Salute area of Prato and of the Municipality of Florence were held. The meetings, the Peer to Peer sessions, saw the participation of 2 groups of professionals for each area for a total of over 30 participants. The professionals discussed with a peer to peer method on the work to be carried out with the care leavers.
The working groups were attended by different types of professionals working in the field, including educators and social workers who take care of girls and boys in foster care or placed in care facilities.
The aim of the meetings, which were facilitated and moderated by the researchers from ARCO and the University of Milano-Bicocca, was to understand the point of view of the professionals on the issue of participation and to go over the workflow to be carried out with care leavers: starting from the reporting phase, passing through the custody, the estrangement from the family, the choice of the path and its monitoring up to the leaving care phase, which is particularly delicate and important for the project CarINg.
For each phase, the participants had the opportunity to discuss and share reflections and points of view about some key elements – actors involved, critical issues, resources used and spaces for participation – outlining possible differences between the careleavers included in the fostering paths and those living in foster care facilities.
Finally, each meeting ended with an exchange on the potential improvements that the CarINg project can realistically make in the two territories in order to guarantee a certain degree of sustainability in the medium-long term.
The meetings proved to be a precious moment for the participants, who had the opportunity to compare themselves “peer to peer” with respect to their daily work with care leavers. But also for the ARCO and Bicocca researchers who received very useful suggestions and input for the construction of the next and decisive final stages of the CarINg project, i.e. the “planning sessions” and the pilot activities for careleavers.