The P.I.P.P.I.– Programma di Intervento Per la Prevenzione dell’Istituzionalizzazione (action plan for the prevention of institutionalization) is elaborated and implemented in collaboration with the Department of Education Sciences of the University of Padua. This action plan was inspired by numerous similar examples existing in Europe and in North America. It also builds on the consolidated experience of research, training and action developed over the years by the researchers of the University of Padua and by professionals of several services, in particular of the Region of Veneto and of the health care authority of Bassano del Grappa.
In autumn 2010 all the cities participating in the Technical Coordination Table were invited to take part in a two-year experimental programme of multidisciplinary and integrated actions in favour of families with children aged 0-16 at serious risk of being separated. The programme encompasses measures to experiment, assist, support and supervise methodological approaches and processes for the care of families at risk, in order to prevent the separation from their children. The P.I.P.P.I. programme was activated in the cities which accepted the proposal of the Ministry: Bari, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Torino, Venice.
One of the objectives is to try to codify practices already existing in some cities and to lay the foundations for a radical change in others, promoting the adoption of assessment mechanisms clearly defined from the beginning of the family care procedure. The programme is based on the adoption of an innovative and experimental action model by the local services responsible for the protection and care of children and adolescents. The programme is targeted at families with multiple issues, in which child care and education are so neglected that they are considered at serious risk of being separated from their under-age children. The aims of P.I.P.P.I. are to implement shared and comparable tools for the assessment, planning and evaluation over time of measures which, after the end of the programme, may be adopted in the daily practice of the services involved in the experimentation, and to encourage new forms of partnership between the social and the education services.
In order to achieve these objectives, the following groups have been formed:
- local groups of reference (formed by local professionals and experts of the scientific group) in charge of planning, monitoring and evaluating the project and of arranging the activities carried out in the given community;
- multidisciplinary and integrated teams (formed by a case manager, local professionals, target families, representatives of the health care and education services, support families) responsible for the coordination and implementation of the programme for its entire duration;
- a scientific group formed by representatives of the University of Padua and of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, whose tasks are to elaborate and to periodically revise the experimental plan, to form the multidisciplinary teams, to provide help for the use of the planning and evaluation tools, to support and to supervise new practices.
Finally, the programme has also led to the creation of a technical coordination committee in charge of monitoring, guiding and supervising the programme itself: this committee is formed by representatives of the participating cities, of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and of the University of Padua. During its meetings, the representatives of the local communities voiced the need to organize local initiatives to inform on, promote and analyse ongoing activities, in such a way to sensitize local administrators and professionals to the issues of prevention when taking care of families and children at risk of being separated.