Famcompass: assessing and validating family competences
Started in 2007 as a multilateral cooperation project with the support of the LLL of the European Union. The support lasted until 2009. The constructed portfolio instrument is still used in different countries.
Mr Joris Dewispelaere
What was the project about?
Getting involved in family life enhances many competences that could be relevant to professional careers or higher education programs. In order to answer the growing need for professional workers in the childcare sector, in welfare work and in the care for the elderly, training providers and employers should be considering the possibility of acknowledging and recognizing competences acquired in family life. To raise children and see to their needs, to provide care for sick or disabled family members, to organize the household and support relationships in the family, can result in a high degree of maturity and to more knowledge and skills.
Famcompass is an instrument that specifically records family competences in relationship to professional training courses in social or medical care and/or in jobs in these sectors.
Famcompass as an instrument
During the project, developed in cooperation with partners in Germany, Finland, Romania, Lithuania and Poland, we defined the learning outcomes in curricula (family sciences, social work, remedial teaching,...) and job profiles, such as: maternal assistant, preschool educator and social emergency worker. From this analysis, a list/matrix of competences was derived. For each competence, the user of the instrument can score him/herself on a scale from 0-4. Levels were defined referring to the European Qualification Framework. In other parts of the instrument, the user:
• gives a more detailed description of some of the selected competences (assessing one's own strengths and weaknesses – using the STAR-method);
• adds evidence: references, certificates and other documents;
• reflects on cases related to family situations (both from a personal and from a professional point of view).
Recognizing and validation
From the list of competences employers and training providers can derive indicators and specify on which level- relevant to their context and aims -family related competences are sufficiently proved and usable.
Famcompass demonstrates and gives evidence of competences acquired in the most informal context, family life. Validation depends on the use by educational and training institutes and care providers. In Belgium, in the bachelor program for family sciences, Famcompass is used to assess competences adult students have acquired when starting the 3-year training. According to the competences they can prove, they enter a 1-day or a 4-day lesson per week program.
Higher Institute of family sciences; Gaby Jennes, coordinator
Mr Joris Dewispelaere