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Module 1: Protection of migrant children

In this module participants learn about the concept of international migration and become familiar with the fundamentals of child protection, with special attention to the migrant children. A special unit will address the child protection structures and their differences in intervention between migrant and non-migrant children.

Unit titles and explanation 

Unit Title Explanation
1 International migration In this unit, you can learn about the basics of international migration: causes, factors, and impact on people’s lives. In addition, you will understand the difference between refugees and migrants, and learn the most important international norms protecting refugees. We also present the most important international organizations that help migrants and refugees around the world.
2 Children in migration There are a lot of underage migrants, coming together with their families, or completely alone. In this unit you will learn about their special needs that derive from their being both children and in a migration environment; and actions that can be implemented to support them.
3 Fundamentals of child protection There have been universal standards of child protection for decades. We present those principles, and look into how they are implemented in practice. You will also learn the most relevant cases of child maltreatment when child protection systems need to act.
4 Migrant children in child protection This unit is about the special circumstances that affect migrant children in a child protection system. An important, although self-evident factor in child protection, is whether the person is actually entitled to the special care. Therefore we provide a detailed explanation about age assessment, as many children who find themselves in a state’s child protection system are unaccompanied children, and their age needs to be verified. You will also learn about dilemmas that occur when one provides protection to migrant children.

Module 2: Working with migrant children at risk

In this module participants will learn about the systems’ approach (holistic approach) in dealing with migrant children (Ecosystem perspective, Eco mapping method, Best Interest Determination in practice). Special attention will be paid to working with trauma survivor children and tools assessing children at risk. The last unit will be devoted to the child-welfare systems (social work at school, child and family counselling (support centres) and child-protection systems (parental rights (suspension, restriction), institutional care: residential care, fostering family care, special homes for unaccompanied minors, protective custody etc.),  institutional structures for combatting/preventing risk.

Unit titles and explanation 

Unit Title Explanation
1 Child welfare systems In this unit we establish the differences and similarities between child protection and child welfare. Various models show that child protection and child welfare are intertwined, in some countries are used as synonyms, however, a distinction can be made on the level of definitions, and the national systems can be classified based on those. You will explore actors of the child protection and the child welfare systems.
2 Systems approach in working with migrant children The systems approach is a basis for effective protection of children. We show how all actors must interact to ensure outcomes that are in the best interest of the child. Ecomapping and intercultural understanding of ecological systems provide useful approaches to fulfil the systems approach.
3 Working with trauma survivor children There is a chance in any child’s life that they are affected by trauma. However, migrant (and especially refugee) children are at a higher risk of trauma and the impact of trauma. In this unit, we show how experiences as a migrant child may cause PTSD. You can learn tools for recognizing, and potentially treating or mitigating symptoms of PTSD.
4 Tools assessing children at risk In this unit you can find concrete signs and symptoms that helps understanding child maltreatment such as abuse and neglect. We also show strategies and tools that are useful when one has to make decision regarding a child’s or a family’s life, if harm or a substantial risk of harm is detected.

Module 3: Crisis management with migrant children

The module has the overall objective of contributing to a correct and prompt signalisation and intervention in a crisis event, specifically in the context of a migrant child’s life, considering his/her migration context and culture specifications. It also  prepares the learner to identify the risk factors of a crisis, in order to prevent it, and provides the tools to help develop an efficient and effective intervention in a post-crisis phase (M&E and Assessment tools – develop and apply them).

In this sense it is organised into four units:

  1. Crisis in a Migrant Child’s Life;
  2. Risk Factors in the Life of Migrant Children;
  3. Crisis Management in a Migration Context;
  4. Post Crisis in a Migrant Child’s Life

The module allows the learner to develop strategies to understand children’s background and their needs, to early identify the maladaptive signs and symptoms, to plan an integrated management that also involves the family and the community, to facilitate competent signalling and communication between entities in migrant children matters and also, management of a post-crisis situation.

Units 3 and 4 will provide the learner with an outlook of an “emergency crisis”, an extra segment that is interesting for a social worker, but the units are not intended to provide complete training in an emergency situation.

Unit titles and explanation 

Unit Title Explanation
1 Crisis in the life of a Migrant Child A crisis context has different causes and can lead to different consequences, enabling the development of risk factors for psychosocial problems. It is fundamental to identify symptoms and signals that indicate that a migrant children’s needs are being neglected.
2 Risk Factors in the Life of a Migrant Children After identifying risk factors, that can lead to the development of psychosocial problems in the child’s development, it is necessary to develop (and implement) a response through Risk Strategies for Prevention.
3 Crisis Management in a Migration Context To manage different crisis situations, it is fundamental to comprehend the levels of crisis and the indicators to monitor the level of danger. For an effective and efficient response, it is important to understand the role of the different actors and to understand the importance of multi-sector collaboration. Psychosocial intervention in crisis situations is fundamental to ensure the physical safety of people and to promote recovery to an adequate level of functional autonomy.
4 Post-crisis in a Migrant Child’s Life For successful integration, it is necessary to ensure sustainability of the implementation action. Post-crisis psychosocial support, the development of monitoring and evaluation tools, analysis of the context are ways of achieving successful integration.. In this process, the social worker needs to be flexible.

Module 4: Civic education and professional guidance for minors with migratory background

The module focuses its attention on the specific target group of unaccompanied minors arriving to the EU, developing understanding, skills and responsibility about their role in guiding teenagers to build up their new life in the hosting communities, while taking into consideration their families’ migratory projects.

Despite this, many insights can be valuable also for other target groups, such as migrant children and adults.

More specifically, in this module we will provide tools to:

  • learn and reflect on the concepts of “human needs” with an intercultural approach
  • take responsibility for minors’ best interests and migration expectations
  • co-develop Individualised self-development plan
  • explore the concept of guidance through the examples of civic education, human rights education, global citizenship education
  • foster employability and social inclusion of minors in the hosting countries


The Cambridge dictionary defines guidance as the “help and advice about how to do something or about how to deal with problems connected with your work, education, or personal relationships”.

Therefore, when defining the best interest of a minor (Article 3 of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child) in a mid or long term perspective, the ability to explore the concept of guidance in its intra-personal, interpersonal and relational dimensions becomes a key asset for any professional figure working with this target group.

This module is influenced by the Italian context where in 2017 more than 18.000 unaccompanied minors were registered for international protection in the national reception system. Aims, expectations and needs of teenagers with different cultural and social backgrounds are an immense challenge.

Unit Title Explanation
1 Fundamental human needs Unit 1 provides an overview of the theoretical principles of basic human needs and nonviolent communication to build trust and confidence in the relationship with unaccompanied minors.
2 Individualised self-development plan Unit 2 aims to explore the most important aspects to take into consideration when discussing and co-writing development plans with minors. Basically, you will explore how to gather the right information and interpret different personal, cultural and social norms to safeguards and guide adolescents.
3 Guidance and civic education Unit 3 presents some techniques to establish a trustful relationship with minors both at interpersonal level and in terms of group dynamics. In order to establish a connection, social workers and educators should develop intercultural competences to train minors in understanding and interacting with social and cultural norms of the hosting country.
4 Counselling and professional development Unit 4 describes the main aspects of counselling for job placement of minors to foster their employability and social inclusion in the hosting countries.

Module 5: Critical and constructive practice in social work

This content is an introductory module about a critical approach to social work practice. First you will understand a contemporary approach to the role of a helping professional. Then we will discuss theoretical works that help you understand the power-dynamics in the system that surrounds the social worker. You can reach a better understanding as a professional about discrimination and how to fight against it.

We explain the  systems theory, which is a general perspective that can be used in any areas of life, however is particularly relevant when working with migrant children, where the child, its environment, and the actors surrounding the family all have roles in a complex system that determines the child’s life.

In the las unit of the module, you will learn about teams and team roles, networks of professionals, and how these are connected and can work to find the best solutions for migrant children.

Unit titles and explanation 

Unit Title Explanation
1 Principles in social work practice This unit introduces the basic principles a social worker needs to consider when working with a client. It explains the role of the social worker, and the various approaches this role needs to incorporate, depending on the circumstances and the user’s needs.
2 Social work theories In this unit, we provide progressive approaches to social work practice. Constructive social work theory helps professionals understand their role in the social system and the unequal power-dynamics in society. In addition to understanding these roles and perspectives, you will learn tools and practices that can be used to compensate discrimination and an oppressive environment.
3 Systems theory in social work This unit introduces systemic thinking to the practice of social work. This perspective helps professionals to look at migrant children, their families, and their environment as systems with elements interacting with each other and defining the complexity of the child’s surroundings.
4 Constructive social teams and professional networks This unit is about teamwork and professional networks. It explains how organizations interact and what functions have to be filled in a supporting structure. You will also learn about the specific characteristics of working in teams rather than individually, and what that implies for a social worker’s practice.

Module 6: Social Workers working with migrant children

The aim of this Module is to enhance social workers’ soft skills and especially the improvement of social workers’ communication skills. These competencies can be more specified in the level of knowledge, skills and responsibility that each one of them should have for the basic purpose of the module. All the activities provided inside the training material include communication methods and techniques related to self-awareness, conflict management and intercultural competences. Generally, all these abilities connected to the self-presentation of the individuals, their personal orientations. In general, this module is also a helpful and a very detailed training material for all the trainers, social workers, coaches, who working with the target group of young migrants. This module provides over a dozen self-awareness activities and exercises to increase emotional intelligence and strengthen the beneficiaries’ communication skills and abilities.

Unit titles and explanation 

Unit Title Explanation
1 Self-awareness Learners will understand how identity and self can have an impact on their attitude. The aim is to facilitate the social workers who are working with young migrants to realize their identity and values.
2 Communication skills The aim of this unit is to enhance and strengthen the communication skills of social workers for a more effective and efficient collaboration with migrant children.
3 Conflict Management Learners will identify source of conflicts and learn how to deal with them in order to promote mutual understanding. They will learn about issues and keys on how conflicts could be resolved. The aim is to empower learners to analyse various sources of tension in order to widen their potential of problem resolution.
4 Intercultural competencies The concepts of “interculturality” will be evaluated by linking it to real-life situations. The aim is to guide learners towards appreciation of diversity, promoting awareness of the positive value of cultural diversity and its contribution for humanising globalization.

Module 7: Social work in the digital era

This module will help the professionals working with migrant children to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in relation to case administration procedures, consultation, and case management, ethics, and the tools needed in order to be more effective and efficient in their work in the current digital world.

By going through the Units of this module, the professionals will have the opportunity not only to sharpen their knowledge and skills but also to gain a better understanding on how to use the relevant information provided in the units, and interact with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders online, in a more collective and structured manner. They will also learn about important rules and legislations regarding personal data and sharing personal information.

By the end of this learning experience, the professionals will become more motivated and encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities, as both theoretical and practical information is presented in the units, which will provide them with a more holistic approach.

Unit titles and explanation 

Unit Title Explanation
1 Online tools in social work​ In this unit, participants will develop competences related to online learning and networking, such as online courses, online networking tools and forums. They will also be introduced to various tools that can enhance their skills and help make their job more effective and efficient, and basic rules on social media. ​
2 Case administration online​ In this unit, participants will explore various methods regarding online administration of their cases. They will be introduced to methods that they can use in order to properly file documents, share information and protect data. ​
3 Online consultation and case management In this unit, participants will develop soft skills related to online interaction and consultation. They will learn what is online counselling, its advantages and disadvantages and rules of online communication. They will explore communication tools and some fundamental rules of e-etiquette.
4 Ethical considerations​​ In this unit, participants will gain fundamental knowledge of ethical issues related to the online protection of children. As such, they will learn about child sexual abuse materials online and corresponding legislations, GDPR regulations, and recommendations on the topic. ​​