The project ‘EmpowerKids’, realized by partners from Estonia, Finland and Latvia addresses the problem of social exclusion and inadequate health information and social advice among children from low-income families in Estonia, Finland and Latvia. The problem is accurate as it’s confirmed that the children in Latvia and Estonia have lower health status and they exercise less and eat less healthy than their Finnish equals. Children from families of low income in all countries experience even bigger challenges in following healthy lifestyle. This may have impact on their whole life by excluding them from peer groups and other opportunities.
Currently, health and social workers lack effective and attractive methods of promoting daily healthy choices among families of low socio-economic status with young children. To change that ‘EmpowerKids’ proposes working with the WellWe – a low threshold, attractive and empowering tool, created by University of Turku and used for interviews and health and social advice for children and their families. In ‘EmpowerKids’ it will be further developed and piloted to best meet needs of the target group in 3 countries.
The overall objective is to contribute to the improved health and social inclusion of young children coming from low-income families. This will be realized through targeted counselling and interventions, according to the real needs, assessed through the interviews conducted by using the WellWe-based method. The project will work with improving the quality of the health promotion and social work with young children from families of low income by training the health and social workers and developing the interventions for children together with them.
The cross-border cooperation will allow partners to learn from each other, share experiences and support each other with their specific expertise. The project results will be widely distributed through the existing and developing networks in CB and beyond.
Expected Results (EN):
R4.1. Communities with improvements
Expected Outputs (EN):
The project results will be:- empowered children from Latvian, Estonian and Finnish communities, ready to make healthy choices in their daily life (at least 100),- improved quality of health promotion and social work in participating municipalities,- enhanced social inclusion of children from vulnerable groups, - increased knowledge of health care personnel, social workers and kindergarten teachers about the tools and methods to work with children from vulnerable groups,- increased relevance of the WellWe-based method through further developing and adapting it to the local conditions and needs in the participating countries.EmpowerKids tackles the challenges of social exclusion of children from the families of low socio-economic status and by this it directly links with the programme result indicator. The children from families of low socio-economic status constitute a big community that needs improvements but at the same time is very difficult to reach with health information. This group is at the very high risk of exclusion due to their poor ill, unhealthy choices and unhealthy lifestyle. By introducing the WellWe-based tool for the health promotion and social advice work for the young children from the families of low income, the children’s individual needs will be addressed and the children will be empowered to make healthy choices in their everyday life. To be able to assess the expected impact of the EmpowerKids project, the outcomes will be measured with validated instruments. Main outcomes of the intervention is children’s knowledge, socio-emotional competence, self-efficacy, health literacy, quality of life, happiness, health behaviors and parents’ support for health, health promoting behaviors.