Kids in the context of a mental disorder: Skill Training to empower Teachers, Health professionals and Social workers

Project leader: Christine Haselbacher

Project duration: October 2009 to September 2011

Project partners: The main transfer of existing material refers to different professional groups in the educational, social and medical field.

  • kindergarten teachers, supposed partner: Pedagogical University Budapest (HU)
  • School teachers: Local School Administration Kütahya (TR)
  • Medical Staff: STAKES Health organisation (FI)
  • Child minders, special pedagogues: Komenius University (SK)
  • Social workers: University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten (AT)
  • Pedagogues and Psychologists: Universidad Complutense (ES)
  • Early Childhood Specialists: University of Minho (PT)
  • Advisor from the side of people experienced the context of a mental illness of parents: netz-und-boden (DE)
  • (Supposed) Programmer for the learning platform: Marie-Curie Association (BG)

Coordinator: S.I.N.N, Sozial Innovatives Netz (AT) (

Staff: Andrea Viertelmayr (research), Judith Ecker, Gloria Girlinger (administration)


The project „Kids Strenghts” started at 1st October 2009 and lasts for 2 years. It is funded by the European initiative LEONARDO-Life Long Learning –Transfer of Innovation. The Ilse Arlt Institute for social Inclusion is one out of 9 partners within the project. The aim is to train the skills of professionals who work with families where a member is mentally ill. This includes for instance school teacher, kindergarden teacher, medical staff, psychologies and social workers. The Ilse Arlt Institute focuses at the social worker and their needs in this specific area.

Background information

Psychiatric disorders are increasing and mentally ill people also have children. When a child is involved in such a setting they have a couple of distress factors and need special support and that assumes that professional workers know how to act and set interventions. Unfortunately there is a lack of professional skilled workers and there fore children and youngsters are called “the forgotten children” because they get less attention. The EU highlights the interventions in this area, in particular the prevention of long lasting impacts.


  • Increase of knowledge and skills of professionals and training institutions in diverse sectors towards new emerging challenges of mentally vulnerable families. This is primarily reached by transferring recently created EU-material by using face-to-face workshops, online tools and resource tools.
  • To sensibilize other relevant organisations not involved in the project and important stakeholders like political decision makers, learners of the transferred curricula etc…)
  • Integrate the project related modules into existing sector specific curricula including the present level of education in training institutions.