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TENERAMENTE - Verso un'infanzia felice


 “TenerAmente” is a project focused on the prevention of child maltreatment, working on early identification of risk factors and their contrast. At the same time, it aims at strengthening socio-educational services in support of families with children aged 0-6 in a condition of vulnerability; services provided by public and private actors active in the social, health, educational and judicial arenas of Catania-Misterbianco, Bari, Napoli, Pescara and Bergamo. The project is structured on three levels:

  • At a micro-system level, the project qualitatively and quantitatively enhances social services in charge of caring minors aged 0-6. It also strengthens tools for the early identification of risk factors. As for social services, families of children aged 0-6 can benefit from specific services that take place in the so-called “Spazio T-Essere”. These spaces represent a physical and relational environment in which workshops, psycho-pedagogical consultations and home-visiting for parents, children and parents/children take place. As for the tools, the qualitative improvement is obtained thanks to three innovative methodologies:

    • Application of screening protocols based on the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP-I), a tool to measure the propensity to child maltreatment, after adequate training. The CAPI allows the operator to early identify risk factors in the family, in particular in the critical phases for the onset of maltreatment (prenatal, postpartum, insertion into the nursery and early relationships) and the types of maltreatment connected by focusing on the relative protection areas.

    • Application of the assisted resilience paradigm, aimed at the enhancement of individual and contextual skills for the strengthening of protective factors.

    • Acquisition of techniques for detecting previous traumatic experiences in parents and their treatment, relying upon several tools, such as the expressive writing technique for the treatment of psychic trauma.

  • At the meso-systemic level, TenerAmente supports the strengthening of a multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism between public and private actors who collaborate in the prevention, identification and response to maltreatment. This means the promotion of a Community Public Private Partnership (PPPC) for each territory, which allows involved actors to collaborate on concrete objectives such as:

    • The methodological continuity of intervention on kids aged 0-6  and their parents between partners involved in the project and external actors, as well as between institutions. This is possible thanks to the multi-stakeholder participation in the training module on CAPI and the shared application of the assisted resilience paradigm.

    • The strengthening of the information system at the local level with the detection of specific and shared indicators.

    • The development of a joint strategy that complements those of relevant and pertinent institutions

  • At a macro-systemic level, TenerAmente aims at creating a more aware community on issues related to child protection, thanks to 500 educational awareness workshops for kids aged 6-14 and five community awareness courses. Best practices stemming from the project will be made available to the wider audience through five round tables, a constant dialogue between the institutions and advocacy actions, communication and dissemination in broader networks where partners are active.

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1) Capacity building course for operators active in the “Spazio T-Essere”

RiRes conducted a capacity building course tailored for operators who will be active in the “Spazio T-Essere”, aimed at the transmission of knowledge, methodologies and tools to be used with minors and families at risk. In particular, starting from the adoption of the assisted resilience paradigm, the Resilience Research Unit built specific resilience paths aimed at contrasting risk factors identified by the CAP-I and at promoting and strengthening the corresponding areas of prevention.


2) Inter-institutional training course

RiRes worked with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare, socio-educational and judicial professionals dealing with project-target families in order to convey them the resilience-informed approach. This would result in outlining a shared working method and a communal point of view for taking charge of beneficiaries which strengthen multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms. Through cascade training, RiRes pursued the goal of promoting a paradigm shift, from a risk-centered point of view to a perspective oriented towards prevention and the strengthening of protection areas.



The socio-ecological approach to resilience conceives resilience as the process that allows individuals to face the challenges / risk conditions and emerge victorious, by accessing their psychological, social, cultural and physical resources. Drawing upon a de-construction of the CAPI, five risk areas and the corresponding prevention areas emerged. Working on and with resilience allows you to move from a restorative perspective to an empowerment-oriented perspective aimed at strengthening those prevention areas. This appears to be particularly suitable and effective for kids aged 0-6 year, when the behavioral and relational patterns of the parents are under construction and are not rooted yet. Consequently, operators can focus on prevention and on mobilizing internal and external resources, rather than just tackling vulnerabilities. Therefore, the resilience paradigm facilitates the identification and enhancement of resources present at three levels: parents, children and the relationship between parents and children.

Acknowledging the difficulties related to early detection in cases of maltreatment, CAPI-based screening protocols allow you to focus on propensity rather than on the actual abusive behavior. Consequently, the resilience model orients the intervention by placing attention on the prevention areas beneath the CAPI, rather than merely acting on the risks or even the negative consequences of the mistreatment.

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