Social exclusion is defined as: “a process through which individuals or groups are wholly or partially excluded from full participation in the society in which they live” (European Foundation, 1995). Across the 2Seas region health/social care providers have become aware of a growing number of socially excluded vulnerable people whose needs are not recognized/met by current structures and services.
ENSURE recognises that services are failing these people and provides a cost-effective system redesign to prevent vulnerability in our communities and will provide a simple, effective solution to prevent their situation worsening, causing great cost to them and society.
ENSURE will break the cycle of disadvantage which prevents vulnerable people from being socially included. In doing so it will ensure that this disadvantage does not repeat itself in future generations.
ENSURE will create a holistic model: it will provide radical system redesign to break down existing professional silos as well as a bottom up peer-supporter approach. By acting at both levels simultaneously it will reach people in a timely fashion, reducing the cost to society, creating less vulnerable communities, providing support where ‘everybody counts’ and enabling positive community development, moving people and their area from a downwards cycle to an upwards one.
The thematic competencies of Artesis Plantijn University College are related to health/midwifery education and research. Relevant experiences for the project are our experiences with women’s physical, sexual and psychosocial health and wellbeing, perinatal health in particular. AP has specific knowledge and experience in maternal life balance, transition to parenthood and family life and emotionally, socially and economically disadvantaged childbearing women in the Antwerp area. AP utilises a bottom-up approach concerning vulnerability in general and specific subgroups, giving voice to women themselves, their values, experiences and self-management abilities.