On 1/09/18, the support model was launched within the framework of the M-decree. One or more school groups collaborate within support networks. Support teams, initially composed of former GON & ION supervisors, teachers and paramedics from special needs education, are responsible for the support of a school. The supporter as a function and support as a concept are thus entering the world of education. A first evaluation of the support model poses the following challenges: the need for expertise (type-specific expertise in addition to coaching skills), the need for information and communication in relation to the supporters, the involvement of parents, the strong increase in support questions (what is basic care?, what is the role of the CLB?, ...), the support itself (alignment with the question, cooperation with the school, release of diagnoses, ...) and personnel matters (e.g. filling vacancies and the assignment).
In three work packages and on the basis of a multidisciplinary research set-up, this project aims to explore the concept of support from a scientific and practical point of view, to clarify the role of the supporter, to promote multidisciplinary collaboration and, in consultation, to develop various tools that promote support, communication and expertise development within this context. The exploratory research (quantitative and qualitative) focuses on the concept of support and the role of the supporter. A more action-oriented research (through training and observation) focuses on the development of expertise and participation of the supporter in his multidisciplinary context. This project was given shape in four rounds of discussions with representatives of 5 Antwerp support networks, educational policy, colleagues from the training courses involved and in consultation with the support networks taskforce of the City of Antwerp.