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ALFIRK – Collaborative Networks for Migrant Parent Empowerment

The project ‘ALFIRK – Collaborative Networks for Migrant Parent Empowerment’ addresses the importance of including parents, and in particular migrant parents in school and educational processes of their children in order to tackle the high occurrence of early school leaving (ESL) and disparities in learning outcomes of migrant youth in European school systems. This project sought to address the many barriers to increased empowerment of migrant parents by developing practical tools for functioning migrant parent involvement and networking in six countries.

ALFIRK was initiated by the SIRIUS Network – Policy Network on Migrant Education with the support of the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Program and builds up on the SIRIUS (2014) ‘Agenda on Migrant Education’.

Migrant parents are often found to participate less in the school processes and the education of their children while at the same time many migrant students lag behind in educational achievements. Parental involvement in school and education matters of their children carries the potential to contribute to enhanced educational performance. Furthermore, parents with a migrant background are often not as well connected to local structures and information as parents without a migrant background. Strengthening parental networking and their inclusion in local structures carries the potential to further enhance their involvement in the education of their children.

Before this background, ALFIRK addresses barriers in increased parental empowerment in education processes, particularly among migrant parents, by:

  • Analyzing patterns of migrant parental involvement, parental networking, and barriers in parental involvement and empowerment at case study schools in six EU countries;
  • Identifying practical tools and good practices for migrant parental involvement and empowerment in order to enable schools to improve their strategies for migrant parental involvement;
  • Developing online tools to enable migrant parents to easily access information about school and education systems in EU countries and to network and exchange information among each others.

This is implemented through three outputs:
1) A qualitative study on the experiences of Migrant Parents.
2) A toolkit for good practices in migrant parental involvement in education
3) A migrant parent empowerment collaborative platform.

In the long term, ALFIRK aims to empower migrant parents at three levels:

  • The family level, which reflects parents’ ability to manage issues of the family within the social context,
  • The service system level, which reflects the degree to which parents are able to effectively work with the school system,
  • The community/political level, which reflects parents’ advocacy for improved services for migrant youth in general.

The collaborative approach is reflected in the project name "ALFIRK," which means "the flock." The project ran from September 2015 to August 2018; it was coordinated by the european forum for migration studies – efms (Germany). The partners were Multi Kulti Collective (Bulgaria), Risbo (the Netherlands), Leeds Beckett University (United Kingdom), Economic and Social Research Institute (Ireland), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), and Migration Policy Group (Belgium).

Publications:


The sole responsibility of this publication lies with the authors. The European Union is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Funding:European Commission, DG Education and Culture, Erasmus+
Project Duration: September 2015 - August 2018
Researcher: Claudia Koehler


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