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N@tzwerk pflege

Summary

Description

Operational Information

Evaluation

More Info

Summary

N@tzwerk pflege is an Austrian online counseling website addressed to informal carers (mainly family) provided by the catholic non-profit organization Caritas with a budget less than 10,000 euros.

The initiative aims at relieving informal carers and privately hired carers (also migrant care workers), from their caring duties by allowing them to contact professional counsellors anonymously through the N@tzwerk pflege website. They can describe their situation and pose confidential questions. There are currently more than 3000 users per year.

The service, which is funded by the Government and Caritas of Upper Austria, is free of charge for users. A personal computer, a tablet or a smartphone connected to the internet is the only requirement. It offers different kinds of on-line services: psychosocial, legal and financial counselling, bulletin board, on-line diary and a blog.

The lack of impact assessment makes not possible to know the effects of the service on end users, labour market and National Health System (NHS).

Description
refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

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N@tzwerk pflege
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Austria
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2009
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The service aims at reducing carers’ burden by allowing them to train and share experience.

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The provider believes information and knowledge enable carers to cope better with their caring tasks, particularly at the beginning of the care duties. Interacting with other informal carers encourages an exchange of experiences and facilitates new insights and perceptions. The main motivation of the initiative is its willingness to support informal carers by means of care-related information and counseling, a bulletin board as well as an on-line diary. Recently a blog also has been created.

The used server is provided by Caritas (charity-based), whereas the service centre and professionals are furnished by the government of Upper Austria (publicly funded).

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No Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
Yes Paid assistants
No Formal carers

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Not available

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No Independent Living
Yes Information and learning for carers
Yes Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
No Care coordination

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Training, information, advice and personal support for carers, group support and leisure, through:

- counselling on psychosocial, legal and financial issues;

-bulletin board;

-on-line diary;

-blog.

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A personal computer, a tablet or a smartphone connected to the internet.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

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Both public and private
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Public service funding: Government, Regional, Local Authorities, non-profit public entities
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Government

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Non-profit funding: charity, volunteers organisations, NGO
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Caritas

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Not applicable

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Even though the service is not expensive, additional funding would be useful in order to continue to provide the service and improve it. There is a channel for voluntary donations, and they are an important part of the funding.

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€ 0 - 10,000
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Not available

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Yes Authorities
No Private Care Sector
Yes Health and Social Care Systems
Yes Third Sector
No Private Companies

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Not available

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The Third Sector has a pivotal role, as Caritas is the service provider.
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Yes Informal Carers
Yes Health Professionals
Yes Social Care Professionals
No Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
Yes Volunteers

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The government of Upper Austria provides social workers, counselors and psychologists from its structured internal team.

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Volunteers play the role of mentors, supervisors and trainers. There are 35 forum groups in Upper Austria supervised by volunteers, in which informal carers, among other things, are "trained" to use the website and are encouraged to share their experience.

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1,001 - 5,000
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Not available

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There are no specific promotional strategies specifically addressing the initiative, among those of Caritas. The main communication channel is the Caritas website

Evaluation
refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities

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Not available

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Not available

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Not available

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Strengths:

  1. The initiative is frequently used to gain care-related information and psychological support. Online counselling is used regularly as there are many requests.
  2. The initiative helps the coordination and management of caring.
  3. The initiative is a good example of collaboration between public authorities and a non-profit association.

Weaknesses:

  1. The service is only addressed to people speaking German, but this could be a problem for migrant care workers not speaking this language.
  2. The bulletin board is not used much. People seem to search for information rather than to communicate with other carers to exchange their experience. This might be due to the target age group’s internet illiteracy. On the other hand, the infrequent use of the bulletin board might be due less to a lack of technical know-how than to the fact that users may not want to register.
  3. The online diary is read very frequently without any responses.
  4. Lack of specific promotional strategies.
  5. Lack of impact assessment, due to limited resources.

Opportunities:

  1. As the bulletin board is not very popular, developing the service more in the form of the newly introduced blog could create new opportunities for users to interact as well as to cover new caring issues.
  2. A blog is planned to enable people to release information themselves.

Threats:

  1. Lack of participation, due to the internet illiteracy of carers and migrant care workers.
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N@tzwerk pflege is operatively mature and fully integrated into the Austrian care system. It runs only in Austria and presently there are no plans to expand it to other countries.

Information and exchange of experience with other informal carers provided by the initiative might contribute to increase carers’ social participation and their quality of life helping to positively affect carers' propensity to continue caring.

Planned developments to increase the service’s scalability and transferability concern the development of the website more as blog to exchange information among users.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents

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Contacts

Director: Franz Kehrer
Address: Kapuziner 84
4021 Linz
Telephone: 0043 0732 7610 2001
e-mail: direktionping@caritas-linzpong.at

Bethlehemstraße 56 - 58
4020 Linz
Tel. 0676/8776 - 2440
pflegende.angehoerigeping@
caritas-linzpong.at

Standort Rohrbach
Gerberweg 6
4150 Rohrbach
Te. 0676/8776 - 2443
christine.gumpenberger@
caritas-linz.at