Circulation of training

By Alberto Favaretto
City of Venice

The training session organized in Slovenia in November 2011 offered the Venice team a very important chance of developing our project. Our social workers appreciated it a lot. The twofold value of the training session made it possible to know two different work methods in early drug use prevention and treatment, from one side; from the other, it allowed to share with project partners the sustainable ways of their application, although in different contexts. Our Harm reduction unit does not work in the Roma and Sinti villages, directly; from the very beginning, we have set up a partnership with both our colleagues at the City of Venice decentralized social services and the social workers employed by the private sector. These last, in fact, have been building important relationships with our project target for many years through their manifold interventions.

Our investment in the training programme in view of attaining the SRAP best result has also made us convinced that the knowledge had to be shared among all social workers potentially in contact with our project target.  It took us a bit of a time to reach the highest number of social workers and to organize a training offer which could be effective at our aim. On March 16th, we realized it.

Several professionals took part into it: there were educators, but also social assistants and officers in charge of services. In our opinion, the methodology learnt in Slovenia, and especially the motivational interview, could be successfully applied also in contexts different from the ones planned within the SRAP project, and in particular in the WP5. It is very important that the issue of preventing the drugs use and abuse is taken into account in the ordinary work of social workers: a good motivational interview may bring to light problems that otherwise would remain hidden. Actually, the research-action we realized in the frame of the SRAP WP4 highlighted how problems related to the drugs use could easier come out in conversations dealing with totally different topics.

It has been very interesting for us to compare and to bring into question different work methodologies and operative habits, which are not always suitable to any context. The training got us reviewing some of our interview styles and understanding which methodology is more appropriate. In fact, it is very useful to be able to use a lot of different interview methods, in order to intervene in the most effective possible way.

The participation was very large: through combining the theory and the simulations, we mixed business with pleasure! We did not miss the fun side of it, which is useful for facilitating the synergies among operators working for the same objectives.