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Migration and Home Affairs
Expert opinion

RAN FC&S Hybrid social work and digital awareness for family support, online meeting 16-17 March 2022


Publication date
28 April 2022
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs


The Families, Communities and Social Care (FC&S) Working Group convened a meeting on 16 and 17 March to address the topic of hybrid social work and digital awareness in support for families of radicalised individuals.

The meeting served as an opportunity to take stock of the challenges that practitioners encounter when using digital or hybrid interventions, to explore inspiring examples of digital family support approaches and formulate considerations on deciding whether to ‘go digital’ or not. Participants of this meeting were mainly practitioners working in family support and social care services, supporting family members of radicalised individuals.

Some of the key outcomes of this meeting are summarised below.

  • Challenges that practitioners during the meeting have mapped entail; keeping up with continuously developing trends, narratives and language online, keeping a trustful relationship and ‘reading’ body language and facial expressions online, ethical questions related to security and confidentiality issues and the practitioners’ wellbeing.
  • Key recommendations that have been made when practitioners are considering to ‘go digital’ are:
    • Adapt your working methods to the personal preferences, needs and situational circumstances of the person you are supporting. A trustful relationship is crucial and a prerequisite for this is that the family member feels comfortable with the approach taken. Practical considerations can be found at the end of this paper.
    • Discuss terms and conditions for online approaches with the client on how the confidentiality and security of both the client and practitioner are ensured. These can include for example agreements on switching cameras on or making recordings.
    • Keep an eye on your personal wellbeing as a practitioner. With online work, the framework of time and place fades and practitioners can increasingly be reached 24/7. Therefore, make agreements within the organisation, such as on the maximum amount of counselling sessions per day or the possibility of turning off your phone.

This paper outlines the highlights of this meeting, the challenges of practitioners and recommendations to overcome these challenges. In addition, the annex of this document includes a practical list that can serve as a helpful source when considering a digital/hybrid approach, based on the persons’ needs and situation.

Hybrid social work and digital awareness for family support cover


28 APRIL 2022
RAN FC&S Hybrid social work and digital awareness for family support
(408.46 KB - PDF)