Healthy Children In Healthy Families

Starting date
August 1, 2010
Duration (months)
Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences
Managers or local contacts
Schena Federico

The aim of this project is to improve overall health within children, young people and their families having unhealthy habits and lifestyles. The project is implemented in geographical areas characterized by a high degree of immigrants and among people from lower social classes in communities facing great social challenges. In line with the Second Health Programme and this annual work plan, it is the general objective of the project to develop a “community health counsellor” concept and associated training programme, enabling persons from informal community networks and organizations like youth clubs, local schools, sport clubs and ethnic associations to promote health among children, young people and their families. The training program focuses on the development of community-based knowledge, (inter)cultural understanding, coaching, communication- and empowerment skills and strategies for activities aimed at specific target groups. The health counselors will coach families, children and young people and provide information and knowledge, empowering them to evaluate their individual health situation and make them competent to change their lifestyle choices into healthier ones. This is in line with the European strategy; "Together for all" and the strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues, which focuses on e.g. empowered and better informed citizens, the importance of preventing health problems from an early age, involvement of different stakeholders from local communities and a recognition that health inequalities exist, and that especially people from lower socio-economic groups suffer from bad health. The project will be implemented through a collaboration between partners from 6 countries in order to ensure that development activities are based on diversified social, cultural and political contexts, which ensures a better transferability of the project results to regions and municipalities across Europe. The project employs methods characterized by integration, empowerment and inclusion of knowledge and resourceful actors form local communities. In order to establish mutual ownership of health promoting activities, target areas and specific activities are developed in a network based process involving civil society actors, health workers from the municipality and academic partners. Across the different national partners experiences are shared in seminars supported by protocols where political, structural and cultural differences across countries and communities, contribute to generating the overall results of the project. Through the implementation of the concept of community health counselors, the outcome on a local level will be more sustainable and effective health promoting activities in local communities, where traditional health promoting activities often have difficulties to succeed, hence on a longer perspective the overall health in these communities will be improved. On a European level the project will present a conceptual framework consisting of methods, guidelines and recommendations for efficient partnership collaboration in health promotion for children, young people and families with a specific focus on integration of civil resources. The concept of health counselors will be available for communities and partnerships across Europe being able to adopt either parts or the whole model and shape it according to local needs and resources. On a long term the project will contribute to qualifying health promotion in order to establish less inequality in health for children and families in socially deprived European areas.


University College Lillebaelt
Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants


Research facilities