Houses of Empathy

Tuesday, 02 August 2016 14:26


Read about our involvement in the innovative European project #housesofempathy 

Background to the project

We received funding through the EU to support a 22 month partnership project aimed at promoting positive relationships and reducing bullying and violence in residential care settings through the design and implementation of an anti-bullying programme known as 'Houses of Empathy'. The project partners are VOYPIC (N. Ireland), Hechos (Spain) and PAR (Portugal) with support from Sticks 'n' Stones (Republic of Ireland).

Three Health and Social Care Trusts (South Eastern, Belfast and Western) kindly offered to support us in the development of 'Houses of Empathy' and in particular to pilot a young person's group work programme in a home in their area. The results from this pilot phase and other resources area published on the House of Empathy website.

Key outputs:

- Pilot a group work programme with young people in three children's homes (one in each HSCT)

- An online training resources for residential child care staff

- Two seminars on bullying for residential child care staff

- A guide to best practice on bullying prevention

- Support 10 homes regionally to implement the Houses of Empathy programme

- An international conference in Lisbon

Check out videos

Watch a selection of videos introducing the programme as well as on team building, communication and assertiveness, problem solving, emotions, self-esteem and empathy.

Access associated publications

Read a short summary report on the project.

Join the Forum to access all Houses of Empathy publications.

Work completed

We successfully piloted a group work programme with young people in all three children’s homes in Northern Ireland.  We explored communication skills, team building problem solving, emotions, self-esteem, empathy and bullying through engaging young people in activities and group discussions.

We hosted two awareness raising seminars on bullying and its impact in 2016 - in the Duncairn Centre, Belfast in June and in The Verbal Arts Centre, Londonderry in November.

We launched our website which hosts all the publications and training materials developed by the Houses of Empathy partnership. On the website you will find the Handbook to accompany the programme and a guide to best practice in the prevention of bullying in residential care.

In March we facilitated a two day training course to 18 residential social workers from 10 children's homes throughout Northern Ireland to assist them to implement the Houses of Empathy programme.

On 27 June Houses of Empathy hosted a webinar by Dr Christine Barter on 'Bullying in Children's Residential Settings: a unique experience.' Missed it? Join the forum and details to find out how to access a recording of the session.

Over the months ahead VOYPIC will provide mentoring support to these 10 homes as they implement the anti-bullying programme.

On 4 July an international conference took place in Lisbon, Portugal.  This event brought together the international partners of the project (Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland ) to present the main results of the Houses of Empathy programme. Check out pictures from the event on our Facebook page.

On 20 July we hosted a national webinar with Sticks 'n' Stones. We, and local speakers, shared our experiences of the Houses of Empathy programme.

On 14 November we hosted a free seminar as part of #antibullingweekni. The seminar showcased the Houses of Empathy programme and how you can access resources available.

Want to find out more?

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  at VOYPIC.