In a caring neighbourhood…
In a caring neighbourhood conditions are met so that people, regardless of age and large or small support needs in multiple life domains, can (continue to) live comfortably in their home or familiar neighbourhood. It is a neighbourhood where young and old live together, where people feel good and safe, where quality of life is central, where residents know and help each other, where people and families with large and small support needs receive support and where services and facilities are accessible and available.
The three pillars of a Caring Neighbourhood
1. Neighbourhood participation and inclusion
A caring neighbourhood is aimed at building up a social network, solidarity and caring coexistence. Creating encounters is crucial here. Only when people know each other will they – after a while – also be prepared to offer each other support. This is about “helping”, not about taking the place of professional help and services. A caring neighbourhood is participatory and is there for everyone. Caring neighbourhoods strive for inclusion.
2. Connecting informal and formal care
Caring neighbourhoods make the link between informal care (self-care, occasional neighborly help or volunteer work) and formal/professional care. This is also necessary with a view to early detection of vulnerable people, with a view to faster and better access to professional assistance if necessary, with a view to prevention and the commitment to health inequalities and with a view to supporting informal carers with special attention to carers.
3. Intersectoral collaboration between wellbeing and care partners and partners from other domains in a network that focuses on prevention, health promotion and the provision of integrated care and support with a focus on quality of life
Based on a neighbourhood analysis, the neighbourhood, the local government, the wellbeing and care partners and other partners in the network jointly choose the priorities they want to focus on in the context of the caring neighbourhood project. It concerns a collaboration between health and well-being in collaboration with other sectors (including housing, spatial planning, youth, culture, sport, work, social economy, etc.), aimed at prevention, health promotion and the provision of integrated care and support to a person. People and their quality of life are central, which is why steps are being taken towards integrated care.
Caring Neighbourhoods Policy in Flanders
You can read about the Caring Neighbourhood Policy of the Flemish Government in this note.
Want to find out what caring neighbourhoods look like in practice and what is involved? Get started with the frame of reference with 8 building stones of SAAMO (based on the model of the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities) in their online publication on caring neighbourhoods "Less loopholes, less slipping through the net".