AFEV - support to fragile families through students-volunteers
AFEV is a French organisation that implements initiatives that put parents from disadvantaged socio-economic background at the centre of their approach. It is a non-profit organisation involved in the provision of parenting support in disadvantaged urban areas. AFEV has recruited a network of 8,000 students all across France who volunteer to provide temporary tutoring to parents.
The rationale for the intervention is that this group of parents feel poorly prepared to support their children’ schooling, due to the fear of being judged by school staff, their own personal negative experiences with school or lack of knowledge on the school system. The objective is to help parents discover their competences and abilities so they can take a more active role in their children’s learning at all levels of schooling (from the last year of pre-primary school to upper secondary education).
Support is provided to parents on a voluntary basis and takes the form of one-to-one tutoring. In order to overcome the barriers between parents and school and create a trustful relationship with families, volunteers visit pupils and their parents at home.
Volunteering students undertake a series of training workshops before engaging with parents in order to be equipped to provide quality support to parents. During the tutoring sessions, they dialogue with parents on the issues they face to support their children’s schooling, help them to get familiar with the school jargon and school requirements, provide tips and advice on how to supervise their children’s homework and to encourage further learning, for instance by taking them to the library.
As it becomes difficult to increase the number of volunteers, AFEV is discussing with some universities so that volunteers get credits for their involvement.