The struggles against discrimination and for human rights are important principles of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against LGBTI people persists throughout the EU.

The formal recognition of same-sex couples and their filiation bonds is still incomplete within the EU communitarian legislation. Family Law remains a national State issue, reflecting different/heterogeneous historical and socio-cultural paths towards the idea of what and who makes a family. Likewise, members States are split between those who follow common-law and those who adopt the continental legal frame.
Under this perspective pre-service and in-service higher education and training plays a significant role to provide professionals with adequate tools to deal with this kind of families (whether in education, social work, health or law), since these specialists necessarily face a social change taking place before and regardless of its formal recognition.

DOING RIGHT(S) is a project about social inclusion of LGBT headed households by means of developing complex and high quality skills for healthcare, educational services, law professionals. LGBT families and their children too often still present an unexpected and unknown world to the majority of professionals in healthcare, educational services, law practices and the courts across Europe. These particular new forms of family and parenting disrupt longstanding attitudes and expectations about what constitutes a family and the gender roles within it. National training curricula do not really address family diversity and the needs of non-heterosexual households. This widespread lack of professional training, the general absence of what we would call “strategic training for a culture that includes all,” puts LGBT families and their children under enormous pressure and difficulties as they have to find ways to fit into a system that does not contemplate their existence and has no effective tools to deal with their needs. In turn, this often relegates these families and children into a corner of invisibility where there are no rights, discrimination can get its way and opportunities for a better society are lost.

Project’s aims:

  1. Identifying with interdisciplinary and cross-sector tools the major challenges these new families place to practitioners in Italy, Poland, Spain.
  2. Defining a set of professional competences needed to work with LGBT families in the different professional contexts.
  3. Developing a transnational, cross-sector and interdisciplinary training curriculum devoted to professionals dealing with LGBT families.
  4. Providing effective dissemination at the European level of the project’s outputs and outcomes fostering the adoption of such training curricula.

The partnership of the project is made of 3 academic institutions and 3 grassroots organisations: University of Verona (Applicant); Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences; Autonoumous University of Barcelona; Tolerado, Casal Lambda; Health and Social Regional Agency, Regione Emilia Romagna. The entire team amounts to 25 researchers.

The project involves 1500 recipients through the following activities:
3 learning activities;
9 cross-sector workshops;
1 summer school;
6 multiplier events for the dissemination;
2 international multiplier events.
The participants will be academic researchers, healthcare and social workers, professionals in education and law, policy makers, and welfare system directors and managers.

The project develops along 5 workstream according to a ratio of shared responsibility and skills promotion.
The main expected result concerns the dissemination of the training curriculum devoted to professional dealing with LGBT families in higher education contexts.

Further points are: a) disseminating a shared vocabulary to enhance communication between practitioners and LGBT families, but also among practitioners about LGBT issues; b) raising awareness about LGBT inclusion in the academia; c) supporting the development among professionals of meta-skills for social inclusion at large. Intervening

By proposing the topic of social inclusion by means of higher education we redirect the gaze from the single behaviour of discrimination to focus instead on the social construction of identities occurring within social organizations. In this light, identifying transdisciplinar categories apt to provide tools for indviduating, intepretating and acting upon the processes where social inequalities are generated in the professional context is a key step for the strengthening (practitioners’) social workers’ professional skills and improve the quality of the service they provide, as well as putting the practitioners’ work at the heart of social change.