As demonstrated by several researches, childhood is the most crucial stage in the development process of a human being. Over their lifetime, children meet people, see things, feel emotions and they need someone helping them understand/name all these new experiences. Family is where these experiences take place or are told, in order to learn from them and give them a meaning. Parents have the complex role to guide their children, listen to them and support them. So, it looks quite hard to be parents! Also, parents are not born, they are made! Parents could feel the need to be supported and helped and they could face hard moments. Even in these moments, it is important that parents find inner or outer (community services, friends and relatives) resources that allow them to take care of their children. 


What P.I.P.P.I. means

P.I.P.P.I. means Programme to Prevent Institutionalisation. Nowadays in Italy, according to the Law 149 and since 2001, institutionalisation is not a common practice anymore. Institutionalisation does not refer to children being placed in residential centres (not existing anymore); on the contrary, P.I.P.P.I. aims at preventing any kind of institutionalisation which can still be found in the everyday social services’ practices, for example excessive bureaucracy, delays, inefficiency and fragmented strategies, as well as lack of flexibility, information, reporting and transparency towards families.

P.I.P.P.I.’s goal is to ensure that children have the right to receive

- an in-depth assessment on their family context through the promotion of mutual listening and understanding between families and services;

- a joint action plan coordinated by all the actors involved, which can adequately respond to families’ needs and is feasible according to modalities and timing shared by families and professionals.

P.I.P.P.I. reminds us of Pippi Longstocking’s cheerfulness and strength, a child living on her own in a ruined house with an unconventional and bizarre family. Pippi Longstocking embodies at best P.I.P.P.I. programme, because it intends to highlight the resilience of children living in fragile families who experience difficulty in responding adequately to their children’s developmental needs. The acronym of P.I.P.P.I. invite professionals and families to “Promuovere Indipendenza Partecipando e Progettando Insieme” (Promote Independence Participating and Planning Together).


What P.I.P.P.I. is about

Shared planning: P.I.P.P.I. promotes the provision of comprehensive care strategies for families, by involving professionals, parents and children in the assessment and planning stages.

Home Care Treatment: P.I.P.P.I presents a Home Care Treatment based on children and parents participation. It consists in activities conducted primarily by a home carer with children and parents, supporting them in their everyday parenting.

Supporting Families: this measure consists in the identification of “supporting families”, in order to provide support to vulnerable families in their daily lives, both at a practical and at an emotional level. Supporting families could also mean helping vulnerable families integrate in their local communities. 

Parents and Children Group: P.I.P.P.I. promotes the organisation of parents groups. The participation in this group is intended to help parents reinforce their social fabric by sharing their experiences with other parents and to improve parenting skills, like learning how to adequately respond to children’s development needs.


What the family does

P.I.P.P.I. considers parents as key-actors in the education process of their children. For this reason every parent, together with professionals, takes part in the elaboration of decisions and strategies regarding themselves and their children. For parents, participating in P.I.P.P.I. means:

  • identifying, together with professionals, their children’s needs and the actions to be put in place in order to satisfy them;
  • participating in meetings and activities with professionals;
  • respecting the agreed commitments;
  • using specific tools to better understand family’s strengths/difficulties and to transform them.