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Spain: Supporting migrant families with children with disabilities (Inoffizielle Übersetzung)

Geographic Area






Type of Information

Projekt oder Programm


Down Lleida

Contact Person

Pilar Sanjuán (Einloggen um Email zu versenden)

Contact Person Function


Project Start


Ongoing Project



This project provides comprehensive support, information, advice and coverage of basic needs to migrant families with children with Down's Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, in accordance with the principle of equality for people with Down's Syndrome. The project also seeks to provide coverage through scholarships to the training sessions provided by the Down Lleida institution.

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

General objective:

To improve the quality of life and living conditions of foreign migrants with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Specific objectives:

  • Improve the training of professionals involved in communicating the diagnosis or the news of the birth of the child with intellectual disability;
  • Strengthen the support structures for migrant families and other families of the entity;
  • Make families aware of early stimulation services and aid possibilities from different administrations;
  • Organise psychological support sessions for new parents;
  • Organise schools for parents according to the different age groups of their children, with the support of a parent mediator;
  • Develop informative materials and translate them into several languages;
  • Organise family break activities and outings;
  • Provide support services to families for medical reasons or hospitalisation;
  • Advise on schooling in the ordinary classroom for migrant children with disabilities;
  • Facilitate participation in the organisation’s training sessions for children with Down's syndrome or other intellectual disabilities.

How does it work

The methodology used by the project is active and participatory, centered on the family, to foster the development of positive attitudes towards the child and towards the promotion of their personal autonomy. This requires continuous revision of processes and constant observation of progress made by each family.

The activities carried out can be very varied: group sessions, role playing to simulate real-life situations, talks from professionals according to needs expressed by the families (e.g. emotional education, attention and early stimulation, debates, and exchange of experiences between parents).


The impact of this project is tangible and varied, including - but not limited to - the following:

  • Families receive up-to-date and information about their child's disability on the prenatal diagnosis, alleviating stress;
  • New parents initiate and maintain a series of meetings and contacts with other families of the organisation's network on a regular basis, creating an organic support system;
  • Both infants and children with disabilities actively participate in the Early Care and assistance programmes, allowing for their further development;
  • Migrant families actively participate in sessions;
  • Exchange of the experiences, doubts and fears of parents is facilitated and people are given relevant comfort and advice as a result;
  • Families receive the correct information about their child's disability and their abilities;
  • Parents enjoy more leisure time, which contributes to the improvement of their quality of life;
  • The trauma of having a hospitalised child and being unable to afford the travel and accommodation costs involved is mitigated;
  • Children and young people with intellectual disabilities attend regulated training in appropriate centres with the necessary support.


Quantitative and qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis of information are used to evaluate the project, based on a series of indicators that refer to the project's different areas of action and focus.

Interviews with different members are essential for data collection. In addition the evaluation process includes questionnaires, tests, detailed case studies, observations of participants and interpretation of verbal and non-verbal responses to certain questions and situations.

Another means of internal evaluation is the weekly coordination meetings with the technical team and with the organisation's president, as well as monthly meetings with the Board of Directors (in which the data provided by professionals are collected and evaluated).

Who will benefit?

Currently the project is supporting 25 migrant families, with an average of four members per family. This adds up to a total of 100 direct beneficiaries.

Source of funding and Resources used

The project is run by the following staff members:

  • 1 psychopedagogue to coordinate the team and to keep track of the project;
  • 1 social worker to give advice, guidance and follow-up to families;
  • 1 psychologist to host and accompany families;
  • volunteer staff who act as cultural mediators and translation.

This project has the financial support of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality through the IRPF funding call, as well as the Secretary of Families of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2016 it received the XIII Francesc Candel Prize from the Carulla Foundation.