What is the ENCARE Toolkit for National Websites?
Terminological note: The acronym ChAPAPs comes from words Children Affected by Parental Alcohol Problems.
The toolkit is a support tool for building national information websites aimed at children whose parents have alcohol problems. It consists of three parts:
Organisation and evaluation
Implementation and maintenance.
A ChAPAP website provides such children with information and advice that can help them to avoid or cope with problems. The toolkit gives suggestions about the content of such a website and the issues to consider while creating the website.
For the content of the website we chose to focus on ChAPAPs with a maximum age of 18 years, conform to the target age group of the ENCARE project. This is just a general guideline though. We also realize it is possible to develop websites for ChAPAPs of other ages (e.g. www.drankjewel.nl with a section for adult ChAPAPs).
The toolkit is developed by the ENCARE project group. It is based on the experiences of several European countries that now have their own national ChAPAP websites, such as the German www.kidkit.de, the Austrian Onysos’ Chat and the Dutch www.drankjewel.nl.
The toolkit is available on the website of ENCARE, which supports national-level organisations in providing online information and advice to both ChAPAPs and professionals.
Who can use the toolkit?
The toolkit is intended for anyone who wants to develop a website for children of parents with alcohol problems (ChAPAPs), and who is interested in the experiences of others in setting up such a website.
Why a national website for ChAPAPs?
There are several reasons to develop a website for children of parents with alcohol problems. These include:
- The availability of low threshold interventions for ChAPAPs is limited in most European countries.
- ChAPAPs have a need for information and advice.
- Most ChAPAPs prefer to remain anonymous when they seek and receive information, partly because of shame or guilt.
- The Internet is an adequate medium for low-threshold interventions. It is anonymous and accessible round the clock.
- The Internet helps to reach this hidden target population. Only small numbers of ChAPAPs now seek professional help.
- The majority of adolescents in most European countries have access to the Internet.
Contents of the toolkit
1. Your website
Many decisions need to be made while creating a website for ChAPAPs. The main question is the purpose of your website. Other questions are the age and the needs of your target group. This section tells you what information you need about the target group before you start working on your website. And what content and design issues you need to consider to ensure that the website meets the needs and wishes of the ChAPAPs?
2. Organisation and evaluation
This section discusses the organisation and evaluation of projects to develop national websites for ChAPAPs. Issues treated are:
- Technical decisions to make before you start
- Project management
- Implementing interactive functionality
- Evaluating your website.
3. Implementation and maintenance
After completing and launching your website, you need to publicise it so your target group will know it exists and can find it on the Web. This section suggests some options for promoting your website. It also focuses on work that will need to be done after the launch to maintain your website and keep it up to date.