Aim of these guidelines and context of their development
These guidelines have been developed as part of the FESAT Best Practice Exchange Partnership, a Leonardo Da Vinci Partnership Project, under the Lifelong Learning Programme.
This project was launched in September 2009, with 9 partners from 8 different countries and began with Learning Exchange Visits from each partner service to another partner service. These visits provided the opportunity for invaluable insight into the working of Partner helplines. With the focus on the three pillars of 1) Policy and Practice 2) Support and Supervision and 3) Technology and Reporting, visitors explored relevant issues and compiled a report on their return. The information from these Learning Exchange Visit reports was gathered and the key topics were used to draw up the Programme for the Working Seminar in September 2010, held in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
At this Working Seminar the topics were discussed in further detail and decisions were made about how to progress with putting the information gathered into the Best Practice Guidelines document. In this document, each topic is first defined, then there is a brief look at the issues to consider with that topic and lastly the best practice recommendations are given. This document reflects the subjects that were raised and explored during the lifetime of this project and is therefore a true ‘snap shot’ of the issues for Helplines at present. It is hoped that these guidelines will support future training initiatives for Helpline workers and that they can also be enhanced at a later date to reflect new issues as they arise.
These Guidelines aim to give Drug Helplines inspiration and peer advice on crucial aspects in drug helpline work. These guidelines do not pretend to be comprehensive. Drug helpline work in Europe has many dimensions and can differ significantly from one helpline to another and one country to another. From that perspective, it is important to bear in mind that these guidelines are a reflection of knowledge, practice and experience of the participating partners.
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