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A further study on caring neighborhoods


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Supported by

VVSG,  Cera, Fonds dr. Daniel De Coninck en Porticus


This project aims to create more caring neighborhoods. Within this project, the concept of caring neighborhoods is translated into practice in four pilot municipalities (Deerlijk, Moorslede, Pelt and Hamont-Achel).

Caring neighborhoods? These are neighborhoods in which a coherent and neighborhood-oriented approach to housing, care and welfare can ensure that the person with a support need can continue to live at home in their familiar environment for as long as possible.


Working on a caring neighborhood means strengthening connections: between people, between people, organizations, and services, and across domains, organizations, and target groups. It also means working on underprotection (through a proactive approach), on the prevention and management of loneliness, on more accessible and high-quality care and service provision, and on a livable living environment. A caring neighborhood pays attention to housing, care, and well-being with a specific focus on vulnerable citizens. The purpose is to create more caring neighborhoods here.


Trends such as the aging society, loneliness among young and old, society that is increasingly individualizing, rising care demands, people who do not find their way to help… cause more people in a vulnerable situation to slip through the cracks. An increasing number of people in a vulnerable position, with care needs, want to organize their lives independently at home. That is why a caring neighborhood is of increasing importance.

Our Role

Within this project, Vonk3 takes on the scientific monitoring. We want to study the practical translation of the conceptual model of caring neighborhoods in practice in four pilot municipalities: Deerlijk, Moorslede, Pelt, and Hamont-Achel. For this, we start from the 8 functions of neighborhood care management that the VVSG puts forward in a guideline.

With the scientific monitoring of the four pilot practices, we not only want to evaluate whether the conversion of the 8 functions of neighborhood care management in practice contributes to one or more of the above characteristics of a caring neighborhood. But we also pay attention to the impact of each function on the characteristics of a caring neighborhood as well as the relationship between the functions.

In addition, we also look at who is reached in the four pilot practices. Does the practical translation succeed in building caring neighborhoods around, for, and with vulnerable neighborhood residents?

Finally, we also look at how and why the practical translation of the model of neighborhood-oriented care with the 8 functions of neighborhood care management leads to more caring neighborhoods. In this way, we want to expose critical success factors, barriers, and conditions.

We use a ‘mixed methods’ approach in which we combine different methods of data collection. This has the advantage that we can better understand reality. The scientific monitoring is divided into four phases.

The analysis is done using the CAIMeR model. This model allows the context factors to be taken into account to assess the effect or impact of a social intervention, and for whom.




Leen Heylen

Geboeid door het thema eenzaamheid en de aanpak en preventie ervan. 


Dorien Gryp

Onderzoeker eenzaamheid met een passie voor de publieke ruimte. Heeft altijd zin in een concert.


Liesbet Lommelen

Gefascineerd door praktijkgericht sociaal wetenschappelijk onderzoek & de zoektocht naar werkende elementen die inzetten op het verbinden of ondersteunen van mensen, warm hart voor kwetsbare ouderen, krijgt energie van aha erlebnissen.