Location: Germany / Dornstetten
Period: 21/03/2016 – 20/03/2017
Deadline: 18 March 2016
Explanation of the Organization:
Schwarzwaldwerkstatt GmbH is an institution operated by the city of Freudenstadt and the organizations Lebenshilfe Freudenstadt und Horb/Sulz. It cares for mentally and physically disabled people, and people with mental illness. It operates a workshop with 230 places for mentally disabled people and 30 places in the special needs day care centre. There is also a branch workshop with 90 places for people with mental illness. The living areas include: one residential home (the main home), three residential groups (living in homes away from the main area) and other possibilities for assisted living. There are a total of 104 living spaces.
Purpose of the Organization:
The Schwarzwaldwerkstatt is a non-profit organization. People with various disabilities live and work there. It provides them with the possibility for service and integration (to feel included in society). It helps people with serious disabilities that can’t work and/or apply for a job on the classic job market. Workshops like the Schwarzwaldwerkstatt are institutions for job re-training. The purpose of the workshop is to help people with disabilities expand and repair their individual skills. It also offers continuous inspiration for workers and residents. There are two end-results. Firstly, the workers can offer low level work that is economically useable. The second result is that people can find jobs on the classic job market outside of the workshop. In the right conditions, people with disabilities can find a job in the normal job market.
The workshop escorts, encourages and supports people between the ages of 18 and 65. There are different areas in the organization for education, work and special care.
Forms of Work-Training:
The Schwarzwaldwerkstatt GmbH is certified to offer education. We offer low and high levels of work-training for people with disabilities. The work training is scheduled (the workers have a daily/hourly plan). The work-training department at Schwarzwaldwerkstatt currently has 50 places for workers at two different areas.
In the working area, the workshop offers disabled-friendly, long-term jobs. There are 18 different job possibilities. Outside of the Schwarzwaldwerkstatt, they also offer jobs in a hospital, an old-age home and different companies.
In total, there are 270 spaces for people in the working area of the main workshop (for people with mental and/or physical disabilities) and in our branch workshop (for people who have a mental illness).
In a neighbouring branch workshop the organisation offers 80 places for mentally disordered and addicted people. In 6 workgroups and a department of work-training this branch workshop offers programmes for participation in working life.
Special Needs Day Care Centre:
Some people cannot yet work with a group in the production area. This is because of their serious mental and/or physical disability. We individually guide, help, and care for these people at the special needs day care centre.
The special needs day care centre has space for 30 disabled people.
We also offer many housing possibilities for people with mental and physical disabilities. People use this housing to be independent in their living environment. Also, people who cannot care for themselves or who cannot get care at home use this housing.
The assisted-living residence is our residential home with 49 places. It is directly in Dornstetten. Many people live in the assisted-living residence and work in our main workshop for mentally and/or physically disabled people.
People who live in our residence need constant and close supervision, support and nursing care. During the night there is also trained staff available for the residents.
External Residential Groups:
We also offer smaller living units. These homes are located in different areas of Freudenstadt county. In total, we have 3 external residential groups with 8-9 places each.
External Care-Based Assisted Living:
We also offer external care-based assisted living for people with disabilities. This is outside of the main living area.
We have two different possibilities:
-Assisted living for single people or pairs with professional supervision.
-Assisted living as a family in the home of a host family.
The people in this arrangement live completely independent. A trained assistant accompanies them to one or more weekly appointments. Examples of the support we offer: doctor visits, shopping trips or visits to government offices, help with money or solving personal problems.
The different living options will help disabled people to find the right type of home. The purpose is to encourage and care for people. We offer individual help at an appropriate level. Our supportive programme follows the saying, “As little as possible, but as much as necessary”. We want to offer each person the most independence in their lifestyle.
In the Workshops:
Volunteers work in the main workshop or branch workshop. They are a part of the assembly teams (putting things together) or specialization groups. They support the qualified staff. The volunteers help and instruct people with disabilities in their work. Volunteers also help with the production work. Besides the work duties, it is important for the volunteers to control the individual work steps and to check the end products.
The volunteers are put into fixed groups. If the number of employees changes, the volunteers might also help out different groups for a few hours or days. Interested volunteers can get training in other groups. For example, external groups such as the ‘Grüne Gruppe’ (a group that works with plants in the nursery). It is possible for volunteers from the residence area to do a placement at the workshop. Volunteers from the workshop can also help in the residence area. Volunteers have the possibility to visit and work in all of our facilities during their year.
There are other duties besides working in the production building, guiding and supporting the people with disabilities. Volunteers are also involved in all group activities. For example, these duties could be higher-level nursing duties like: helping people with disabilities to use the toilet or changing incontinence aids (such as diapers). Volunteers might also help residents with everyday activities, such as: making, serving, and cutting food into smaller pieces. The volunteers offer support and go on day trips and free-time activities. These are offered by the organization. Volunteers will also support the team to organize parties during Christmas or ‘Fasching’ (Carnival). These happen in the region and across Germany.
Each volunteer is scheduled into a rotating shift plan. This plan has their working hours for the group work and the important duties for the total workshop facility. Current duties could be: taking people to the bus stop and picking them up, transport service to outside activities away from the workshop, assistance in our canteen (where the workers eat), cleaning duties, being a crossing guard on a busy street. Volunteers can also help with outside activities such as, swimming, bowling or horseback riding.
In the Residential Housing and Residential Groups:
The volunteers, along with the trained staff, support the different residential groups in the residences. Volunteers will support and encourage residents for all house-hold duties. The duties could be: washing clothes, cleaning their room and house. Volunteers also support and help residents with everyday practical things, such as: helping the residents with shopping, going with them to doctors/therapists or different public offices. Another area of support is the care and nursing of the residents. After a training term volunteers can perform different duties. For example, they can help the residents wash and shower or help them change their clothes. Volunteers can also help during meal times if residents cannot eat their meals independently.
Volunteers also help with day-to-day activities and social events, for example: activities after work or on weekends such as, walks or visits to the theatre, musicals or concerts.
In the residential area, each volunteer receives a shift schedule. They are scheduled for an early shift or late shift. There will also be shifts on the weekends. If a volunteer is scheduled on a weekend, they will have their time off during the week.
At the beginning, volunteers get basic training at the workshop. Every month, there is a big staff meeting for all the volunteers at the workshop. They meet and discuss difficulties, wishes, and concerns. During this meeting, volunteers get the new monthly shift plan. In the residential area, there are direct meetings with the house supervisors or with the social worker.
We would like to bring together the volunteers and our total team from the workshop and residential home. The volunteers should be able to help with the duties mentioned above. At first volunteers will have support from trained staff. After a training period, volunteers can work independently.
We want the volunteers to get job experience in working with people with disabilities. People with disabilities have different needs in the workplace and home environment. It is important for the volunteers to learn about this. Very independent and motivated volunteers can design small support activities for people with disabilities. For example, they could make and teach a work-related project or training activity for their work group. In the residential area, for example, this could be the organization of a small day trip, a sport or free-time activity. By making these support activities, volunteers increase their self-assurance and trust their skills. We always welcome volunteers to bring their own ideas and suggestions.
Volunteers can also visit on-site or off-site training courses to get more qualifications.
Our volunteers can meet the volunteers from neighbouring workshops in the cities of Rottweil and Heiligenbronn. These workshops also have volunteers from the European Union. The meetings allow the volunteers to exchange information.
There is also German language training. The language training purpose is for volunteers to understand everyday talk. Volunteers also learn the common technical vocabulary used in our workshops and residential area. In the continuous language training, volunteers will learn how to use the German language in typical, everyday events in Germany.
In the beginning, volunteers will only help the support staff. Volunteers will have a training term with limited responsibility. After this time, volunteers will get more responsibility according to legal liability rules.
Besides working in their main or residence group, volunteers can also lead projects in their group. They are guided by co-workers. Volunteers can use their skills and ideas, such as, special computer skills, manual skills like handiworks, music making, creative design, etc.
Volunteers should like working with people who have disabilities. They should be open to working with disadvantaged young people. The disadvantaged youth might have problems or are excluded from society. Past experience in working with disabled young people is helpful.
Volunteers should be able to individually design activities. They should also be helpful and work with other team members. If volunteers have special knowledge, skills or interests, they will be encouraged to make their own projects. Volunteers should be able to connect with other people. They should also be comfortable in changing situations. A basic or beginner level of the German language would be helpful for volunteer. An interest in learning German is expected.
A Class B car driver’s licence is an asset.
Volunteers should write a ‘project-related motivation letter’. This is a letter about why they want to volunteer at this organization. The decision will be based on motivation. It will not be based on background, gender, language skills, or level of education.
Applications should be sent to the coordinating organisation:
Steinbeis Innovation Centre “European Projects”
This vacancy is only for spanish applicants. The poroject is already approved and should start as soon as possible.
Since most of our hosting projects are working in the social field we are looking for volunteers who are interested in this field, having previous experiences or qualifications, maybe planning a professional career in social services etc.
We are expecting a full volunteering service of 38 hours per week.
EVS is not a language course, therefore candidates who are at first and mainly interested in language learning should not apply for this project.
In general basic skills in german language are helpful for all candidates.
Furthermore we want to point out that we prefer candidates who are already qualified in the field of nursing or social work. During the last years several of our volunteers got job offers or opportunities for vocational training especially in Residential Homes for the Elderly, in organisations for disabled people or in child care where we have a lack of qualified workers in Germany.
We’ll help already qualified volunteers to get the recognition of their exams in Germany so they can look for a job after their EVS.