Think Tank Poverty #29 – From good practices to proposing a model of social intervention

On the ‘accueilpagnement’ (accueil & accompagnement, or welcome & support) model put forward by Comme chez nous

What about you? What are you the model of?

With Stéphanie Cassilde and Sophie Crapez from Comme chez nous

In December 2020, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the non-profit organisation Comme Chez Nous published a book entitled ‘Construire avec les naufragés. Un accueilpagnement psycho-médico-social des personnes sans-abri’ (Build with the castaways: A psycho-medico-social accueilpagnement for homeless people)[1] (co-authored by Sophie Crapez, Stéphanie Cassilde and Suzanne Huygens). The book has a rare, and therefor noteworthy approach: it sets out to formalise the unique set of practices and methods which the organisation uses in its work with homeless persons. It presents the general public and, in particular, those active in the field with a model which, by definition, can be generalised and adapted by other organisations. At the theoretical core of the model, the neologism ‘accueilpagnement’ (accueil & accompagnement, or welcome & support) is a holistic, multidisciplinary and human-focused approach.

This session of Think Tank Poverty will also be an opportunity to address the social innovation challenges inherent in this approach. The exchange of ‘good practices’ has structured and nourished social work since its origins: it enables everyone involved to discover different conceptions of social work from others in the network who share the common objective of fighting against extreme poverty and its effects. But what does the shift from a mere good practice to the construction of a model imply? Is it intended to increase the legitimacy of a reference framework? Or is it about demonstrating the effectiveness of a given set of practices? In the same vein, can all practices or methods of social intervention be generalised in the form of a model? If so, what might the conditions be for such a generalisation? If each association made the effort to propose a model and assembled the resources needed to design it, could it not turn its specific modus operandi into a sketch of a general model? What would it gain from doing so?


[1] CASSILDE, S., CRAPEZ, S., HUYGENS, S. (ed.), Construire avec les naufragés. Un accueilpagnement psycho-médico-social des personnes sans-abri. Charleroi: Éditions de l’UO. 2020.


Thursday 11 February 2021, from 12.00 to 14.00

at DoucheFLUX and via videoconference on the DoucheFLUX Facebook page

Please reserve your place if you take part in the Think Tank at DoucheFLUX by emailing Serena Alba (sandwiches provided).

The book ‘Construire avec les naufragés. Un accueilpagnement psycho-médico-social des personnes sans-abris’, will be available for sale (€25) on the day of the Think Tank meeting.

Download the text in PDF here.