The model of the Family House within the Pope John XXIII Association (1999)

In its many and varied forms, the voluntary movement is still a worthy and irreplaceable phenomenon, although often unrecognised and undervalued. As well as providing assistance and services to people in need, volunteers try to remove the causes of hardship. Voluntary associations offer their help with an approach aimed at recovering those who can produce wealth. The Family House translates the values common to the culture of voluntary work into a comprehensive response to the most painful manifestations of hardship. Starting from the idea of the family nucleus, it breaks the pattern of the volunteer who goes to the needy as the Family House welcomes the marginalised, with the hypothesis that the family can be a “therapeutic environment” and an instrument for the healing or improvement of the disabled, socially maladjusted and deviant. The research was essentially divided into three phases: background investigation, processing and administration of the questionnaire, data processing. The first phase was dedicated to finding and reading bibliographic sources. At the same time, direct knowledge of the Family-homes was undertaken. Interviews were then conducted with leading figures in the organisation. In the second phase, a questionnaire was drawn up based on previous experience. In the third phase, the data from the questionnaires were processed using computerised and statistical systems. Finally, an interpretative analysis of the elements and correlations that emerged concluded the work.




Methodological note

CHAPTER 1. Family homes: structural data analysis

The sample

Institution, employment status and role within the Association of the heads of Family-homes

The characteristics of Family Homes

Between vocation and pragmatism

CHAPTER 2. Persons accepted

Analysis of structural data

Educational level



Placement in the family home


CHAPTER 3. Community of values

CHAPTER 4. Intra-organisational relations

CHAPTER 5. Exo-organisational relationships

CHAPTER 6. Ora et labora: the Family House and its daily life

Data analysis

Respecting the charism

Much more than “Samaritans

Many actions, one philosophy

The moral is always the same

Final remarks

CONCLUSIONS Paradise Terminal

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