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Founding members are Fondazione «E. Zancan», Boston College and 28 experts coming from three continents (America, Europe, Australia).


The Association is located in Padova at the Fondazione «E. Zancan» in Via Vescovado 66. Auxiliary locations are in Boston at Boston College, Chestnut Hill and in Malosco (TN) at the Centro Studi «E. Zancan» in Viale Alpino 8. 


The Association, in order to promote evaluation of services for children and families, pursues the following aims:



  • To promote cross-national research and comparisons on theories, methods and techniques for outcome-based evaluation and research;
  • To facilitate the exchange of experiences and knowledge on these subjects through meetings, seminars and international workshops and using publications and sharing knowledge through the web;
  • To conduct research and studies on outcome-based evaluation; and
  • To disseminate the findings of experimentation and studies.



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The Fondazione Zancan (Zancan Foundation) was founded in 1964 in the memory of social worker Emanuela Zancan, assistant manager at the Padova School for High Studies in Social Services. She died on a young age leaving her retirement bonus to the School in order to start a new social initiative. Her legacy was the first building stone for the Fondazione. Since 1964 the Fondazione has been running relevant research activities on social themes, and nowadays it is listed among the most relevant cultural institutions. In 1983 obtained legal recognition through a decree of the President of the Republic (Decree nr. 243, 12th March 1983). Its activity has also been officially acknowledged by the Veneto Region through a specific law (nr. 51/1984). The Minister for Internal Affairs, Central Department for civil services, has for a long while given the Foundation the same titles.


The approval of the President of the Republic Decree nr. 460/97, implemented through regulations nr. 135 on 20th March 2003, has included the Fondazione in the list of no-profit institutions, running research activities of relevant social interest. This act gave a more precise definition of its legal status, along with better a definition of the different actions on human services and policies in the social, health and educational fields which are carried out. (In 2004 the Veneto Regional Department of the Taxes Agency confirmed the inclusion of the Foundation in the Onlus Registry.)


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Housed within the Department of Social Work, the Family and Group Practice Research Centre (the Centre) was inaugurated in 1995. The Centre focuses on the development of clinical social work knowledge and the promotion of evidence-based practice research. It works particularly with Chinese populations in different contexts and communities, with an emphasis placed on family health and positive mental health.


The Centre provides a wide range of services to the public and to helping professionals. It serves the community by offering psychosocial intervention services and educational and promotional programmes to the general public, running professional training programmes for different helping professionals, and conducting evidence-based practice research. In recent years, it has established close partnerships and extensive networks with frontline practitioners, social service agencies, and community and international research institutes. We believe that by using a multi-disciplinary team work approach, the Centre can facilitate the development of indigenized and contextual social work knowledge and practices in Hong Kong.