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PROUD NEWSLETTER - #1   

14/05/21

THE PROUD  PROJECT IS NOW OFFICIALLY  LAUNCHED!

Contents

  1. The Proud Project
  2. Project Activities
  3. Get Involved!

The PROUD Project

The PROUD project (Promoting Supported Independent Living as an alternative care practice for unaccompanied minors) is a European project, funded by the AMIF Programme (Transna- tional actions for Integration of Third-Country Nationals in the EU Member States and support- ing legal migration) for the 2019- 2021 period. The project will be implemented in Greece, Ger- many, Spain and the Netherlands.

The PROUD project aims at promoting supported independent living as an alternative care practice for unaccompanied minors, focused on minors aged between 15 and 18 years old. Good practices regarding this type of care will be collected, exchanged and disseminated lead- ing to the creation of a guide for the efficient provision of care to unaccompanied minors. The guide will be tested in the field by professionals, evaluated through follow-up and refined at the end of project.

Unaccompanied minors aged 15-18 are the main beneficiaries of the project receiving support services for the development of specific career skills. The project will also develop and imple- ment capacity building activities for professionals in the field of child protection and alternative care. Finally, it will design and implement a specific mentoring scheme in order to facilitate the integration process of unaccompanied minors in new contexts and societies.

The project is expected to have a high impact both in short and long term. In the short term, 200 minors 15-18 years old are expected to benefit along with more than 500 child protection pro- fessionals and professionals who work with unaccompanied children in the participating coun- tries. In the long term, the project is expected to positively influence EU Member States towards adopting alternative care practices by offering different pathways which do not lead to institu- tionalization.

Project Activities

The basic activities of the PROUD project are as follows:

Analysis of the integration context for unaccompanied minors in the participating countries.

 

The analysis focuses on the integration context for unaccompanied minors in each par- ticipating country (Greece, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands) in terms of available integration instruments, integration praxis and results, policies, approaches and practic- es applied. More specifically, national integration strategies for unaccompanied migrant minors and policy program structures along with the legal framework are analyzed in each participating country in order to identify the key features and focus areas for the project’s intervention. The analysis contains the findings from a thorough bibliographi- cal research as well as from interviews with representatives of National and Local Authorities responsible for integration policies and other experts and stakeholders.

Assessment of integration services provided to unaccompanied minors in the participating countries.

The assessment identifies and analyzes the existing obstacles that unaccompanied minors face while integrating into the participating countries’ societies in terms of edu- cation, employment and vocational training as well as the challenges faced by relevant stakeholders who provide integration services. The assessment is based on the results of the interviews with crucial stakeholders, such as policy makers in the field of social integration, professionals working with unaccompanied children and unaccompanied minors who have experienced alternative care services as well as unaccompanied minors not living in Supported Independent Living structures.

Development of a Guide for alternative care professionals.

The Guide focuses on providing useful and detailed information on the supported inde- pendent living scheme, as an alternative to institutional care for unaccompanied minors. The Guide’s aim is to assist professionals working with children that are transitioning from institutional to community-based care on the best ways to support these children during this transition. The contents of the Guide are initially based on the findings of a European expert meeting, organized by project partners and will be later modified and readjusted towards the end of the project, so as to include comments, feedback and input by relevant stakeholders and grass root professionals.

Training seminars for professionals who work with unaccompanied children.

Professionals working with unaccompanied children who do not have extensive expe- rience in the supported independent living scheme will have the opportunity to partici- pate in a specialized training seminar whose aim is to provide all necessary informa- tion related to this scheme as well as to exchange good practices and know-how. Experts in the field of alternative care provision and unaccompanied minors will undertake the training of fifteen (15) professionals who work with unaccompanied children, with an additional aim to provide evaluation on the Guide.

Training sessions for minors.

A total number of fifty (50) unaccompanied minors will participate in training sessions focused on career orientation and employment in the four participating countries. The individual training sessions will aim at the minors acquiring skills, increasing their self-confidence and the possibility of securing quality employment. Issues such as the development of a CV and communication with employers will be addressed during the training sessions.

Mentoring programme.

Taking into account the context in each country including the opportunities and obsta- cles for integration, a mentoring programme will be developed and piloted focusing on the active engagement of selected individuals from the local societies. The mentors will empower the participating minors (the “mentees”) by providing access to knowledge and information about their options and rights always, taking into account the best interests of each minor. The mentoring programme will include recruitment activities for the selection of willing and skillful adults to become mentors, training activities for the project mentors and matching activities, when mentors and mentees form the mentor- ing pairs. After these initial activities mentors and mentees will begin their mentoring relationship aiming at the best support of unaccompanied minors during their transition from care and childhood to independence and adulthood.

Get Involved!

The PROUD project aspires to make a difference in the integration process of all unaccompa- nied minors across Europe, by providing alternative solutions for their social inclusion and by offering the means to combat their institutionalization.

This ambitious aspiration starts with the four participating countries (Greece, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands) and aims to change the paradigm in all EU countries where unaccompanied minors reside- or sometimes struggle - in care institutions, getting prepared for their independent life after care.

In order to realize this aspiration, which will benefit both the minors and the hosting societies, the PROUD project needs your involvement and support.

  • Are you a professional working with unaccompanied minors?
  • Are you involved in the care system of your country?
  • Are you a member of an NGO or a public authority dealing with issues related to the social inclusion of unaccompanied children?
  • Are you interested in becoming a mentor for these children and guiding them towards adult- hood and independence?
  • Are you a stakeholder or a practitioner in the field of alternative care and social inclusion who would like to share your views on the current situation?

If YES, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in the project. You could:

  • Be a part of the research activities and provide us with your thoughts on the integration services provided to unaccompanied minors in your country
  • Share your educational needs on the deinstitutionalization process of unaccompanied minors
  • Participate in the project’s training activities on alternative care practices, such as the Supported Independent Living scheme
  • Become a mentor for one of the two hundred minors participating in the project to support their integration path, with a special focus on their employment opportunities.

Complex problems need bold solutions. You can make the difference!

Find out more about the project and the different ways you could support its goals at www.- careforminors.com

       

       

The content of this newsletter represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

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