Young people in alternative care need adequate support when they reach adulthood and get ready to start independent lives. Care professionals play a key role in empowering young people for their futures. The two-year project ‘Prepare for Leaving Care – A Child Protection System that Works for Professionals and Young People’ aims to help build the capacities of care professionals so they can better integrate a child rights approach into their work.

The project aims to ensure that the rights of young people in alternative care are respected and that they are prepared for an independent life. Led by SOS Children's Villages International and supported by associate partnership of Eurochild, the project builds on the experience of 'Training of Care Professionals', and specifically addresses the rights and needs of young people on their way to adulthood and independence.

The project is carried out in cooperation with SOS Children’s Villages’ national associations in Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain, as well as experts from CELCIS and Eurochild.

Key expected outcomes

  • A ‘Leaving Care Toolkit’ is developed, including a training methodology and manual based on evidence collected in five EU countries. The toolkit will aim to provide practical guidance to care professionals and a range of front line practitioners. The main focus will be on how to best plan the transition to independence with and for young people and support them during and after the leaving care process.
     

  • Through a ‘train the trainers’ approach, master trainers are empowered to apply the developed tools and methodology widely in all five participating countries.
     

  • 400 care professionals receive training on how to embed a child rights based approach into their daily work.
     

  • National policy guidelines are elaborated to raise awareness and push for the development of a comprehensive Leaving Care Framework. Based on learnings from project activities, these guidelines will define how training can be integrated into existing frameworks.

Participation of young experts

The participation of young people with first-hand experience in alternative care is central to the success of this project. Young experts, aged 16-27, from all five participating countries are providing input throughout all activities, drawing on their personal experience and the challenges they have encountered when they got ready to leave care.

 

 This two-year project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union (2017-2018).