Eurochild joins hands with SOS Children`s Villages International, Council of Europe and 40 national partners to improve training of professionals working with children in care in 8 European countries.

'Training Professionals Working with Children in Care' is a two-year partnership (2015-2016) led by SOS Children’s Villages International, together with Eurochild, the Council of Europe, and partners and national associations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Hungary and Romania.

Children living in alternative care require trained professionals who can help improve their lives during and after leaving care. This relationship between care professionals and children in care is the focus of this project.

The project aims to ensure that the rights of children and young people living in care are met while being in care and during their transition to an independent life. The project will provide care professionals with training on how to apply a child rights-based approach to their work.

The project is steered by National Steering Groups (NSGs) in each of the eight countries. More than 40 different organisations (Ombudspersons, Ministries, local authorities, NGOs, UNICEF, and Universities) are involved via the NSGs and the national implementation of the activities. Young people with care experiences are members of the NSGs as well, and in four out of the eight countries are directly involved in shaping the project tools and delivery of activities.

The main activities of the project are:

  • Development of a handbook for the training of care professionals. This will be followed by an international training of trainers in late 2015, where two trainers per country will be trained during a 3-days workshop conducted by a team of international experts.

  • Training of 100 care professionals in each country with a total of about 800 care professionals learning how to apply and respect children’s rights in their work with children and young people in care. These training sessions will take place in early 2016.

  • Development of a set of European Recommendations on the training of care professionals and their dissemination through national and international conferences.

  • National and international advocacy for promotion of initial and continuing training of care profesionals, focused on their contribution to promote and protect children’s rights in their work.

Young people with care experience are involved in various roles (as members of the National Steering Groups, members of the European Expert Group or as consultative partners at national level) in all the activities mentioned above.

The project will culminate with an international conference in November 2016 in Paris. This conference will mark the launch of the European recommendations, key findings of the project activities and the handbook based on over 800 individual experiences should inspire decision makers to setup new benchmarks for training care professionals and thereby improve the quality of care children can enjoy.

 

This project is co-funded by the EU’s Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.