A snapshot on children in alternative care in Europe
Eurochild featured in the European Journal of Parental Imprisonment with an article on the latest developments on children growing up in alternative care
Eurochild member, Children of Prisoners Europe (COPE), just released their latest edition of the European Journal of Parental Imprisonment.
The latest edition examines the rights of the child at the intersection of alternative care and parental imprisonment, featuring an article by Zuzana Konradova and Ciaran O’Donnell from the Eurochild Secretariat. Our article summarises the latest data on the situation for children growing up in poverty or social exclusion, which has worsened during the past two years of pandemic and crisis.
There are still approximately 18 million children at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Europe and children belonging to this group have a higher likelihood of entering the alternative care system.
The latest findings from our DataCare project with UNICEF suggest there are almost 900,000 children are in alternative care in the EU and the United Kingdom and this number is likely to continue growing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, supporting children displaced from the invasion of Ukraine also presents the European child protection systems with a huge challenge.
Our article looks at how Eurochild works with the EU, Member States and our members to improve the lives of children in alternative care:
- With more than fifty members across twenty-five countries, we advocate for ending institutional care.
- We hold decision-makers to account to their commitments to end institutional care and we work in coalitions with other civil society allies, such as the European Expert Group on transition from institutional to community-based care.
- We shine the spotlight on the lived realities for children in alternative care and on our members’ national work to improve their lives.
- We build evidence to better capture the lived experiences of children in alternative care through filling complex and oft-patchy data gaps through our DataCare work.
The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the living conditions of many families already struggling to make ends meet. It is therefore crucial to support these families with adequate services that keep families together.
An annual publication, the European Journal of Parental Imprisonment seeks to broaden the study of issues relevant to children affected by parental incarceration and meet a burgeoning interest in the development, implementation and evolution of entitlements, policies and practices that promote their well-being.
This latest number also features other insightful perspectives from President of COPE Rachel Brett, Ben Raikes from the University of Huddersfield, Judge Silvia Vega from Buenos Aires’ Federal Court of Appeals of San Martín, and Laurel Townhead from the Quaker United Nations Office.