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Creating Care

Creating Safe Environments for Children in need of Foster Care

 

Creating Care aims to invest in the training and support of professionals and foster care families, and address the shortcomings in terms of support offered to foster families after the fostering process, and consequently to contribute to the process of deinstitutionalization.

Grant Agreement Number: KA220-ADU-CCFCCA61

Funded by: Erasmus+        Duration: 01/11/2021 – 01/11/2024


Challenge

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children should be provided with adequate living conditions for their physical, social, and mental development, in a positive family environment. Despite residential care measures being initially created to protect and provide for the needs of children, research has shown that institutional care has a negative impact on psychosocial development (OHCHR, 2011) and may be particularly dangerous for small children (UNICEF, 2011).

Also, foster care has a positive impact on the children such as the recovery of language, attachment, psychological adjustment, recovery of behavioral problems and symptoms of posttraumatic stress, academic performance, and employability (e.g., Nelson, Fox, & Zeanah, 2014; Ahmad et al., 2005). In the past decade, Europe has followed a policy of deinstitutionalization and the European Commission’s recommendation is to eradicate institutions for children, focusing on foster care measures (European Commission, 2013), especially in the case of children between 0 and 3 years old and children with fragile life paths (Eurochild, 2010).

In the light of the recommendation toward deinstitutionalization and the increased number of children living in residential institutions especially the unaccompanied children in Europe, there is a strong need to prepare and enable professionals on how to better deal, recruit and communicate with foster families considering their needs and the reality of the unaccompanied children.

Innovation

Creating Care aims to involve and profile foster care parents and unaccompanied children while building a training course for professionals to improve recruitment and communication skills as a step towards a higher number of unaccompanied children in foster care as a strategy for deinstitutionalization.

Action

The development of this tool is innovative in the way that the information both from the desk research and from the results of the focus group will be a starting point for not only engaging the professionals in the building of a new approach to recruiting foster families that match the foster care system reality but also to the crafting of the framework of a training course adjusted to the professionals’ needs.

To guarantee the success of the recruitment process of foster families, we will build a profile of foster care families, complemented by the input of the unaccompanied children, across partner countries, in terms of their common characteristics.

The tool will include information that is imperative to be widespread to families about the child welfare system, their rights, and responsibilities, foster care in Europe and the partners’ countries in terms of legislation, criteria to become foster parents, benefits of becoming foster families, needs of children in care, etc, and will provide practical strategies for the professionals to demystify myths around foster care.

We will design a new training course to help professionals in the foster care system improve their communication and recruiting skills, when interacting with parents opened to fostering unaccompanied children.

The application will include essential information in terms of nearby services that could support foster families after fostering a child and will be available in 8 languages.

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European Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Amadora Inova
(Portugal)
Aproximar Cooperativa De Solidariedade Social (Portugal)
Compass – Beratung,
Begleitung und
Training
Gemeinnützige GmbH
(Austria)
Asociatia European Association for Social Innovation (Romania)
Afeji Hauts De France
(France)
Mise HERo s.r.o.
(Austria)
San Giuseppe Onlus
(Italy)
Universitet Innsbruck – Coordinator
(Germany)

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