SAFE – Supporting un-Accompanied children with Family-based care and Enhanced protection

SAFE aims to enhance family-based care to promote welfare and ensure protection of unaccompanied children.

Grant Agreement Number: 764266

Funded by: REC        Duration: 01/11/2017-31/10/2019


SAFE Project logo


The number of unaccompanied children arriving in the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Denmark has risen significantly in the last few years. Specifically in Greece, since 2015, 37% of all minors who arrive per year are unaccompanied.

Several studies have shown that unaccompanied minors have high levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms (around 50% in these samples). This percentage was lower for young people living with family and for unaccompanied young people living in foster care compared to those living in group houses or independently.

While there are differences in the systems and processes involved in supporting unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Denmark, there are common challenges that can be addressed through a transnational approach. These challenges are: limited knowledge and capacity among professionals and practitioners, little knowledge among foster carers and family-based carers as to how to support the unaccompanied children in their care, and lack of public and policymaker awareness of the challenges.


SAFE aims to enhance family-based care to promote welfare and ensure protection of unaccompanied children in the UK, Greece, Denmark and Cyprus.


SAFE e-learning courses aim to enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals and family-based carers (foster carers and kinship carers) who provide care and support to unaccompanied and separated children in Europe.

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SAFE training guides (handbooks) are to equip care professionals and family-based carers with the necessary knowledge and tools and enable them to provide better support and meet the needs of unaccompanied and separated children across UK, Denmark, Greece and Cyprus. The training guides (handbooks) are structured to offer information on SAFE training modules, current country-specific processes, challenges and guidelines for those who work with these children as well as additional tips and tools on how to facilitate future trainings.

Read the Handbook for Professionals in Greece

The online trainings were complemented by face to face training in Denmark and Greece. In Denmark, the training was provided to family carers from reception asylum centers and Dublin families. In Greece, the training was provided to future foster carers on supporting unaccompanied children.

A range of awareness raising and policy advocacy techniques were used, such as policy recommendation to inform and advocate with government, seminars with policy makers and info days for relevant sector officials, transnational conference, social media campaigns and animated videos developed by unaccompanied children.

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
CARDET (Cyprus)
British Red Cross (UK)
Danish Red Cross (Denmark)

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