Care Leavers’ network Europe Recommendations
178 care leavers, from 7 different countries, worked on this project. 35 of us met on Zagreb to work on this recommendation.
To make these 10 recommendations every country worked on them, then in group we classified the recommendation (ex. health, financial…) and then we wrote these 10 recommendations to find a standard that we would like to become real in every European country for children in care and leaving care.
- All the rights (CRC) need to become real for EVERY child (even for children in care) in every country of Europe. Every child in care should have the right to be informed, listened and to participate in decisions affecting his/her life.
- Every child in care, even if they have disabilities, is entitled to a choice between vocational education and university, according to the child’s dreams. Every child has the right to a career advisor/work coach before and during employment.
- Countries should provide free and available medical care for care leavers. Treatments like mental/physical abuse, use of drugs should be banned in all European countries. Living with trauma is a lifetime event: psychological support should be available and free for entire lifetime.
- All the process of entering and living in the care system across Europe should encourage, when possible, but never force, relationships with the birth-family: ensuring to grow up with siblings, gradual separation from the biological family with appropriate contact sessions, and aid to the family. It is also important to build strong relationships with social workers/educators, this is why countries should guarantee their stability.
- Free legal support should be available for care leavers, especially regarding documents and identity. Each country should simplify the bureaucracy and a free access to a juridical help to get the documents as soon as possible. Furthermore, getting the document could allow the young people to move in Europe as they desire, to accomplish their dreams without any restriction. Care leavers personal data, such as educational or health information, should be available for care leavers remain within the care system and be used by the government, in an anonymous way, in order to improve the care system.
- For each child in care, some financial security and access to savings should be provided when they are in care and after. Taxes and fees exemption should also be ensured by all European countries. All countries should help NGOs with financial support to work with the care leavers and professionals.
- Safe and secure accommodation should be ensured after care, when there are no other options.
- The preparation for autonomy should start as soon as each individual is ready for it. Every country should have a national after care program that can be adjusted on the specific needs of every care leaver, even if unaccompanied minor. This program should give the opportunity to become autonomous within 26 years and with all needed supports (financial, psychological…).
- Trainings should be compulsory and regular on trauma attachment, mental health and rights of the children for professionals, foster carers and children in care. These trainings should be carried out by professionals and care experienced people.
- Every country should have policies on childhood. Politicians responsible for there should meet regularly with representatives of children in care and care leavers. Every State should raise awareness to break the STIGMA against the young people in care.
These raccomandations were drafted by 178 care leavers from seven different European countries and reviewed by:
Then validated by:
Peter, IE (leader)