Children in Alternative Care- Eurochild’s achievements in 2022
More than 850,000 children are deprived of parental care in Europe, according to our research. Eurochild advocates for prioritising family-based care for children in the care system, and influences policies at the EU level (for instance around the Child Guarantee, the European Semester and Recovery and Resilience Facility), and programmes (European Social Fund+, the European Regional Development Fund, and the Common funding Regulation) to ensure these priorities are embedded across the EU. We also support our members’ work to ensure these priorities at national level.
Our achievements in 2022:
- Until March 2022, Eurochild co-chaired the European Expert Group on the transition from institutional to community & family-based care (EEG), to coordinate civil society action at EU level. In 2022, the EEG contributed to the EU Guidance on Independent Living and Inclusion in the Community, and published country factsheets analysing the National Recovery and Resilience Plans and progress on deinstitutionalisation in 13 countries.
- Eurochild completed our partnership with the Martin James Foundation after three years of working together to influence EU policy and campaign with our members for family-based care.
- Eurochild has provided technical assistance and sub-grants to our members in Croatia, Greece, Poland, and Turkey, helping our members to train prospective parents and professionals to understand the specific needs of children in alternative care.
- Our conference A way forward towards family-based care highlighted promising practices in Greece and Turkey supporting the transition to family- and community-based care.
- Eurochild hosted capacity-building webinars to shed light on good practices on social housing for young people ageing out of alternative care, children with disabilities in foster care, and children in alternative care displaced from Ukraine.
- We launched the second phase of the DataCare project with UNICEF working in four countries – France, Ireland, Portugal and Romania - and with the EU to ensure Child Guarantee National Action Plans account for children in alternative care.
- Eurochild presented results from the project to inform international data strengthening efforts for child protection at the TransMonEE meeting in Turkey and at the International Conference on Childhood and Adolescence in Portugal.
- Our recommendations also informed international recommendations for National Statistical Offices to improve data collection for children in alternative care.
- Eurochild also participated in a Council of Europe hearing in Dublin to inform the Council’s new legal tool aimed at ensuring the best interests of children in alternative care.
- We promoted family-based care for orphans in Ukraine. We shared how we are working in Ukraine with social workers from the City Council of Lviv with ISFW Europe as part of Ukraine’s 2022 Adoption Day. In Poland, we worked with Happy Kids Foundation and the Polish Foster Care Coalition to support their efforts to provide children arriving from institutions with the quality community- and family-based care they deserve.
- Our emergency mapping with UNICEF on children in alternative care and unaccompanied and separated children displaced from Ukraine in 13 countries informed EU Guidance on coordinating registration and provision of care, the Government of Ukraine, and international civil society-issued Key considerations and recommendations for children’s care in Ukraine and resulting from the invasion.
- We also provided key intelligence to a Reuters’ investigation of the situation of children evacuated from orphanages in Ukraine using findings from the DataCare project.
Photo: © UNICEF/UNI114845 (DataCare Report)