Foto minors leaflet 1

The kick-off meeting, 7-8 March 2022, Ghent (BE)

The meeting took place in the city of Ghent (Belgium). The Flemish partner Pleegzorg Oost-Vlaanderen organised the meeting with the supervision of Odisee and in collaboration with all project partners.

The main objectives of the meeting were, after Covid-19, to:

  • meet in person;
  • exchange information and experiences about the target group Unaccompanied refugee minors and their hosting families in foster care) and about guidance models (for the target group and on foster care guidance);
  • establish a sufficient knowledge around the administrative and financial aspects of the project and the work method thereof;
  • discuss the details of the following steps and stages within the project.

Day One- 7th March, 2022

On the first day, partners met at the Clemenspoort Overwale in Ghent. It was the occasion to focus on the foster care system in Flanders with inputs given by care workers of Pleegzorg Oost-Vlaanderen Emel Tuncel and Eyana Abboud. In addition, a key point by Odisee researcher Katja Fournier was a “Literature and practice review” in the field of foster care for Unaccompanied minors refugees on which the FORM model and the training to be developed will be based on. The first day ended with a meeting with Bart Claes, project manager of EPOS vzw (National Agency Erasmus+) and Tanja Nuelant, director of the Social Work Department Odisee.

Day Two- 8th March, 2022

The second day began at the Odisee Technology Campus in Ghent where Karl Brabants, manager of aid services and outreach presented the vision of the NGO Pleegzorg Oost-Vlaanderen and the Flemish welfare policies regarding the target group. Later, there were four workshops, including a detailed explanation of the most essential work forms and approaches in Pleegzorg Oost-Vlaanderen, given by several foster care workers of the same organisation. These workshops dealt with:

  • preparative work in foster care by Ineke Debacker;
  • different modules of therapeutic foster care in East Flanders by Céline Staïesse;
  • culture-sensitive approach in foster care Pleegzorg by Eyana Abboud;
  • unaccompanied refugee minors in foster care Pleegzorg by Emel Tuncel.

An interesting approach consisted in “Speed-dates” with a dialogue between the partners and foster care witnesses sharing their experiences with the target group.

Overall, this first kick-off meeting was a large success. Informative discussions were held, and partners were impressed with the work of other partners dealing with Unaccompanied Refugee Minors and their foster families. The meeting was a special moment for bringing together knowledge and experiences in this context and providing the basis to work out a model for the delivery of therapeutic care that can be shared with all foster care actors in the EU.

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