Foto minors leaflet 1

Therapeutic foster care for unaccompanied minors and their foster families… innovative work to do!

Not only adults and families with children try to reach Europe to start a better life but also youngsters and even children arrive in Europe without the guidance of a parent. Now more than ever with the tragic and ongoing war in Ukraine! This leads to a growing number of unaccompanied minors fleeing for conflict or unacceptable living conditions.Foster care services report an enormous need to offer therapeutic ‘healing and development oriented’ care for these youngsters and the foster families that are taking care of them. Furthermore, national authorities are extremely challenged on how these unaccompanied minor refugees (UMR) have to be taken care of, according to national and international standards of child care and children's rights.

In the project ‘Therapeutic foster care for unaccompanied minors and their foster families’ (in short: FORM), 6 partner from Belgium (Odisee University of Applied Sciences, Brussels; Foster care East Flanders, Ghent), Germany (University of Kassel), Italy (Salesiani Per Il Sociale, Rome; ENSA European Network for Social Authorities, Veneto/Brussels) and Cyprus (Hope For Children Policy Center, Nicosia) join efforts to bring together knowledge and experiences for empowerment and social inclusion of UMR and their Foster Families.

The main outcomes to be shared are:

  • A literature review and 'knowledge base and on research and best practices in the field of foster care for unaccompanied minors refugees on which the model and the training will be based on:
  • A guidance model - to be used by professional foster care workers - for the delivery of therapeutic care for minor refugees and their foster families; it will be based on research, be very practice oriented, and shared with all foster care actors in the EU;
  • A training in exile on this model, addressed to professional foster care workers;
  • Policy and implementation recommendations.

The project has started in February 2022 and runs over 3 years. Odisee will lead and coordinate all activities, University of Kassel will develop the guidance model and the training, the 3 foster care partners, Foster care East Flanders, Salesiani Per Il Sociale and "Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center, will run pilots to test the proposed guidance model and the training and ENSA will produce recommendations for foster care services and policy makers on the implementation. The EU-wide networks ENSA and the Youth Care Platform (coordinated by Odisee) will disseminate all project outcomes. A first project meeting took place already at the beginning of March in Ghent. All partners in this project are fully committed to the project aims and results.We hope to inform you in next newsletters on our achievements.


Jos Sterckx

Share on Linkedin Share on Twitter