Defence for Children International-Italy launched on 1 December 2016 a new project titled “ELFO – Training for guardians and foster families for children and youth deprived of parental care “.
The project, lasting 24 months and co-financed by the European Union,involves DCI’s national section in Spain and partner organisations in Greece, Portugal and Bulgaria.
It seeks out to foster the protection of minors deprived or separated from their families through the training of guardians and foster parents who assume parental roles. Individuals taking up such responsibility are in fact often not adequately trained, leaving children exposed to potential abuses.
The overall scope is thus to enhance the guardians’ and the foster parents’ skills and therefore enact the United Nations Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children which state that
“no child should be without the support and protection of a legal guardian”, and that “Persons exercising such legal responsibility should [..]receive appropriate training and professional support in this regard. They should be in a position to make independent and impartial decisions that are in the best interests of the children concerned and that promote and safeguard each child’s welfare. “
The project will be developed through the following actions:
- Strengthening the skills and training of guardians and foster parents through the organization of 12 training cycles for relevant citizens and institutional representatives
- Launching support mechanisms and accompanying measures for such persons while they perform their role (supervision meetings, establishment of a permanent desk)
- Conducting awareness raising activities on the issue in the 5 European countries
Read more about the project here.