The project aimed to ensure that the rights of young people in alternative care are respected and that they are prepared for an independent life. Led by SOS Children's Villages International and supported by associate partnership of Eurochild, the project built on the experience of 'Training of Care Professionals', and specifically addressed the rights and needs of young people on their way to adulthood and independence.

The project was carried out in cooperation with SOS Children’s Villages’ national associations in Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain, as well as experts from CELCIS and Eurochild.

Key outcomes

  • A ‘Prepare for Leaving Care Practice Guidance’ has been developed, including a training methodology and manual based on evidence collected in five EU countries. The Practice Guidance provides practical guidance to care professionals and a range of front line practitioners. The main focus is on how to best plan the transition to independence with and for young people and support them both during and after the leaving care process.
  • Through a ‘train the trainers’ approach, 14 master trainers have been empowered to apply the developed tools and methodology widely in all five participating countries.
  • To date, 433 care professionals have received training on how to embed a child rights based approach into their daily work.
  • National policy guidelines are elaborated to raise awareness and push for the development of a comprehensive Leaving Care Framework. Based on learnings from project activities, these guidelines define how training can be integrated into existing frameworks.

    Participation of young experts

    The participation of young people with first-hand experience in alternative care has been central to the success of this project. Young experts, aged 16-27, from all five participating countries have provided input throughout all activities, drawing on their personal experience and the challenges they have encountered when they got ready to leave care.

    This two-year project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union (2017-2018).

    Please also see the Leaving Care project, which further contributed to the capacity building of a range of care professionals and young people with care experience in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Italy and Romania.