Foster Care Programme is a “Pilot Programme regarding Foster Care for Unaccompanied Minors, Asylum seekers/beneficiaries of international protection”. The Programme, started in December 2016 and co-funded by the Ministry of Interior's European Funds Unit (Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund), has the aim to recruit, train, and assess potential foster parents to undertake the care of unaccompanied minors in need of international protection.
Specifically, the objective is to promote the institution of foster care through the identification, evaluation, training and long term observation/monitoring and support of candidate foster parents. The Programme is implemented in cooperation with the Social Welfare Services which are the legal guardians of the unaccompanied minors in Cyprus, and as such are in charge of placing the unaccompanied minors in approved foster families. It is worth noting that the staff of the Programme is comprised of specialized professionals, registered psychologists and social workers.
This Programme is a ground-breaking and innovative step taken by Cyprus towards the effective protection, care and reinstatement of unaccompanied minors that are either asylum seekers or international protection beneficiaries in the framework of the foster family institution.
- INTEGRA. “Multidisciplinary Mentorship program to support the entrepreneurship of children in care and young care-leavers”
The latest approved INTEGRA Project aims at raising awareness and building capacity of professionals through a holistic combination of high quality professional practices, innovative framework of working, as well as empowering vulnerable young people who are at varying stages in their process of leaving care. Specifically, the project will address capacity building of professionals working for and with children in protecting their rights through a long-term Multidisciplinary Mentorship program in order to:
- Understand children’s entrepreneurship skills and effectively provide social and entrepreneurial support to children in care and young care-leavers;
- Empowering children in care and care-leavers in the context of their transition to independence through the creation of “Children in Care Consultancy Groups”;
- Establishing internship protocols in collaboration with job management centers and educators to allow the minors to learn through experience (Vocational Educational and Training - VET system) before leaving the care system.
In particular, the mentorship process is rooted in the participatory approach within the “one-stop-shop” dynamic practice where the main care givers will be equipped as Leaving Care Mentor (LCM) profile.