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E-round table to improve care for migrant minors in Europe

Last week Reach for Change arranged the first of 7 E-round table sessions during the fall, with the focus on improving alternative forms of care for migrant minors in Europe. This initiative is a part of the project EPIC “European Practices for Integration and Care. Improving alternative forms of care for unaccompanied migrant children''. Participants at the round table were foster care experts, social workers, legal counsels, volunteer program coordinators, public authorities and other stakeholders within the area. The focus of the dialogue was around sustainable integration in the labor market. 

The importance of taking action to provide more effective support for migrant minors is crucial, with Europe facing a constant challenge in the past few years to ensure an effective protection of all migrant minors. In just 2017, European countries recorded 209,756 asylum claims by children, representing 30% of all asylum seekers.

Reach for Change, together with 8 other organisations: Fondazione l Albero Della Vita onlus (Italy), Comune di Palermo (Italy), Accem (Spain), Organizace Pro Pomoc Uprchlikum Zs  (Czech Republic), Fondazione Caritas Ambrosiana (Italy), Farsi Prossimo Onlus Società Cooperativa Sociale (Italy), Comune di Macerata (Italy), Centro Informazione Documentazionee Iniziativa Per Lo Sviluppo - C.I.D.I.S. - Onlus (Italy) are implementing the Project EPIC, with co-funding by the EU Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, Migration and Security Funds. The project is recognized as the most viable option for quality integration for migrant minors and for the whole society.

The project has 3 objectives:
1. To encourage the exchange of good practices and methodologies for alternative forms of care for migrant minors 
2. To enhance key actors’ competences and information for the expansion of care service 
3. To improve the effectiveness and quality of the services offered to migrant minors   

As part of the project, the E-round table sessions will be carried out as an exchange of good practices and quality assessments of local care systems. In the first session hosted by Reach for Change, the team shared the experience and knowledge on Innovation for Integration Innovation for Integration , a thematic initiative in Sweden during 2016-2018. The initiative aimed to fund and capacity build social ventures working to improve the lives of unaccompanied and newly arrived minors. The best practice case was presented by the guest speaker Frida Olsson from Right to Play, one of Reach for Change’s social entrepreneurs who introduced their organization and learnings on developing effective methods for integrating unaccompanied youth into the Swedish labour market.

Key takeaways from the session:
1.  It is important to put the effort and time to make the right match between employers and youth migrants. 
2. Active involvement of social entrepreneurs is valuable to change the conditions for migrant children and youth - the successful practice can be transferred into other organisations.
3. Youth involvement in the program development and impact measurement is key. 

To find out more about EPIC or Reach for Change work with unaccompanied and newly arrived youth please contact: Nicklas Wallberg, Country Manager Sweden, [email protected]  

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