First meeting: Brussels (Belgium), January, 2013
During the 1st project meeting, which took place in Brussels between the 22-23 of January, partners discussed the main administrative and financial issues governing the management of the project; at the same time partners, meeting as a group for the first time, were able to share and exchange views as they began the important task of thinking through the detail of the structure and outcomes for forthcoming activities, in particular for the framework of the research workstream.
Second meeting: Sofia (Bulgaria), July, 2013
The first day started with a desk analysis of four countries: the UK, Hungary, Bulgary and Italy, presented by the teams of experts of each nation, who answered the queries, comments and suggestions of the rest of partners regarding the analysis and how to address future research on the subject matter.
Then, Cédric Foussard, the IJJO Director of International Affairs, made a presentation comparing the different juvenile justice systems in Europe, with a special emphasis on alternative care, stressing also the challenges derived from the different minimum age of criminal responsibility in different European countries.
Finally, the partners discussed the best way to involve young people in their research for the project. The focus group should include young people at age 10-18, from different geographical locations and from different jurisdictional systems, as there is a wide range of services and care experiences.
On the second day, the partners outlined the next steps of the project, mainly focusing on the following research phase.
Third meeting: London (UK) November, 2013
During this 3rd meeting the IJJO presented the first outputs of a European comparative research concerning the existence of different fostering programme initiatives as an alternative to sanction for children waiting for their trial or for those already sentenced. The meeting offers the opportunity to debate with the youth offending service as well as foster carers providing remand fostering and finally young people.
The results obtained by the IJJO in this research, presented at the meeting by the IJJO's director of International Affairs, Cédric Foussard, give a European overview of the measures taken to prevent and/or answer child crime and to understand the main challenges, benefits and concerns of fostering as an alternative measure to child deprivation of liberty.
Fourth meeting: Lecce (Italy), June, 2014
The main objective of this meeting was to present an update of the development of the National Policy Guidelines and the National reports provided by the project partners and to exchange on key messages arising from the qualitative researches.
Eurochild and the IJJO have presented a draft outline of their joined article “Promoting alternatives to detention for children in conflict with the law – a European overview” which will be included in the final publication of the project. The IJJO, represented by its policy officer on European Affairs, Adélaïde Vanhove, also presented an update of a European survey and 24 national reports that it is coordinating in the framework of this project and that will lead to a final publication and a comparative analysis on ‘Alternatives to Custody for Young Offenders and the Influence of Foster Care in European Juvenile Justice’.
On the afternoon, a round table entitled “Foster care development: what has to be changed and what is needed to change?” took place with all the participants of the project. This led to an open discussion chaired by the project external expert and formally senior Government official, Mr. Bruce Clark on the necessary developments needed to identify minimum quality standards for an European good practice model and the potential role of foster care in the juvenile justice systems.
During the second day of the meeting, Italian representatives from the Judiciary sector (Ms. Maria Rita Verardo, President of Juvenil Court in Lecce, Mr. Franco Occhiogrosso, President of Juvenil Court in Bari and Ms. Francesca Perrini, Centre for Juvenile Justice, Bari) and the civil society (Mr. Luigi Russo, Centro Educativo Ambarabà, Lecce) were invited to present and discuss on the situation of alternatives to detention and foster care programmes for young offenders in their region.
Final conference – Brussels (Belgium), December, 2014