The Project Net for U
What are the objectives of the project Net for U?
The main goal of the project is to define an effective multidimensional intervention programme aimed at improving the integration of unaccompanied foreign children, ensuring their needs and interests. One of the outcomes of the project is to strength both the individual social networks of unaccompanied children and new form of cooperation within and between services and stakeholders. Unaccompanied Children are a target at high risk of social exclusion and with specific needs which must be regularly reviewed (with a precise attention also to those minors requiring special care, protection or treatment for their physical or mental health).
For these main reasons the primary purposes of the project are:
- to elaborate a knowledge-based intervention model to improve helpful practices both of on going special needs assessment (in order to elaborate coherent life-project for each child) and common family tracing procedures (in order to map familiar relationships – unless this is contrary to the child’s best interest - as possible emotional and physical care resources to sustain positive paths and wellbeing and/or to promote family reunification);
- to provide children with appropriate opportunities of training and education, social and leisure activities, participation in cultural life of the context where they live, increasing the opportunities of interaction with their peers and adults of the host society, including with those belonging to the same national or cultural group in order to provide occasions for the children to live their own culture, ensuring the respect of diversity together with the promotion of the integration in the collective life:
- to build a permanent transnational cooperation within professionals, stakeholders, social workers and all other figures who work with unaccompanied children to define international measures, to share positive practices concerning the integration trough individualised care plans to respond appropriately to their special needs.
The key outputs of NET FOR U project are:
- the Toolkit for a common approach to special needs assessment and family tracing;
- the Intervention Manual to build individualised programmes targeted to children (covering different areas: education, labour, family relationship, social and leisure);
- the Guidelines document for the establishment of a permanent network (NET FORUm) for a cooperative strategy between organizations and stakeholders at local, national and international level to address the specific and common challenges.
Beneficiaries and connected actions
Direct beneficiaries - Young TCN-Third Country Nationals unaccompanied children (about 40 per country, 240 on the whole) separated from both parents or from their ‘primary’ legal or customary caregiver who stay in the country under the supervision of the host state without undergoing asylum procedures and that are in situations of vulnerability and exposed to multiple risks. The beneficiaries will involved trough assessment of their needs and family tracing pilot experimentation, the co-definition of their life-project, the participation to language courses (n. 2 per country), workshops (2 per country) and exchange events (2 per country) and evaluation of the support received. Specific attention will be paid to the aspects of vulnerability (physical and psychological) and to the cultural, ethnic, religious diversity of the target. The experience of the partners in daily work with the target will guarantee the required awareness of the best interest and the rights of the child. The intervention experimentation is aimed at creating favourable conditions for minors’ educational, social and cultural participation and empowering their capacities.
Stakeholders - Principal services providers targeted to TCN unaccompanied children and TCN youngster, NGO’s and association working with the target, training professionals, social workers, psychologists, judicial authority, TCN migrants’ associations will be involved several time in NET FOR U activities at national and transnational level.
According with the long term experience of the project partners and to the literature and guidelines on the topic elaborated by different international and European institutions, different professional profiles will be engaged in order to guarantee an integrated and multidisciplinary approach and to foster a rich mutual learning process. These persons will be involved at different stages, such as: interviews during the first months; cooperation for a co-definition of Life-projects; conduction of training courses and workshops; participation to the meeting aimed at create “local networks” on the topic.
Other actors – Part of the NET FOR U activities are aimed at reaching a potential group of at least 5000 persons (via e-newsletter) and persons invited at the final conference (at least 100 persons). In addition contacts of each partner and their networks (at least 500 persons each) through the NET FORUm web platform. Thanks to these existing contacts and those that will be developed during the project implementation the main results will be diffused also in those countries of origin of unaccompanied children. The transnational value of the guidelines and the aim of establishing a permanent cooperation between the principle EU host countries of the unaccompanied children and a collaborative relationship also with the countries of origin are strictly linked with the capacity of the partnership to be very proactive in constantly involving other stakeholders working in the field of immigration policies, minors protection, social inclusion.
Duration of the project– 18 months with a starting on 03 September 2012.