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ELFO: European Programme for empowering the institutions of foster care and guardianship

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth in collaboration with other non-governmental organizations active in child protection issues from Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Portugal have started since 1 December 2016 the ELFO program co-funded by the Program “Rights, Equality and Citizenship’ of the European Union (2014-2020).

The general objective of the project is to improve the level and quality of protection of child victims or potential victims of violence by empowering guardians, legal representatives and foster parents of children deprived of parental care within an integrated child protection framework.Empowering of guardians and foster parents could be a key element in preventing violence and ill-treatment of children deprived of parental responsibility.

In order to achieve this general objective, ELFO will pursue three specific objectives through the related activities:

  1. To improve the competences of guardians, legal representatives and foster parents to defend and promote the rights of child victims or potential victims of violence through a capacity-building and training process. After a first period of analysis of the national contexts and mapping of the training groups, a training module will be elaborated and the training cycles will be delivered in each country.
  2. To support and integrate these functions within the referral system with a view to enhancing the efficiency of the child protection system of reference. Multilateral cooperation meetings with key actors as well as follow up meetings with the trainees are foreseen in each country during the whole duration of the project. An information and support tool will be produced in order to be disseminated among participants to the project.
  3. To uphold, foster and expand quality family foster care and community based responses to violence against children as key components of child protection systems. After the definition of an information and awareness-raising strategy, some promotional activities will be carried out i.e. organization of info-days in each country, dissemination of the project’s developments through media and social network, creation of a promotional video, dissemination of the project results during a final event in Italy.

The project partnership is composed by DCI – Defence for Children Italy (Italy); Defence for Children -Spain (Spain); CESIS (Portugal); ARSIS (Greece) and Pulse Foundation (Bulgaria). Furthermore, in each country the project has the official support of a local authority:

  • the Regional Directorate of Social Assistance of Pernik (Bulgaria)
  • the Directorate of Social Welfare, Region of Central Macedonia (Greece)
  • the Municipality of Genoa (Italy)
  • the National Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Children Rights (Portugal)
  • the Regional Childcare services (Spain)

The ELFO programme will implement its actions from December 2016 to November 2018.

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