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EUROPEAN PROGRAMME: RAC – Capacity-building in the area of rights of the child

DURATION: April 2018 – March 2020

There is a gap, in Greece, between our collective aspirations for children’s well-being and the realization of their rights in everyday life. Children without or at risk of losing parental care are amongst the most vulnerable people in our communities to violations to their human rights.

Over the last years, living standards throughout Greece have plummeted. Unemployment, wage cuts, welfare and pension cuts have taken an enormous toll on the Greek population. Greece has been embroiled in a major economic crisis with profound effects on the functioning of institutions and the living standards of people; while at the same time migrants, refugees, Roma, unaccompanied children, face particular hardship in a system with few if any safety nets for the most vulnerable.
Family-based alternative care services in Greece are underdeveloped and placement of children in foster families is rare, with only a few dozen cases each year. When children are removed from their families in Greece they tend to be placed in institutions, which are larger than the average EU ones, for a longer period of time, and with lower rates of reunification with birth families or placements with foster care.

The RIGHT AFTER CARE project aims at the development and delivery of an integrated approach in dealing with the preparedness of care leavers to face the challenges of living an independent life, in compliance with the UN Recommendation in the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, which underscores the need to “prepare children to assume self-reliance and to integrate fully in the community, notably through the acquisition of social and life skills”.

Leaving home and starting life as an independent adult can be one of the most challenging steps in any young person’s life. Without the usual safety nets on which to fall back, for young persons leaving the highly structured institutional care settings in Greece, becoming an independent and socially integrated adult is especially challenging and raises the risk of social exclusion.

The RIGHT AFTER CARE project is premised on the idea that investing in, and adequately resourcing, the acquisition of basic life skills for prospective care leavers is the single most important component for after care success and independence. The RIGHT AFTER CARE project will develop and undertake a comprehensive strategy to better enable care-experienced children in Greece to achieve their potential and deliver improvements in their educational, social and economic outcomes.

The RIGHT AFTER CARE project is comprised of the following distinct components:

– Life Skills Workshops
– Aftercare Life Skills Handbook
– After Care Plans

These tools will be used as a base to contribute to the capacity building of:

– six hundred (600) care leavers in Greece
– one hundred (100) care professionals
– twenty five (25) mentors who will assist care leavers develop their after care plans.

The project is implemented by ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth,  Athens Lifelong Learning Institute , PRAKSIS and CIVIS PLUS NGO’s and is funded by the Rights Equality and Citizenship programme of the EU