INTEGRA: Multidisciplinary Mentorship programme to support the entrepreneurship of children in care and young care-leavers
The transition to adulthood carries a set of obstacles and challenges that are intensified by the lack of an effective support system. Consequently, the success of this emancipation highly depends on the supportive guidance of an adult figure that can be often abstract and difficult to reach for young people in care systems.
Reforming these non-child-friendly structures that are often unable to prepare young people for their transition into adulthood is necessary to avoid a long-term status of vulnerability and exclusion that may result in homelessness, early parenthood, dropping out of school, unemployment and addictive or criminal behaviours. This need is emphasized by the 63.300 unaccompanied minors that entered the EU in 2016 as asylum seekers, of which over two thirds – 43.400 – were between the ages of 16-17 (Eurostat, May 2017).
The INTEGRA project focuses on the need to qualify care professionals who work with and for children, granting their rights and protection. These professionals are crucial for the minors to overcome situations of abuse and neglect and to guarantee the implementation of comprehensive measures to ease their social integration.
An innovative assessment of the different care systems and ageing-out of care strategies in EU southern countries will be possible soon as the national reports of the 5 countries participating in the project (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) are about to be published.