On Thursday, the 4th of February, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Belgium organized the kick-off meeting of the new Unaccompanied Children in Alternative Residence (U-CARE) project. IOM Belgium was joined by the European Commission and the U-CARE partners Pleegzorg Vlaams-Brabant en Brussel from Belgium and ARSIS from Greece who will assist in the implementation of the U-CARE project, and IOM Germany and IOM Greece country offices, who will coordinate their national activities.
The U-CARE project is financed by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (2014-2020) and is a 20-month initiative which will contribute to the development and improvement of alternative non-institutionalized care systems for UMC in Belgium, Germany and Greece.
After welcoming remarks of IOM Belgium's Chief of Mission, Laura Palatini, and IOM's Regional Migrant Protection and Assistant Specialist, Daniel Redondo, the project management team presented the project and the responsibilities of IOM Belgium as coordinator of the project. Each partner introduced their organization, their daily activities and their role in the U-CARE project. These presentations were followed by a financial and communication training, conducted by IOM colleagues, a short Q&A and closing remarks.
The activities to be developed under this project will include: recruitment of foster care providers, i.e. families with a migratory background, for young unaccompanied migrant children (UMC); development of alternative care prototypes other than foster care, tailored to the needs of older UMC; training and capacity building of professionals and care providers with adjusted tools; organization of (trans)national exchange of best practices within implementing EU MS through national stakeholder dialogues and EU thematic workshops. For more information, go to the U-CARE webpage.