U-CARE project (2021 - 2022): context

The Unaccompanied Children in Alternative Residence (U-CARE) project, financed by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (2014-2020) and coordinated by IOM Belgium, was a 20-month initiative from 2021 - 2022 which contributes to the development and improvement of alternative non-institutionalized care systems for Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMC) in Belgium, Germany and Greece. Through an inclusive child-centered approach and the exchange of good practices, knowledge and experiences, existing systems and tools were strengthened.

This project targeted primarily unaccompanied migrant children by exploring, strengthening and considering alternative care options as a more suitable response to their specific needs. To respect children’s views and to ensure that the envisioned tools respond to the actual needs, UMC were invited throughout the project to share their opinions. On the one hand, the project aimed at mobilizing, recruiting and training foster families in Belgium and Greece - in Belgium with a specific focus on those with a migration background-, as well as training professionals working within national child protection systems. On the other hand, the project in Germany developed alternative care prototypes to support UMC and care leavers in their transition to adulthood. Finally, the project put considerable emphasis on (trans)national exchange of good practices and awareness raising within the general public and among more specialized actors on the importance of family-based care and residential care alternatives.

The U-CARE project was funded by the European Union. 

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For more information about the project, contact Anke Van de Velde (U-CARE project manager): avandevelde@iom.int

Timeline of the U-CARE project


Expected results of the U-CARE project


training & awareness


Are you interested in the tools developed under the U-CARE project? Are you looking for more information on the project or you have a media request? Please contact project manager Anke Van de Velde avandevelde@iom.int

Interested in the next steps of the U-CARE project? Register for the newsletter here to receive regular updates.

In Partnership With

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