CHILDREN WITHOUT PARENTAL CARE: Ageing out of care - An international analysis of young people ageing out of care

Information on care leavers and their situations is very limited.  In an effort to close this informational gap and provide a foundation for decision makers, SOS Children’s Villages has put together an unprecedented review of the circumstances under which young people leave alternative care in Europe and Central Asia. The report is the main publication of the I Matter campaign, and highlights personal, social, legal, and administrative challenges facing care leavers.  It also identifies weaknesses in legislation and practice, and provides targeted recommendations.

The report consists of 13 country reviews, from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, the Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan.  It also includes first hand accounts from young people, and a conclusion written by Mike Stein, renowned research professor in the field of leaving care.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the study reveals that in the countries under review, the process of preparation to leave care and the subsequent transition into adulthood is chronically flawed.  Recurring themes emerge across national boundaries, such as difficulties to find housing, gaps in coverage, risk of abuse, and emotional hardships of young people.  These findings highlight the importance of deinstitutionalization efforts, national standards, and the dissemination of good practice. 

It is clear, from the evidence in the report, that young care leavers in Europe and Central Asia today face often insurmountable problems.  Even though a few European countries have initiated measures to improve the situation for these young people ageing out of care, further action is urgently required. 


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    Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.