IFCO hosts and participates in a number of projects with Foster Care partners around the world. Select from one of the continents on the map below to find out what projects are ongoing or have taken place in those areas. For more information or if you’re interested in furthering a Foster Care projects with IFCO, call us today on +44 (0) 20 8144 7571 or email email@example.com.
Empowering Marginalized Children
This project is a partnership between IFCO, Partnership for Every Child (P4EC) Russia, the non-commercial partner orgainisation “Families for Children”(based in Enkateringburg) and the Russian Centre for Prison Reform to achieve youth participation in Russia for children without parental care. The overall objective of the project is for children without parental care and children in conflict with the law in the Russian Federation to become empowered to influence the decision-making processes that affect their lives and obstruct the fulfilment of their rights.
The UN convention of children’s rights has strengthened the rights of every child to freely express their view on all matter that affect their interests. It’s especially difficult to realize this right for children who find themselves in difficult life circumstances. For instance, the court process rarely takes into account the opinion of the child, when making decisions about the child’s future. With the aim of supporting children who have been left without the care of their parents and also children who find themselves in conflict with the law a three year project “Right to be heard: the participation of children and young people in the development of social policy” has been implemented in in Russia over the period of 2011-2013.
Project specialists help children and young people develop and prove leadership qualities so in future they could present and assert their rights on their own (Articles 9, 18, 40 of the UNCRC). The project also helps adolescents and young people in conflict with the law which implies the testing of alternatives to custodial sentencing for minor offences. This helps to decrease the percentage of re-offences and give the best chances for rehabilitation and socialization of young people (for example, restorative justice, mediation, electronic bracelets, etc). In one of the project regions a new social service – foster care family for children in conflict with the law – is to be introduced.
One of the main directions of the project is to develop a mechanism for considering the opinion of minors when deciding whether or not parents’ rights should be taken away or restricted in court. Creating this mechanism will allow young people to actively participate in decisions which influence their lives and also represent and defend their rights. Moreover, the project creates a community of children who live under state care, foster care, with guardians or other forms of family environments. Children are offered training and consulting with government representatives, the opportunity to discuss European practices where children participate in the court process and take on alternative punishment for minors , organizing experience exchange for peers from different regions and countries with the support of the International Foster Care Organisation.
The activities of the project are supported by representatives from regional judges, state specialist social workers and other social policy authorities.
The project is financed by the European Union under the program “Investing in people: Child Participation”.