SOCIAL PROTECTION
                                                                                                     FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
                                                                                                          LEAVING CARE
                                                                                                     GAPS AND RESPONSES IN 12 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE

© SOS Children’s Villages International, 2018

Published by:
SOS Children’s Villages International
Brigittenauer Lände 50
A-1200 Vienna, Austria

Any part of this publication may be freely reproduced with the appropriate acknowledgement.

Editor: Claudia Arisi
Authors: Claire Cameron, Hanan Hauari, Claudia Arisi
Graphic design: Manuela Tippl
Proofreading: Sophie Crockett-Chaves, Mary Brezovich
Cover photos (from the top left to right): Patrick Wittmann, Claire Ladavicius, Katerina Ilievska,
Stefan Pleger, Senad Gubelić, Marko Mägi, Lydia Mantler, Claire Ladavicius, Vlado Soldo.
2    SOS Children’s Villages                                                                                                                              Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 3

                                                                                                                                                          24   Italy
                                                                                                                                                                       12   croatia                     Kyrgyzstan     34

                                                                                                                                                                            30   KOSOVO

                                                                                                                                                         58    tunisia
                                                                       40   mexico

                                                                                                                                 cape verde   8
                                                                                             46   NICARAGUA

Table of                                                                                                                                          52   Togo
                                                                                                                                                                                          62   Uganda

                                                                                                      18   ecuador

04   Foreword
                                                                                                                                                                                   66   ZIMBABWE
05   Acknowledgements
06   Introduction
08   Country mapping reports*
        Snapshot of the target population and the care system**
        Legislative and policy framework
		State provisions for children up to the age of 18
		State provisions for leaving care and after-care support
        Education, training and employment situation
		Number of young people leaving care with qualifications
		Main activity of young people leaving care
		Pathways in education, training and employment
        Youth support measures to access decent work
        Specific programmes and services targeting care leavers
		State responses at the national level
		State responses at the local level
		Non-state responses
72   Conclusions and final remarks                                 *
                                                                        All country mapping reports follow the same structure.
74   Recommendations                                               **
                                                                        Online data last retrieved in February 2018.
4   SOS Children’s Villages                                                                                                                                                                Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 5

                    foreword                                                  What about work? How is it supposed to improve            acknowledgements                                        Togo: Richard Kataba Bassalbia (Research Consul-
                                                                              our situation? Why is it considered a fundamental                                                                 tant); Majesté Yawo Awute (Research Consultant);
                    Nothing is easy about leaving care.                       step in the process of leaving care? A job is the num-    This report is the product of a successful collabora-   Arcadius Toeppen (SOS Children’s Villages Togo);
                                                                              ber one tool that allows a young person to start cre-     tion between SOS Children’s Villages Internation-       Narcisse Aguim (SOS Children’s Villages Togo)
                    We have a full baggage that other young people who        ating a future and to succeed in life, not to mention     al and University College London (UCL) Institute
                    have been living with their families usually do not       to support ourselves.                                     of Education. It was developed by Claire Cameron        Tunisia: Selma Benkraiem (BK Consulting); Dina
                    have when they turn 18. A baggage that is supposed                                                                  (UCL Institute of Education), Hanan Hauari (UCL         Dellagi (SOS Children’s Villages Tunisia)
                    to be full of tools and skills that we have acquired to   So, what kind of support are care leavers entitled to?    Institute of Education) and Claudia Arisi (SOS Chil-
                    become autonomous over the years, but for us that         In my country, generally speaking, a care leaver can      dren’s Villages International).                         Uganda: Moses Obbo (Research Consultant); Mar-
                    same baggage is also made up of thoughts and feel-        access trainings or courses only when social services                                                             vin Ssanyu (SOS Children’s Villages Uganda); Lil-
                    ings that need to be dealt with. If not, that baggage     are in charge of their case. In my experience, I have     It would have been impossible, however, without the     lian Ssengooba (SOS Children’s Villages Uganda)
                    can become a heavy burden rather than a set of use-       found that these kinds of courses have been useful        researchers and contributors in each of the twelve
                    ful tools.                                                for me to acquire basic skills to prepare me for work,    countries mapping data and producing original and       Zimbabwe: Musavengana W.T. Chibwana (Re-
                                                                              such as learning how to respect rules and time. They      insightful work on which to base the study:             search Consultant); Kellivn Nyamudeza (SOS Chil-
                    We need to find a house, to manage the relationship       also helped in developing a network and making con-                                                               dren’s Villages Zimbabwe)
                    with our families (when we have one), to find a job       tacts in my small town, and in finding opportunities      Cape Verde: Cassandro Mendes (University of Cape
                    and keep it, to learn all those practical skills in so    to start building my work experience.                     Verde); Alexandre Pires Rocha (SOS Children’s           Thanks are due to the UCL Global Engagement Of-
                    many areas (how to pay bills, how to get a prescrip-                                                                Villages Cape Verde)                                    fice, which generously helped finance the produc-
                    tion from the doctor, etc.), and succeed in working       There is nothing easy about this. We need to learn to                                                             tion of a video tutorial to support research fieldwork,
                    through our own experiences. These are just a few         seize opportunities. We stumble a lot when we walk.       Croatia: Natalija Lukic Buković (Research Con-          and Loud Minority who produced the video in a very
                    of the tiles that we have to uncover and slot in. So      We ask you to support us in our journey and support       sultant); Nikola Buković (Croatian Youth Network);      short timeframe. Many thanks also go to Katie Hol-
                    how are we supposed to put all these pieces togeth-       us to become stronger. We will be able to recipro-        Makvic Kresimir (SOS Children’s Villages Croatia)       lingworth (UCL Institute of Education).
                    er? Nothing is easy about this.                           cate someday.
                                                                                                                                        Ecuador: Fernando Terán Cueva (Fundación PASO-          Support was also provided by co-workers from SOS
                    Turning 18 and having to leave care happens to            Nothing is easy about leaving care; but it is possible.   DEHU); Verónica Legarda (SOS Children’s Villag-         Children’s Villages International. Special thanks go to
                    come at a time when almost none of us are ready.                                                                    es Ecuador); Rafael Carriel (SOS Children’s Villages    Sophie Crockett-Chaves, Sofía García García, Miriana
                    It takes years, sometimes decades, to get that bag-                                                                 Ecuador)                                                Giraldi, Ronan Mangan, Kélig Puyet, Douglas Reed,
                    gage ready with everything we are going to need.                                                                                                                            Mathilde Scheffer, Rosalind Willi, Stewart Wilms and
                    This counts for anyone, including people who have                                                                   Italy: Lisa Cerantola (Research Consultant); Saman-     Marie Wuestenberghs. From the international offices
                    not been in care, so it is clear how difficult it can                                                               tha Tedesco (SOS Children’s Villages Italy); Franc-     of the regions, support was given by Truphosa Amere,
                    be for people who do not have a supportive back-                                                                    esca Letizia (SOS Children’s Villages Italy)            Hyacinthe Bohoussou, Nadia Garrido, Almandina Gu-
                    ground and therefore struggle on this path. The dif-                                                                                                                        ma, Fiona Sophie James, Radostina Paneva and Da-
                    ference and sad reality is the fact that we have to be                                                              Kosovo: Florentina Dushi (Business Development          hyana Suarez. An indispensable resource, the profes-
                    ready at 18.                                              Etienne Fabio Caillaud                                    Group Kosovo); Dafina Turkeshi-Ballanca (Business       sional translators and proofreaders of the Language
                                                                              Care leaver and member of                                 Development Group Kosovo); Jehona Lluka (Busi-          Service team of SOS Children’s Villages Internation-
                    What, then, are the tools that a care leaver would        SOS Children’s Villages Italy’s                           ness Consultants Council); Mjellma Luma (SOS            al provided assistance in the development of the re-
                    want to have, in order to smoothen this transition        Young Experts Group                                       Children’s Villages Kosovo)                             search guides and proformas, and in the final stages
                    to independent living? To trust one’s caregivers can                                                                                                                        of the preparation of the country reports. Thank you
                    seem obvious as a first option, but while writing                                                                   Kyrgyzstan: Bermet Ubaidillaeva (Research Con-          to: Mary Brezovich, Enrique Calvo, Katalin Kosoczki,
                    this, it is the first thing that pops into my head when                                                             sultant); Gulnara Asilbekova (SOS Children’s Vil-       Vera Mikhalovich, Julie Paulini, and Guiselle Vargas.
                    I recall how it was for me. We need someone to trust                                                                lages Kyrgyzstan); Gulmira Shakiralieva (SOS Chil-
                    and with whom we can establish a meaningful, in-                                                                    dren’s Villages Kyrgyzstan)                             The country reports also relied on the generous con-
                    formal relationship, as we live with them and their                                                                                                                         tributions of time and insight from several infor-
                    support is the background upon which we can build                                                                   Mexico: Leticia Ivonne López Villarreal (University     mants, who cannot be mentioned here for reasons
                    our future. Social workers play a fundamental role                                                                  of Monterrey); Sair Pinilla (SOS Children’s Villages    of space and in some cases confidentiality, including
                    in planning, but this comes after the daily work that                                                               Mexico); Edgar Serralde Monreal (SOS Children’s         children in alternative care, young people who aged
                    allows us to pack our baggage. Autonomy comes                                                                       Villages Mexico)                                        out of alternative care, social workers and caregivers,
                    from the smallest things, for the tree grows from the                                                                                                                       government ministries, employment service depart-
                    plant that grows from the seed…                                                                                     Nicaragua: Bertha Rosa Guerra Gallardo (Research        ments, alternative care providers, and academic ex-
                                                                                                                                        Consultant); Ivonne Ibarra Solís and Jorge Palma        perts. Many thanks to all of them; we could have not
                                                                                                                                        (SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua)                     done this without you.
6   SOS Children’s Villages                                                                                                                                                                        Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 7

                    Introduction                                                are upheld. Without information on their particular cir-      	specific programmes and services targeting young            	Interviews with experts to fill data gaps that emerged
                                                                                cumstances it is difficult to quantify the problem, iden-       people ageing out of alternative care;                        from the desk research. Interviews were carried out
                    Young people are the future of a country and crucial        tify the main challenges, and design adequate policy          	conclusions with discussion over systemic gaps                with: (i) public sector, academic and NGO stakehold-
                    to its development pathway. Today, the world is home        responses to best reach out to these young people, so           and opportunities for reform.                                 ers with national or regional oversight of child care
                    to more than 1.8 billion people aged 10 to 24, most of      that they do not fall through the cracks of the system                                                                        and protection, education and skills, employment and
                    them living in lower and medium income countries;           and are left behind. The current dearth of official da-     We are very aware that we have condensed and syn-                 social protection; (ii) key actors in local delivery of
                    half of the world’s population is under 301. Never be-      ta makes it hard to evaluate the impact of the provi-       thesised information for the purposes of the report.              services, like alternative care professionals, employ-
                    fore there has been such potential for economic and         sions granted to them during their childhood and ado-       Some study country teams have published, or plan to               ment services, etc.; (iii) advocacy experts in policies
                    social progress, and yet everywhere young people are        lescence, and measure the social return on investment       publish, their research findings in their own language7.          and services to support care leavers.
                    disproportionally excluded from opportunities to be-        in the different alternative care arrangements.
                    come active members of society. They are three times                                                                                                                                Moreover, some fieldwork teams organised youth par-
                    more likely than adults to be unemployed, with 70.9         The aim of this report is to increase the knowledge and     Methodology                                                 ticipation activities, like focus groups, and collected in-
                    million young people estimated to have been unem-           understanding of the needs and rights of young people                                                                   puts from young people who were in care programmes
                    ployed in 20172. Even in higher income countries, the       ageing out of alternative care around the world, in or-     The research was carried out during 2016 and 2017.          or had aged out of them; and from care leavers who are
                    transition from school to work is difficult: 15% of 18-     der to inform strategies, policies and services to im-      Study countries were selected to achieve maximum di-        part of youth groups co-organised by SOS Children’s
                    24 year-olds in OECD countries are neither employed         prove their life chances and outcomes through appro-        versity in administrative social protection systems and     Villages. Quotes from these young people were used in
                    nor in education or training3.                              priate preparation for leaving care as well as after-care   approaches to ‘decent work’, across continents and cul-     this report to further illustrate problems and solutions
                                                                                support6. The specific objectives of the research were      tural contexts. Field research in the study countries was   based on their knowledge of the situation.
                    Young people are heavily reliant on families for sup-       to highlight facts and figures (or in some cases, lack      organised through key contacts in SOS Children’s Vil-
                    port in their twenties. For example, on average, across     thereof) on the experiences and challenges of young         lages’ member associations and local research consul-       Few of the study countries have made the issue of young
                    the European Union, young people tend not to leave          people leaving care, including through their own            tants. Fieldwork teams collected the necessary data us-     people leaving care a priority. One consequence is the
                    the parental household before the age of 264. How-          voice and the testimony of experts to complement ex-        ing the research tools and methodological guidance of       difficulty to obtain data and statistics on young people
                    ever, not everyone can rely on a supportive home or         isting data and literature sources. Overall, the report     the Thomas Coram Research Unit at UCL Institute of          ageing out of care each year and sometimes even on the
                    have social networks to turn to for help. Around the        brings together information on the legal and policy         Education. These included: research guides for con-         population of children in the alternative care system.
                    world, children and young people become separated           frameworks, the organization of services, promising         ducting a literature review and proformas for collecting    In some cases, such data and statistics were available
                    from their family, either temporarily or permanent-         practices and proposals in development, but also gaps       data, training webinars and videos to support research      but not necessarily reliable, and yet they were includ-
                    ly, and are placed in an alternative care arrangement       that need to be addressed in order to offer a prelimi-      interview processes, phone calls and email correspon-       ed in the country reports to give access to figures as a
                    such as residential or foster care, following an admin-     nary analytical overview of this social phenomenon          dence. Whenever possible, the research tools were           first step to understanding the problem. Throughout the
                    istrative decision or an emergency situation. Little is     and recommendations to spark positive change.               translated into relevant languages to ensure clear under-   study, the phrase ‘data not found’ signals this challenge,
                    known about the opportunities for decent work and                                                                       standing of the fieldwork. SOS Children’s Villages In-      and means that data and statistics were either inexis-
                    social inclusion of young people who grow up outside                                                                    ternational has project-managed the research, facilitat-    tent; or existing but not accessible; or fieldwork teams
                    of their family care, and less so about their outcomes.     Structure of the                                            ing coordination among different research teams.            were unable to identify them at the time of writing.
                                                                                country reports
                    The report ‘Decent Work and Social Protection for                                                                       There were four main strands of data collection:
                    Young People Leaving Care: Gaps and Responses in 12         The research focused on twelve countries from across                                                                    1	UN DESA, Population Division. 2017. World Population Pros-
                    Countries Worldwide’, coordinated by SOS Children’s         Africa, Central and Latin America, Europe and Cen-            	Mapping of the key laws, policies and actors re-           pects. The 2017 Revision.

                    Villages International and UCL Institute of Education,      tral Asia: Cape Verde, Croatia, Ecuador, Italy, Koso-           sponsible for the protection and well-being of chil-    2   ILO. 2017. Global Employment Trends for Youth.

                    collates evidence from four regions of the world, de-       vo, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Togo, Tunisia,               dren in care and young people leaving care. Spe-        3	OECD. 2017. Education at a Glance 2017. OECD Indicators.

                    tailing the ways in which young people with care back-      Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The findings are outlined in              cific focus was on: care placement options, legal       4	Eurostat. 2017. Estimated average age of young people leaving the
                                                                                                                                                                                                           parental household (year 2016).
                    ground cope with the challenges of becoming self-re-        a standard format for each country chapter, listed al-          definitions, national legislation and standards, pol-
                    liant and are supported by the State and other actors in    phabetically and covering the following points:                 icies, programmes and services around education,        5	The report builds on previous research by SOS Children’s Villages Interna-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           tional. For further reference: SOS Children’s Villages International. 2010.
                    their path towards decent work and social inclusion5.                                                                       training and employment, recognition of/reference          Ageing Out of Care. From Care to Adulthood in European and Central Asian
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Societies. Edited by Véronique Lerch with Mike Stein; SOS Children’s Vil-
                                                                                  	a snapshot of the country context, outlining the            to the term ‘decent work’, identification of key           lages International. 2012. When Care Ends. Lessons From Peer Research.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Edited by Mike Stein and Raluca Verweijen-Slamnescu; SOS Children’s
                    Young people leaving care are often socially disadvan-          main population details and information about the           stakeholders to interview.                                 Villages International. 2016. Leaving Care and Employment in Five Euro-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           pean Countries: An Undocumented Problem? Edited by Claire Cameron.
                    taged, compared to their peers who did not spend time           care system;                                              	Collection of statistics on children and young peo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                        6	The needs and rights of children deprived of or at risk of losing parental
                    in care. Nevertheless, the problem is insufficiently rec-     	a mapping of the legislative and policy framework;          ple in and ageing out of care, their education, em-        care are set out in the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           In 2009 the United Nations General Assembly welcomed the Guidelines for
                    ognized and documented. Statistically, young people           	a description of the education, training and em-            ployment and training, and comparable statistics           the Alternative Care of Children, in order to enhance the implementation
                    who are leaving or have left care are virtually invisible       ployment situation;                                         for the general population of young people.                of the Convention and other regulations related to the protection and well-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           being of these children, including reference to supported transitions from the
                    in many social protection systems, so it is difficult to      	youth support measures to access decent work,             	Literature review. Specific focus was on the trajec-       care setting to assume self-reliance and integrate fully in the community.

                    monitor their outcomes in terms of decent work and              discussing the concept of decent work within the            tories of young people leaving care and access to       7	For more information regarding the publication of nation-
                                                                                                                                                                                                           al country reports, please send an email to info@sos-child-
                    social inclusion, and to ensure that their human rights         national context and in relation to young people;           decent work and social protection.                or visit
Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 9

Country mapping report

Cape Verde
                                                                                                                               Legislative and                                         Number of young people
                                                                                                                               policy framework                                        leaving care with

                                                                                                                               State provisions for                                    Data not found.
                                                                                                                               children up to the age of 18

                                                                                                                               The 2013 Child and Adolescent Statute (Estatuto         Main activity of young
                                                                                                                               da Criança e dos Adolescentes) is the broad legal       people leaving care
                                                                                                                               framework covering the rights of children and ad-
                                                                                                                               olescents in general and up to the age of 18 years.     Data not found.
                                                                                                                               There is no specific legislation focused on provi-
                                                                                                                               sions for children in care.
                                                                                                                                                                                       Pathways in education,
                                                                                                                                                                                       training and employment
                                                                                                                               State provisions for leaving
                                                                                                                               care and after-care support                             No official national data was found. Data from SOS
                                                                                                                                                                                       Children’s Villages shows that as of 2016, of 203
                                                                                                                               There is no national data, legislation or policy on     care leavers, 102 were employed, 59 in education
                                                                                                                               care leavers. After the age of 18, young people in      and 42 seeking employment. The Tracking Foot-
                                                                                                                               care are no longer entitled to special assistance or    prints study13 is the only identifiable research on
                                                                                                                               social protection. There are no national government     care leavers that investigated the socio-economic
                                                                                                                               targets or standards relating to care leavers and the   situation of 60 young adults who had been in the
                                                                                                                               government is not signed up to any international        care of an SOS Children’s Village in one area of
                                                                                                                               frameworks for care leavers.                            Cape Verde. The report found that:

Total population                                                                                                                                                                         	36.7% of respondents had completed their pri-
                                                                                                                                                                                           mary schooling, 58.3% had completed second-
520,502 (2015)8
                                                                                                                               Education, training
                                                                                                                                                                                           ary school, 2% had reached higher education
Child population (ages 0-18)                                                                                                   and employment                                              (university degree) and 1% had not finished any
186,000 (2015) (35.7% of the total population)9                                                                               situation                                                   school qualification;

Population of children in alternative care                                                                                     There is no national data available on the school         	60% of respondents had accessed professional
Data not found.                                                                                                                leaving qualifications of young people leaving care.        training, but only 56% had completed this training;
                                                                                                                               However, data from a 2015 survey conducted by the
Numbers ageing out of care each year                                                                                           National Institute of Statistics on all young people      	The unemployment rate within this group of care
There is no national official figure, but information collected                                                               found that 74% of young people (15-24) had com-             leavers was 21.7% (similar to the national figures
by SOS Children’s Villages Cape Verde showed that in 2016                                                                      pleted or were enrolled in secondary education and          for that time).
there were 109 children living across the two SOS Chil-                                                                        9% had completed or were enrolled in higher edu-
dren’s Villages, and 152 in the Cape Verdean Institution for                                                                   cation12.                                               In general, the types of employment that young
Children and Adolescents’ residences across the country.           Options for alternative care placements                                                                             people leaving care in Cape Verde can find include
                                                                   Children and young people who are not able to live with     Similarly, data is not publicly available on the        general technician, computer technician, accoun-
Total unemployment                                                 their birth parents or extended family are usually placed   main activity (employment, education or train-          tant, maintenance technician and bartender. Despite
10.6% (2016)10                                                     in residential care. There are two main service provid-     ing) of care leavers after they have left compulso-     the lack of specialized legislation for care leavers,
                                                                   ers that are responsible for children and young peo-        ry schooling. In relation to all young people aged      study participants report that there is integration of
Youth unemployment (ages 15-24)                                    ple in care: the Cape Verdean Institution for Children      15-24, data from the National Institute of Statistics   care leavers in society as a result of the significant
17.4% (2016)11                                                     and Adolescents, a government institution that imple-       for 2015 shows that 33% of employed young peo-          cooperation that is taking place between the care
                                                                   ments national policies around the protection of chil-      ple were working in the primary sector (e.g. ag-        centres (such as SOS Children’s Villages) and other
Young people not in education,                                     dren and adolescents, and SOS Children’s Villages,          riculture, fisheries), around 10% were working in       institutions such as universities, vocational centres
employment or training (NEET)                                      which provides social protection and support to children    the manufacturing industry sector, and 11% in the       and other partners which enables care leavers to find
Data not found.                                                    and young people in care and transitioning out of care.     tourism sector.                                         jobs in different areas.
10   SOS Children’s Villages                                                                                                                                                                 Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 11

                     Youth support                                             Specific programmes                                       NON-STATE RESPONSES                                      More broadly, there needs to be a consideration of
                     measures to access                                        and services targe-                                                                                                what constitutes ‘decent work’ for young people
                                                                                                                                         There are some ad hoc responses to care leavers          and a policy and practice focusing on ensuring that
                     decent work                                               ting care leavers                                         provided by non-state actors, such as SOS Chil-          care leavers are able to access this standard of em-
                                                                                                                                         dren’s Villages Cape Verde. However these are rare.      ployment.
                     Unemployment is a critical issue for young people         State responses at
                     in general in Cape Verde. In order to prepare young       the national level
                     people for the labour market, a set of national pro-
                     grammes have been established over the past de-           None identified. As stated previously, there is a lack    Conclusions
                     cades as well as two institutions whose remit it is to    of specialized national policy to tackle potential is-
                     address this; these are the Institute for Professional    sues faced by care leavers; they are subsumed into        The positive aspects of the current situation in Cape
                     Training and Employment (IEFP) and the Agency             the wider population of young people when it comes        Verde are that there appears to be an integration of
                     for Innovation and Enterprise Development (AD-            to services and programmes of support around em-          care leavers in the wider society and cooperation is
                     EI). The ADEI works to promote entrepreneurship           ployability and decent work. Some progress has            taking place between the care centres and others in-
                     and self-employment as tools to address youth un-         been made at the national level, for example with         stitutions such as universities, vocational centres
                     employment and the IEFP is a public institution that      the introduction of a statutory labour code and mini-     and other partners which is enabling care leavers to
                     is responsible for the execution of policies on em-       mum wage law. A national ‘Technical and Vocation-         find jobs in different areas.
                     ployment, entrepreneurship and technical educa-           al Education and Training programme’ (TVET) has
                     tion. Through their centres, it is estimated that these   been established in Cape Verde but, as with other         However, there is a lack of national data on children
                     institutions have been able to support more than          programmes, these are generic for all young peo-          in care and care leavers, their educational attain-
                     20,000 young people in the last five years. It must       ple rather than specifically targeting care leavers.      ment, progress and pathways out of care and into
                     be noted however, that the IEFP and ADEI are na-          The opportunities for support with employment and         education, employment or training. There are many
                     tional institutions with a national vision that oper-     housing are the same as for all other young people.       institutions and associations with information about
                     ate programmes for all young people in the country;                                                                 their own children and young people, but no central
                     they do not have a specific focus on, or have par-        Proposals in discussion: The Cape Verdean Institu-        data collection. Therefore, there is a need for a na-
                     ticular programmes for, young people leaving care.        tion for Children and Adolescents, which is respon-       tional, integrated tracking system.
                     This is typical of the current position in terms of       sible for national implementation and monitoring
                     support and services for care leavers in Cape Verde;      of policies regarding children and adolescents, is        There is no specific legislation or policy that focus-
                     they are subsumed within generic legislation, poli-       starting to focus specifically on the situation of care   es on the particular situation of children in care and
                     cies and programmes for the whole population of           leavers and is starting to implement a set of differ-     care leavers, and the government currently has no
                     young people.                                             ent agreements with universities, vocational train-       remit or responsibility to provide social support or
                                                                               ing schools and specialized service centres in order      protection for young people who have been in care
                     Decent work: There is no national legal definition        to provide better employment conditions and oppor-        once they reach 18 years of age.
                     of ‘decent work’ in Cape Verde but the country fol-       tunities for care leavers.
                     lows the guidelines defined by the International La-                                                                Systematic data collection by government on chil-
                     bour Organization (ILO) that is ‘work that provides       A set of new fiscal programmes are being imple-           dren in and leaving care is needed, as well as a spe-
                     a fair income and social protection’. Cape Verde has      mented by the government, funded by international         cific focus in government legislation on care leavers
                     been working closely with the ILO and has been im-        partners, to give economic incentives to young en-        with the setting of targets and standards for children
                     plementing a national plan regarding decent work          trepreneurs wanting to set up their own small busi-       and young people in and leaving care.                    8	World Bank database. 2015. Population, total.
                     entitled ‘Programa País de Trabalho Decente Cabo          nesses. There are plans to establish policies to pro-                                                       
                     Verde (PPTD)’.                                            mote greater engagement of women in the labour            Attention is required at the national level with re-
                                                                                                                                                                                                  9	UNICEF. 2016. State of the World’s Children.
                                                                               market, e.g. via a system of care for children to en-     gard to raising the educational participation of chil-      Downloaded from:

                                                                               able maternal employment as well as greater job se-       dren in care and a need for specific policies and        10	ILOSTAT database. 2016. Unemployment, total (% of total labor force)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      (modeled ILO estimate).
                                                                               curity and a more robust social security system.          programmes to support care leavers into further ed-
                                                                                                                                         ucation, employment or training. According to one        11	ILOSTAT database. 2016. Unemployment, youth total
                                                                                                                                         interviewee, a specialist in the national Department         (% of total labor force ages 15-24) (modeled ILO estimate).
                                                                               State responses at                                        for Social Inclusion, focus should be given to estab-    12	National Institute of Statistics (INE). 2015.
                                                                               the local level                                           lishing a programme of vocational training specifi-

                                                                                                                                         cally for care leavers to promote their access to the    13	SOS Children’s Villages International. 2010. Tracking Footprints.
                                                                               None identified.                                          labour market.                                               6ec24962b12b/100624-TF-GlobalReport2010-final-en.pdf?ext=.pdf
Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 13

Country mapping report

                                                                                                                                   Legislative and                                          the Foster Care Act (NN 90/11, 78/12). Article 41
                                                                                                                                   policy framework                                         of the Foster Care Act legislates that foster carers
                                                                                                                                                                                            must prepare the care recipient for departure from
                                                                                                                                                                                            the foster family to start an independent life, return
                                                                                                                                   State provisions for                                     to biological family or transfer to another type of al-
                                                                                                                                   children up to the age of 18                             ternative care.

                                                                                                                                   According to the Social Welfare Act 2015 (NN
                                                                                                                                   157/13, 152/14, 99/15, 52/16), a child without ad-       State provisions for leaving
                                                                                                                                   equate parental care has the right to short-term or      care and after-care support
                                                                                                                                   long-term placement in alternative care. The Act
                                                                                                                                   has a broad definition of the circumstances under        18 years is the legal age when young people in care
                                                                                                                                   which children can be removed from their families,       are no longer entitled to care placement/special assis-
                                                                                                                                   which includes the possibility to place children in      tance, after which they have the same rights as any
                                                                                                                                   alternative care due to family poverty, contrary to a    adult who is in need of social services from the State.
                                                                                                                                   fundamental principle of the UN Guidelines for the
                                                                                                                                   Alternative Care of Children. The Act establishes        The literature review identified multiple sources
                                                                                                                                   the obligation of providing services in accordance       that highlighted inadequacy in the support avail-
                                                                                                                                   with the Social Services Quality Standards. The          able for young people leaving care21. These include
                                                                                                                                   Standards define the complaints and appeals proce-       young people not being provided with the necessary
                                                                                                                                   dures, including an obligation for providers to re-      life skills to find housing and employment, for inde-
                                                                                                                                   spond to complaints. They also provide procedures        pendent living and to integrate into society.
                                                                                                                                   for preventing abuse and exploitation, and safe-
                                                                                                                                   guarding children’s rights. The Social Welfare Act
                                                                                                                                   only recently prescribed the obligation that Cen-
                                                                                                                                                                                            Education, training
                                                                                                                                   tres for Social Welfare (which have the authority
Total population                                                                                                                   to make decisions in the process of separation and       and employment
4.2 million (2015)14                                                                                                               placement) create individual care plans based on an      situation
                                                                                                                                   assessment of children’s needs and outcomes. The
Child population (ages 0-18)                                                                                                       Ombudsman’s Office in Croatia highlighted that not       Croatia has the lowest percentage of young people
775,000 (2015) (18.5% of the total population)15                                                                                  all Centres complete these.                              leaving education early of all countries in the Euro-
                                                                                                                                                                                            pean Union: 2.8% in 201522. While there are some
Population of children in alternative care                                                                                         The provision of child care in ‘family homes’ was        questions around the reliability of the supporting
3,500 16                                                            Options for alternative care placements                        only enabled in 2007 by the Social Welfare and the       data here, contributors to this research indicate that
                                                                    Children without parental care up to 18 years of age live     Foster Family (NN 103/15) Acts, which limited the        schools delivering three-year vocational and edu-
Numbers ageing out of care each year                                either in a permanent placement (State children’s homes,       number of children in foster families to three. Fos-     cation programmes make particular allowances for
There is no national official figure, but according to the 2016    family care or semi-independent living which encom-            ter families that care for a larger number of chil-      problematic or low achieving students (e.g. permit-
Office of the Ombudsman for Children’s Annual Report (da-           passes NGO care, foster care or kinship care) or a tem-        dren are now registered as a ‘family home’ - non-        ting taking of exams despite non-attendance). While
ta as of 31 December 2015), 482 children and young people           porary placement in an institution (on weekly, daily, or       institutional care that allows placement of four to      this bolsters overall participation rates, it could be
left care in the one-year period. 136 were just transferred to      half-day basis). More than half of the children without pa-    ten children. The National Plan of De-institutional-     seen to have a negative impact in other areas, such
other type of care (i.e. from foster care to institutional care).   rental care are placed in 18 residential homes (there are      ization and Transformation of Social Welfare Insti-      as labour market integration.
                                                                    14 homes funded by the Republic of Croatia and four            tutions 2011–2016 set out ambitions to reduce the
Total unemployment                                                  non-State homes)20. The total capacity of the homes is         proportion of children in institutional care in favour
13.5% (2016)   17
                                                                    1,665 beneficiaries. In addition to homes for children with-   of family-based care. While the targets set have not     Number of young people
                                                                    out parental care, there is accommodation in homes for         been achieved, this has had an impact on children in     leaving care with
Youth unemployment (ages 15-24)                                     children with behavioural problems and in 26 social wel-       care; with a reduction in residential care placements    qualifications
33% (2016)18                                                        fare homes established by the Republic of Croatia, which       children are often staying longer in the family home
                                                                    provide care for children with special needs. SOS Chil-        before separation takes place.                           58% of all young people leave school with ‘Ad-
Young people not in education,                                      dren’s Villages is registered as a non-governmental chil-                                                               vanced’ school leaving qualifications (e.g. qualifi-
employment or training (NEET)                                       dren’s home, providing care for 250 children and young         Other relevant legislation includes the Juvenile         cations for university entrance), compared to 26%
24.2% (2015)19                                                      people in 31 SOS families and four youth programmes.           Court Act (NN 84/11, 143/12, 148/13, 56/15) and          of young people leaving care. In contrast, 69% of
14   SOS Children’s Villages                                                                                                                                                                 Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 15

                     young people leave care with ‘Basic’ school leaving       following an interview with the Croatian Employ-          long-term unemployed and do not seek to find per-        Specific programmes
                     qualifications (e.g. compulsory school certificate),      ment Service (CES) that can be used to gain admis-        manent employment, but rather to activate the job        and services targe-
                     as compared to 41% of all young people23.                 sion to secondary schools.                                seeking process. Consequently, young care leavers
                                                                                                                                         who are directed towards these interventions do not      ting care leavers
                                                                               Pathways do exist for care leavers to access em-          receive a type of support that could bolster their la-
                     Main activity of young                                    ployment, but this is usually informal or tempo-          bour market chances in the long run.                     State responses at
                     people leaving care                                       rary work. It is also highly likely to be poorly paid.                                                             the national level
                                                                               Employment opportunities are further limited by a         As a European Union Member State, Croatia joined
                     There is no official national data. Study interviews      lack of foreign language competencies, skills such        the Youth Guarantee, a European Union initiative to      The CES provision is available to a very broad
                     suggest there are various young people with care          as being able to drive, and relatively small social       tackle youth unemployment which ensures that all         category of ‘young people with no work experi-
                     background who are unemployed, completing un-             networks. Care leavers can face discrimination and        young people under 25 – whether registered with em-      ence’ which includes young care leavers. CES en-
                     registered work, and/or work in the construction or       stigmatisation in the workplace, leading many to          ployment services or not – receive a ‘good-quality’      ables such young people to access active labour
                     the service industry. They are typically in low-paid,     hide their care history from employers. Many care         job offer within four months of their leaving formal     market programmes more easily, and they are also
                     unstable positions within the private sector.             leavers return to being unemployed following par-         education or becoming unemployed. Croatian au-           provided a special employment advisor who can
                                                                               ticipation in active labour market programmes.            thorities decided to extend entitlements to the Youth    give information about the labour market condi-
                                                                                                                                         Guarantee up to the age of 29, following an assess-      tions and advice on seeking employment. CES also
                     Pathways in education,                                    Care leavers face a considerable challenge in ac-         ment of the labour market conditions in the country.     offers financial incentives to employers to retain
                     training and employment                                   cessing higher education as “the right to housing                                                                  hard-to-employ individuals for at least one year.
                                                                               and the right to higher education are limited under       A study to evaluate the implementation of the Youth      However, no quotas are specified for the different
                     The limited published data presents some illustra-        the current system in terms of both age and continu-      Guarantee in Croatia for care leavers found differ-      categories of young people, despite calls to intro-
                     tive findings which show care leavers are more likely     ing education. Specifically, a young person who ex-       ent effects in the short and long term27. In the short   duce them. CES works with children in care with-
                     to undertake vocational secondary education (com-         ercises his or her right to study on a scholarship will   term, care leavers considered in the sample of the       in residential facilities, but not with those in fos-
                     pared to attending more academic high schools) and        lose the right to housing at the same time. Young         study presented improvement in terms of psycho-          ter care, unless there are accompanying learning
                     to study subjects such as personal services, com-         people who attend colleges in their home town are         logical well-being and understanding of the la-          or behavioural difficulties. There is no monitoring
                     merce and engineering24 25. Of those students that did    denied the right to college dormitory accommoda-          bour market. The development of new skills, such         and evaluation of social provisions aimed at sup-
                     go on to higher education, the vast majority received     tion26.” As such, the financial constraints severely      as communication skills, and increased chances of        porting care leavers.
                     scholarships (73% as compared to 16% of the gen-          limit care leavers’ opportunities to engage in fur-       finding employment at the end of the scheme were
                     eral population). Following graduation, employment        ther education and training. Care leavers from foster     observed as long-term results of the Youth Guaran-       According to the Social Welfare Act, care leav-
                     was likely to be in the hospitality, commerce or ser-     families also face similar issues in finding housing      tee. Care leavers participating in the study who ben-    ers have to leave alternative care at the age of 18.
                     vice industry. Interviews for this study confirmed that   as, despite coming from a family surrounding, very        efitted from the scheme said the main benefit of the     While a number of providers have services which
                     young people in and leaving care are encouraged to        few remain in contact or receive support from foster      Youth Guarantee was the financial security linked to     enable care leavers to remain in various forms of
                     undertake vocational training due to historical aca-      families once they leave the family home.                 regular payments, as they struggled financially after    housing after the age of 18, particularly if still
                     demic underachievement, and perceptions that voca-                                                                  leaving care. However, they declared feeling stig-       engaged in education, this is not a legal national
                     tional qualifications will secure a job more quickly                                                                matised in the work environment because of their         standard. For those young people who finish their
                     than academic qualifications. However, this is not the                                                              care background and thus asked for stricter personal     education before 18 – which is often the case for
                                                                               Youth support
                     case for those opting to undertake the three-year vo-                                                               data protection rules. They also found themselves        those undertaking vocational training – they are
                     cational education and training (VET) programmes          measures to access                                        doing low skilled jobs unrelated to their educational    required to leave residential care within a year of
                     for occupations in low demand.                            decent work                                               attainment.                                              graduation.

                     Children in care have more school absences and            There are a number of national strategies to support      Decent work: While the term ‘decent work’ is not         As a preparation for leaving residential care, each
                     subsequently have to repeat grades, leading to aca-       employment, including the Industrial Strategy, Strat-     referred to explicitly, the relevant elements of the     care leaver should develop an individual plan of
                     demic underachievement. Some young people are             egy of Science, Education and Technology, Strate-         decent work agenda (minimum wage, social protec-         care with their designated social worker, which in-
                     inappropriately streamed in special needs adapted         gy of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion and          tion in case of redundancy, protection of workers’       cludes short-term and long-term objectives. Care
                     programmes and are grouped with children with             Guidelines for the Active Labour Market Policy.           dignity, right to representation and collective bar-     leavers are not entitled to receive unemployment
                     learning disabilities and disorders. Those in fos-                                                                  gaining, workplace safety) are present in the Croa-      benefit, but do receive a basic social benefit (which
                     ter care are also seen to be disadvantaged, as car-       Young care leavers usually enter employment di-           tian legislative and policy framework (specifically      is extremely low), one-off financial support from
                     ers tend to have lower levels of education and are        rectly from education, but can also find themselves       the Labour Act). However, interviewees highlight-        the Centre for Social Welfare and subsidised ac-
                     therefore unable to provide support for their chil-       being directed to the CES and active labour market        ed that legally guaranteed rights are often breached     commodation. Each municipality also has the op-
                     dren’s development. The Regulation on School Ad-          programmes, as a means of getting them involved in        within the private sector, minimum wages fail to se-     tion to introduce local financial support and addi-
                     missions makes special provisions for young people        employment, but not in a sustainable manner. Such         cure a decent livelihood and collective agreements       tional rights to supplement those available at the
                     in care, enabling them to receive additional points       programmes are predominantly targeted towards the         are generally weak and poorly enforced.                  State level.
16   SOS Children’s Villages                                                                                                                                                                 Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 17

                                                                                                                                                                                                  14	World Bank database. 2015. Population, total.
                     State responses at                                         stral’ from Split developed the manual ‘Okvirko’ to       life beyond care and lack of affordable housing sti-

                     the local level                                            serve as a practical guidance document – aimed at         fles ambitions. Once they have left care, care leav-    15	UNICEF. 2016. State of the World’s Children. Down-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      loaded from:
                                                                                care leavers, professionals and policymakers – to         ers are not monitored or followed up and so very
                                                                                                                                                                                                  16	Croatian Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Pol-
                     Though limited detail was provided by interview-           support care leavers’ transition out of care.             little is known about their outcomes.                       icy (former Ministry of Social Policy and Youth). 2014 Statisti-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      cal Report.
                     ees, it appears that the City of Zagreb provides a                                                                                                                               ka-izvjesca-1765/statisticka-izvjesca-za-2014-godinu/2292
                     wider range of support to vulnerable individuals, in-                                                                There is little coordination between the different      17	ILOSTAT database. 2016. Unemployment, total (% of to-
                     cluding care leavers, than is available in other areas.                                                              key actors, at all levels, and their areas of respon-
                                                                                Conclusions                                                                                                           tal labor force) (modeled ILO estimate). http://da-
                     In the strategy of the City of Zagreb, there is an ar-                                                               sibilities. The system is therefore fragmented with
                                                                                                                                                                                                  18	ILOSTAT database. 2016. Unemployment, youth total (% of to-
                     ticle that defines that children from care should be       Croatia has a relatively comprehensive legislative        many cracks for young people to fall through.               tal labor force ages 15-24) (modeled ILO estimate). http://
                     positively discriminated in the employment selec-          framework in place for children without parental
                                                                                                                                                                                                  19	Eurostat. 2015.Share of young people neither in employment nor in edu-
                     tion process of the City of Zagreb’s local adminis-        care, but there is no legal definition of ‘care leaver’                                                               cation and training.
                     tration and public firms owned by the City.                and there are no special provisions for children who                                                                  nor_in_education_and_training,_by_sex_and_age,_2015%25.png
                                                                                age out of the care system. Young people leaving                                                                  20	SOS Children Villages. 2010. Ageing Out of Care bulletin.
                     Care providers take responsibility for supporting          care face a wide range of barriers. While many care                                                               21	See for example: Kusturin, S., Maglica, T., Makvić, K. (2014) OkvirKO
                     young people leaving care, including the provision of      homes do support young people throughout com-                                                                         – priručnik za osnaživanje mladih u procesu izlaska iz alternativne skrb.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Edited by Sunčana Kusturin, Toni Maglica, and Krešimir Makvić. Zagreb:
                     counselling services and advice on finding employ-         pulsory education, there is little preparation/plan-                                                                  Udruga Igra, SOS Dječje selo Hrvatska, Dječji dom „Maestral“; Kregar
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Orešković, K. and Rajhvajn, L. (2007) ‘Obilježja života i psihosocijalne
                     ment and continuing education. Beyond this there           ning for the transition out of care. Family homes/                                                                    potrebe mladića i djevojaka koje odrastaju u udomiteljskim obiteljima’,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dijete i društvo - časopis za promicanje prava djeteta, 1(9), pp. 63–86;
                     are no specific standards to adhere to and, therefore,     children’s homes could do more future orientated                                                                      Deborah Bayley et al. 2006. The Socially Excluded, in Unplugged: Faces
                                                                                                                                                                                                      of Social Exclusion in Croatia, United Nations Development Programme.
                     standards of support differ. In some cases no support      planning and provide more support for the transi-
                     is provided at all. Some service providers (including      tion process. Furthermore, while there is a push                                                                  22	Eurostat. 2016. Early leavers from education and training, 2010 and
                     SOS Children’s Villages Croatia) have flats avail-         towards de-institutionalisation of placements, the                                                                    File:Early_leavers_from_education_and_training,_2010_and_2015_
                     able for young people to go to immediately after they      support available to those in foster homes is more
                                                                                                                                                                                                  23	Maurović, I. 2015. Otpornost adolescenata u dječjim domovima. Doc-
                     leave care until they are 21. If they attend university,   limited than those available in residential homes.                                                                    toral dissertation. Zagreb.
                     they can use the service until they are 26. There are
                                                                                                                                                                                                  24	Ipsos Puls. 2009. Obrazovne i radne karijere mladih iz socijalne skrbi.
                     currently around 30 organized housing units with a         According to the interviews, many young people
                                                                                                                                                                                                  25	Matković, T. 2011. Obrasci tranzicije iz obrazovnog sustava u svijet rada u
                     total capacity for 165 care leavers.                       transitioning out of alternative care keep in con-                                                                    Hrvatskoj. Doctoral dissertation. Zagreb.
                                                                                tact with their biological family. In some cases, they                                                      

                                                                                actually go back to their family to help overcome                                                                 26	SOS Children’s Villages International. 2010. Aging Out of Care. p 30

                     Non-state responses                                        family issues, instead of starting to live alone and                                                              27	Tanja Novosel and Ana Preveden. 2015. Garancija za sve mlade: mla-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      di iz alternativne skrbi na marginama Garancije.
                                                                                independently. Thus, more consideration should                                                                        files/ckfinder/files/2_HR_Brosura_165x235_Finalno_za%20WEB.pdf

                     There are many localised examples of promising             be given to supporting care leavers as well as their                                                              28	Matković, T. 2011. Obrasci tranzicije iz obrazovnog sustava u svijet rada u
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hrvatskoj. Doctoral dissertation. Zagreb.
                     practices involving children’s homes and NGOs              family during the transition period.                                                                        
                     (e.g. Association ‘Play’ from Zagreb, and Associa-
                     tion ‘MoSt’ from Split), but these are limited in the
                     range and nature of work they undertake. Nonethe-              “Sometimes they (care leavers)
                     less, some of these initiatives have helped young                are the ones taking care of
                     people gain IT skills, languages, driving licences,             their problematic families.”
                     etc., which has then helped them in their search for                Professor at the Centre for Social Care of
                     employment.                                                           the University of Zagreb, interviewee

                     The Croatian Youth Network recently accessed EU            Academic underachievement and lack of financial
                     funding, in collaboration with other NGOs (includ-         stability mean that most care leavers are directed to-
                     ing SOS Children’s Villages Croatia), to undertake         ward VET programmes which enable faster access
                     research, advocacy and awareness raising activities        to the labour market. Robust analysis provided by
                     around care leavers’ employment. During the in-            Matković in 2011 clearly indicates that education
                     terviews, this was seen as a positive step, but one        level is a good predictor of all positive labour mar-
                     which requires more of a strategic follow-through          ket outcomes: job-seeking duration, wage, stability,
                     to lead to tangible outcomes.                              progress opportunities28. As a group, they appear to
                                                                                go through a cycle of employment via active labour
                     SOS Children’s Villages Croatia, in partnership            market programmes and unemployment once terms
                     with Association ‘Play’ and Children’s home ‘Mae-          come to an end. Lack of adequate preparation for
Decent Work and Social Protection for Young People Leaving Care 19

Country mapping report

                                                                                                                            Legislative and                                          It is presumed that once a young person reaches the
                                                                                                                            policy framework                                         age of majority at 18, they are considered to be self-
                                                                                                                                                                                     sufficient. In practice, the institutions that provided
                                                                                                                                                                                     care to these young people often continue mentor-
                                                                                                                            State provisions for children                            ing them after they have left care. The only statutory
                                                                                                                            up to the age of 18                                      obligation in relation to leaving care is that young
                                                                                                                                                                                     people should be informed of educational or train-
                                                                                                                            In Ecuador, the State is responsible for children and    ing options that they can access for free (Article
                                                                                                                            adolescents who can no longer live with their bio-       403, Code of Childhood and Adolescence).
                                                                                                                            logical parents or extended family. This responsi-
                                                                                                                            bility is exercised primarily through the Ministry of
                                                                                                                            Economic and Social Inclusion. Other agencies and
                                                                                                                                                                                     Education, training
                                                              Options for alternative care placements                       organizations also have a remit in providing social
                                                              Children and young people in care may be placed in fos-      protection and support to young people in and leav-      and employment
                                                              ter homes or different forms of institutional care (mainly    ing care, including the Judicial Council, Ministry of    situation
                                                              temporary) which fall under three categorizations: a) di-     Health, Ministry of Education, Decentralized Au-
                                                              rect care (offered by the government); b) attention agree-    tonomous Governments (GADs), provincial gov-             In Ecuador, education is mandatory and free of
                                                              ment (offered by legal persons that have an agreement         ernments, municipalities, parish councils, as well as    charge throughout high school. The average num-
                                                              with the government); c) care without agreement (legal        the private sector and NGOs.                             ber of years of schooling of adults is seven years.
                                                              persons who have no agreement with the government). In                                                                 Article 14 of the Youth Law (2001) which applies
                                                              all cases the governing and supervisory body for place-       While there is no specific legislation governing chil-   to those aged 18-29 years states that education pol-
                                                              ments is the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion.       dren and young people in care, there is a Code for       icies aimed at young people must: “improve pro-
                                                                                                                            Children and Adolescents and standards such as the       fessional young people’s basic education, techni-
                                                              Residential care can take the form of:                        ‘Technical Standard for Special Protection of Insti-     cal training, training and craft, prevent, punish and
                                                                                                                            tutional Care’ and the ‘Special Technical Standard       eradicate all forms of violence and practices in edu-
                                                                	Family houses providing temporary refuge where it has     Protective Foster Care’. These codes and standards,      cation, promote educational scholarships at all lev-
                                                                 been assessed that the parents and extended fam-           combined with the general principles around social       els giving priority access to poor people and vulner-
                                                                 ily are not able to provide safe and adequate care for     protection in the national constitution, form the le-    able groups and promote internships in the public
                                                                 the child/young person and there is no possibility of      gal framework.                                           and private sectors. ”
Total population                                                 foster care. These houses accommodate a maximum
16,144,363 (2015)29                                              of eight children and young people aged from 0 to 17                                                                Underemployment is a key issue in Ecuador. This is
                                                                 years and eleven months of age. These houses have          State provisions for leaving                             the condition where someone is employed for few-
Child population (ages 0-18)                                     interdisciplinary professional teams who work with chil-   care and after-care support                              er hours than they would like, perform a job with
5,588,000 (2015) (34,6% of the total population)   30
                                                                 dren, adolescents, their families and the community.                                                                a lower qualification level than they have or are
                                                                                                                            There is no specific legal framework that governs        in employment that does not meet their economic
Population of children in alternative care                      	‘Foster care centres’ that temporarily take in children   young people leaving care and there is no specific       needs. This results in the reduction of the worker’s
3,491 children and young people in formal alternative            and adolescents aged from 0 to 17 years and eleven         legal term used for ‘care leavers’. There is no le-      income below the level that they would be able to
care in 2015, out of which 2,511 in institutional care . 31
                                                                 months of age. These centres have multidisciplinary        gal age for leaving care. However, most institutions     achieve if they were employed in work that match-
                                                                 teams that work to preserve, improve, strengthen or        and departments have interpreted that the maximum        es their training and qualifications and which cov-
Numbers ageing out of care each year                             restore the child/young person’s family ties until the     age of leaving care should be the same as the max-       ers the full number of hours that they are available
Data not found.                                                  situation which led to institutional care is resolved.     imum age of entry to care which is: 17 years and         to work.
                                                                                                                            11 months, but this is at the discretion of individ-
Total unemployment                                            According to a former official from the Ministry of Eco-      ual institutions. Preparation for transitioning from     Data from June 2016 shows that the rate of under-
4.7% (2016)32                                                 nomic and Social Inclusion that was interviewed for this      care usually starts at age 15 and is termed as ‘Life     employment was 16.8% for men and 15.7% for
                                                              research, foster care is prioritized by the State as the      Project’.                                                women; of these underemployed people, 54.1%
Youth unemployment (ages 15-24)                               best and preferred option in terms of placement for chil-                                                              were paid a salary and 45.9% were self-employed.
11% (2016)33                                                  dren and young people in care, with institutional place-      There are no specific government standards or tar-
                                                              ments seen as a last resort. Foster care can be either        gets for care leavers and the government is not          Data from the child labour survey conducted by the
Young people not in education,                                kinship if a suitable extended family can be identified, or   signed up to any specific international frameworks       National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC)
employment or training (NEET)                                 non-kinship in which case a family is selected accord-        on care leavers. As such, there is no legislative ob-    in 2012 showed that 19.8% of the child population
18,4% (2016)34                                                ing to the needs presented by the child or adolescent.        ligation for the provision of support to care leavers.   are working35. Of these, 4.3% are in urban areas and
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