DECENT WORK AND SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE - GAPS AND RESPONSES IN 12 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE
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DECENT WORK AND SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE GAPS AND RESPONSES IN 12 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE
DECENT WORK AND SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE GAPS AND RESPONSES IN 12 COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE imprint © SOS Children’s Villages International, 2018 Published by: SOS Children’s Villages International Brigittenauer Lände 50 A-1200 Vienna, Austria www.sos-childrensvillages.org 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 Contents 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 Conclusions 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. https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/DataQuery/ 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). http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat 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. rensvillages.org or visit www.sos-childrensvillages.org.
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 qualifications 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- http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP. TOTL?locations=CV&view=chart 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: https://www.unicef.org/sowc2016/ 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- http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.TOTL.ZS 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). http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.ZS 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- http://www.ine.cv/publicacoes/anuario-da-educacao-2015-2016/ cally for care leavers to promote their access to the 13 SOS Children’s Villages International. 2010. Tracking Footprints. https://www.sos-childrensvillages.org/getmedia/f94f96ac-0e37-4e9c-ad1c- 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 Croatia 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. http://data.world- State responses at stral’ from Split developed the manual ‘Okvirko’ to life beyond care and lack of affordable housing sti- bank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL?locations=HR&view=chart 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: https://www.unicef.org/sowc2016/ 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. http://www.mspm.hr/pristup-informacijama/statistic- 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- ta.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.TOTL.ZS 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:// data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.ZS 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. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/ index.php/File:Share_of_young_people_neither_in_employment_ 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 2015. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/ SOS Children’s Villages Croatia) have flats avail- towards de-institutionalisation of placements, the File:Early_leavers_from_education_and_training,_2010_and_2015_ (%C2%B9)_(%25_of_population_aged_18%E2%80%9324)_YB16.png 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. https://bib.irb.hr/datoteka/763806.Iva- na_Maurovi._Otpornost_adolescenata_u_djejim_domovima.pdf 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 https://bib.irb.hr/datoteka/513185.disertacija_matkovic.pdf 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. http://www.mmh.hr/ 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. https://bib.irb.hr/datoteka/513185.disertacija_matkovic.pdf (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 Ecuador 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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