1. Priorities and activities to be funded
This call for proposals will support capacity building on rights of the child and child protection for professionals working for and with children in migration. The aim of the call is to ensure better protection and respect for the rights of all children in migration on EU territory through capacity-building for family-based care for unaccompanied children (Priority 1) and through building capacity and cooperation mechanisms for guardians whose role is to safeguard the rights of children in migration (Priority 2). Proposals shall complement the efforts of the EU in the area of rights of the child and child protection, and support the work on integrated child protection systems. To this end, proposals should be carried out in line with the 10 Principles for integrated child protection systems, and proposals should describe how their project implements the principles. This call does not aim to support operating costs.
1.2. Description of the activities to be funded under this topic
Proposals that do not address one of the two priorities of this call will not be considered.
This call will fund activities on:
Priority 1.This priority aims to expand the national systems of family-based care, such as foster care, for children in migration, as provided for in Article 24 of Directive 2013/33/EU laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection. Projects should support capacity-building for practitioners/professionals working with or for children in migration to increase the provision of quality family-based care to host unaccompanied children. This could include activities to attract and/or improve the quality of further capacity for quality family-based care (such as foster family care or small family-type units), adapt foster care standards to the situation of unaccompanied children, recruitment, training, monitoring and supervision activities for future foster parents, overcoming any barriers in the way reception funds are allocated (e.g. where funds are currently ring-fenced to be allocated solely to reception centres) as well as professionals working in the guardianship system. Account should be taken of previous EU funded projects on family-based care for unaccompanied children. Projects should also seek to address known gaps, such as the limited availability of family-based care, challenges in recruitment and monitoring foster parents, the need to train more foster parents, and the gaps for transition to adulthood in preparations for ageing out of care of unaccompanied children (e.g. independent living arrangements for older children and/or those that are aged out). Proposals are expected to boost child protection system changes and result in improvements that are sustained and sustainable after EU funding ends. This will require that project activities are integrated (and/or linked) within the national child protection systems and in particular alternative care systems.
Priority 2: Capacity-building and cooperation mechanisms for guardians whose role is to safeguard the rights of unaccompanied and separated children in migration (including development, piloting and delivery of training and accreditation taking account of the FRA Handbook on guardians and the FRA report on guardianship). This priority can include activities relating to the development, piloting and delivery of recruitment, training and accreditation of guardians taking account of the joint FRA/Commission Handbook on guardians and the FRA report on guardianship, with the objective of strengthening the role of guardian in the protection of children and clarification of the guardian's tasks in safeguarding the bests interests of the child, promoting the child's safety and well-being, facilitating child participation, acting as a link between the child and others, helping identify a durable solution in the best interests of the child, exercising legal representation and supporting the child in administrative or judicial procedures). Joint training activities could be envisaged to contribute to strengthening cooperation among guardians, foster-care professionals, child protection, judicial, migration and asylum authorities to enhance the protection of children, including at crossborder level. This priority can also cover activities that strengthen cross-border cooperation and exchange, for instance through the setting up of direct contacts with counterparts in other EU Member States, in the context of Dublin transfers and family reunification. The work of the European Network of Guardianship Institutions (ENGI, www.engi.eu) should be taken into account by applicants.
This call does not aim to fund projects addressing principally:
information to children on rights of the child
general awareness-raising on rights of the child
research on rights of the child
child victims, or violence against children (can be funded under other areas of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, such as Daphne's topic for action grants to support integrated and multidisciplinary child-centred approaches to child victims of violence, REC-RDAP-CHIL-AG-2016).
This call aims to fund targeted, practical projects ensuring maximum tangible and demonstrable benefits and impact on the lives of unaccompanied and separated children in the context of migration. All projects should not only develop a sound methodology using recognised existing good practice or tried and tested intervention models but consist of a large proportion of practical implementation measures and outcomes, ultimately to improve children's experience of the child protection systems. These aspects will be taken into account when evaluating the quality of proposals. Applicants are invited to consider the weighting of the work streams, with a view to ensuring maximum practical benefits and impacts for the target groups and the final beneficiaries (children), and to check that the management and coordination work streams (including travel) are not over-resourced. Activities such as the development of materials, the mapping of existing materials or research should be, at most, minor components of project proposals. If included, the need should be solidly justified in the proposal; they should lead to practical applications and interventions.
Any training and/or practical tools should have an overarching objective to make the system work better to improve outcomes for children. This may include development and delivery of new training modules/tools or roll out and delivery of previously tried and tested training modules/tools. Proposal should describe how access to those to be trained will be assured and describe how training/tools will be rolled out in the participating countries. In terms of promoting sustainability, capacity-building should preferably focus on train-the-trainer approaches and may also include tools such as checklists/draft protocols, etc. Any training modules developed should be made available and be easily adaptable for use in all EU Member States. New training modules must be piloted and, if necessary, adapted prior to delivery.
Given the challenges and known gaps in transnational cooperation and coordination, all proposals submitted under this call should describe how their project would enhance interagency and multidisciplinary cooperation and collaboration, both at national and transnational levels, to ensure the closer involvement of state child care and child protection authorities (national, regional, and/or local) for all children in migration situations, involving international organisations and non-governmental organisations where appropriate, to ensure a child-centred and child-rights based approach. For both priorities, the involvement of national (and/or regional and/or local if decentralised) authorities, or other entities mandated by the State, is essential. The range of actors proposed for each participating State must be appropriate in terms of the project objectives and activities. See Section 2.1.2 Eligibility of the application for more details
All proposals are expected to respect the child's right to participate and be aligned with Article 24 of the Charter, relevant EU law and the UN Convention on the rights of the child. The child's right to be heard, as set out in UNCRC Article 12 and General Comment No 12, must be an integral part of all project activities.
Proposals must make children's involvement central and integral to the project, for example in designing and reviewing responses to reports and actual cases of child victims, in reviewing services, in assessing what needs to be changed at system level, in empowering children to be involved in decisions that affect them and in empowering children and young people to help themselves and other children, etc. Are there possibilities to involve children in project design prior to submission of proposals? Are the views of children on issues addressed in the call (possibly gathered elsewhere) reflected in the proposal?
Accessible guidance on how to ensure child participation is also contained in the Lundy Model of Participation and the Lundy Voice Model Checklist for Participation, designed by Professor Laura Lundy of Queen's University, Belfast.