Hope For Children CRC Policy Centre, is implementing a pilot programme for fostering unaccompanied minors in cooperation with the government, it said on Tuesday.
“Many unaccompanied children arriving in Cyprus, have either lost their parents/guardians or were separated from them. In order to improve the reception conditions of this vulnerable group,” the NGO said in a statement.
The pilot programme for fostering is being co-funded by the asylum, migration and integration fund and the Republic of Cyprus.
Hope for Children said fostering is an alternative form of child care, giving children who cannot be raised by their biological parents the possibility of a family life.
The aim of the programme is to promote the institution of foster care through the identification, evaluation, training and long term observation/monitoring and support of candidate foster parents. The social welfare services as the legal representative of the unaccompanied minors will undertake the placement of the unaccompanied minors in the approved foster families.
For the implementation of the program Hope for Children will have close collaboration with the social welfare services, the competent public authority to ensure the best interests of children.
The staff overseeing the programme is comprised of specialised professionals, registered psychologists and social workers as well as external collaborators such as translators, psychologist and social worker supervisors.
Potential foster parents will receive specialised training lasting up to seven weeks, which will address the issues and skills related to the upbringing and care of unaccompanied minors.
After the placement of the minors in foster care, Hope For Children will undertake the ongoing monitoring and support of the family.
“The present programme is a ground-breaking and innovative step taken by Cyprus towards the effective protection, care and reinstatement of unaccompanied children in the framework of the foster family institution,” the NGO said.
“This is a practice already followed by other EU countries that shows that growing up in a family is highly beneficial considering the best interests of the child.”
For more information or for the programme’s application form you can visit the Organisation’s website www.uncrcpc.org.cy and/or contact Mrs Aliki Varella via telephone 22 103 234 or via email [email protected].