I Matter campaign - Preparation for independent living.
One of the strengths of SOS Children’s Villages is the preparation of young people for an independent life. For decades the organization has been spending much time and resources on building expertise on the process of leaving care. Based on this experience, SOS Children’s Villages will tackle the issues of leaving care in an international campaign aimed at providing young people in alternative care in Europe and Central Asia with better conditions and standards for leaving their care settings. A good leaving care process is a sign of quality in alternative care; therefore advocating for better leaving care conditions goes hand in hand with advocating for quality standards in alternative care, an issue for which SOS Children’s Villages has been consistently advocating.
The Leaving Care project, which runs from 2009 to 2013, has three interlinked objectives that support each other:
Knowledge-sharing on leaving care
In order to bring about change, awareness and knowledge are crucial. In this project, knowledge on the situation of young people ageing out of care in Europe and Central Asia will be gathered and made available to researchers, NGOs, youth policy institutions and other relevant stakeholders, with the aim to support the improvement of legislation and practice.
Youth participation and empowerment
Ultimately, young people should make the decisions that affect them and future generations of youngsters like them. The Leaving Care project will encourage and empower young people with care experience to actively participate in this project and in doing so, contribute to the shaping of legislation and practice on alternative care and debates of concern to them.
Improved legislation and practice
As a result of this campaign, the perspectives of young people ageing out of care will be improved thanks to changes in national legislation and international standards on leaving care, including appropriate budget allocations.