UASC, unaccompanied or separated children are boys and girls who have arrived in Europe without parents or adults legally responsible for them.
The large migration flows in recent years have recorded a constant influx of minors, mainly teenage boys, between 14 and 17 years of age, in European countries.
In 2019 about 33,000 children reached the European borders, among them more than 5,000 were UASC.*
Between January and June 2019, 8,236 minors arrived in Greece, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria, including 2,794 (34%) Unaccompanied or Separated Foreign Minors.**
Unfortunately, there is quite often the risk that this children are not treated as such, but simply as migrants, without the adequate services and attention which could and should ensure their best interest and well being.
In the different European countries, many alternative forms of care have been experimented in these years, but there are still more opportunities for further enhancements that can be dicovered and promoted thanks to an exchange of information and the fostering of mutual knowledge among the key actors in different countries.
The EPIC project sets this as its main objective:
to create new opportunities for exchange and training to enrich not only the skills of individual operators, but the whole alternative care systems in the countries where the project takes place.
Moreover the project seeks to promote in particular foster care for UASC, which has proven to be an effective instrument to protect Unaccompanied migrant children and give them more opportunities for integration in the communities where they settle.
In this website it will be possible to deepen the theme of alternative care for UASC and discover the activities and good practices carried out by the partners of this project, located in different European countries: Italy, Spain, Czech Republic and Sweden (discover all the partners).
To stay up to date on the project, and on the initiatives that will be addressed both to professionals in the reception sector, but also to families and individuals supporting UASC, as well as all those who are interested, you can subscribe to the newsletter here.
*Data from European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
** Data from International Organization for Migration