Colorful Families (Famiglie a Colori) – Italy

WHO: Comune di Macerata 

WHERE: Italy - Macerata 

The Municipality of Macerata, located in the Marche region, has been managing the Colorful Families project for 4 years, for the reception of unaccompanied migrant children, through an integrated approach implemented through the construction of a network of families, services and organisations in the area that have worked together.

THE BEST PRACTICE: Colorful Families 

Colorful Families is a project designed to promote family foster care, including homocultural foster care, for Unaccompanied or Separated Migrant Children (UASC). On the third e-round table, held on the 5 November 2020, through a very passionate and multi-voiced narration, the Municipality of Macerata has outlined the history of the project and its strengths. In fact, the initiative started in 2016, when in the Municipality, as well as all over Italy and Europe, there was a growing flow of migrants. The reception centers for minors (Comunità Educative) were full and, having to guarantee a safe place for these boys and girls, the social workers of the Municipality of Macerata sought the support of the families of Macerata.   As the Social worker Marika Di Prodi recalled:   
The project has not being written on the paper but it has been lived in the community of Macerata and it is growing with them.
Since then, the service has been systematized with favorable results, first of all for the children, but also for the whole citizenship. This is thanks to the continuous work to structure and feed a network of foster families and a whole set of services aimed at fostering the integration of UASC through:
  • learning the Italian language
  • obtaining a qualification, or completing vocational training courses
  • the discovery of the city and the connection with its citizens through art and culture
  • job placement
  The many testimonies have perfectly described the richness of this program, which manages to catalyze the work of the different actors involved, towards the common goal of integrating young people: the goodwill of the families and voluntary guardians; the expertise of the social workers, psychologists and educators who guide these processes and support the families and young boys and girls at all times; the commitment of the volunteers who accompanied the UASC in their discovery of the city of Macerata; the artists who encouraged them in their integration process and finally the companies who welcomed the UASC for their vocational training.   The words of Ezekiele Ernest tell his success story thanks to Colorful Families: 
"I arrived in Italy in 2016, in Pozzallo (Sicily) and from there I was transferred to Licata.  I stayed in Licata for three months, without being able to do anything, I wanted to go to school and continue studying, so I ran away. While I was on my way to Bologna,  the train conductor made me get off at Macerata, from there I went to the police station which called the municipality and they transferred me to a community for a fortnight, afterwards I arrived in my host family. Once I settled I started to study, learn the language, I took the third grade and while I was doing that I took a metalworker's course and now I work as a turner here in Macerata."
      To discover more about the Colorful Families project visit the Municipality of Macerata website, HERE   
logo fadv The project is coordinated by Fondazione l'Albero della Vita