Final Conference 2nd December in Brussels

20101112kezfogasm13International standards require that detention of children and young people in conflict with the law is a measure of last resort. However, alternatives to custody are vastly underdeveloped in Europe.  Detention or ‘correctional centres’ continue to be the norm rather than the exception.

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) has been leading a 2-year European project to explore the scope for developing quality foster care as an alternative to custodial and institutional measures for young people in conflict with the law. Partners in the UK, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary have undertaken focus group discussions with senior professionals, young people in conflict with the law, foster carers and biological families.


Each partner has also carried out desk analyses, data collection and consultations with policy makers. The outcomes reflect significant differences across countries and varying levels of development. However all project partners recognize the potential of specialist foster care as one of the components of achieving more child-friendly justice systems.


Through the project, BAAF has developed a comprehensive model that includes a European training programme, practical guidance for professionals, and national policy guidelines. The quality standards and training programme will be presented at the closing conference on 2nd December.


The project has received financial support from the European Commission through the Daphne Programme.  Project partners included: BAAF-UK (project leader); Eurochild-Belgium; the International Juvenile Justice Observatory-Belgium; a National Voice-UK; Family Child Youth Association-Hungary; National Network for Children -Bulgaria; Social Activities and Practice Institute-Bulgaria; Università del Salento (Law Department)-Italy.