[Europe] Examples of good practices from global SOS family: Children Villages France

30 Jul 2018
SOS Children’s Villages International

Child Rights Training, developed by SOS Children's Village France, brings together professionals dedicated to the well-being of children from the most vulnerable categories. Young people who have the experience of growing up in some of the alternative forms of care are also involved in the organization of these trainings.

The promotion of children's rights by professionals working in the social care system was the starting point of the European project "Strengthening the capacity of professionals working with children in alternative care". The project was implemented by the SOS Children's Villages International in cooperation with the Council of Europe and the Eurochild, with the financial support of the European Commission. It includes training for child care professionals, already implemented in eight partner countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Hungary and Romania.

After these countries, SOS Children's Villages France, with the support of their partners (the Ombudsman of France, the National Center for Territorial Services Management (CNFPT) and the Federation of Child Protection Associations), took advantage of the favorable moment for the implementation and further development of these trainings, 2015, as well as during 2016, when project activities were expanding.

Trainings are provided for people in the judicial, educational and social protection system.

What happened in the previous two years? Sylvie Delcroix, Advisor for Research and Advocacy in SOS Children's Villages France, sums up: "The number of childcare professionals who have undergone training has increased significantly - there are 250 in 2017. Also, trainings are no longer intended only for professionals who work directly with children in alternative care, but for a wider circle of people, such as those working in the judiciary, the education sector and associations that work on the social integration of vulnerable groups. "

In addition, trainings are tailored to specific needs such as:

-trenings for special categories of professionals, such as Early Childhood Education and special pedagogues,

- professionals working with groups, such as adolescents and young people. SOS Children's Villages France, with their project, won the competition launched by the regional training body, which included this course in its training catalog.

Young people as participants and in organization of training.

In 2017, SOS Children's Villages France shared their experience in numerous conferences and professional articles. Young people with an experience of growing up in alternative care, also as experts, were involved in the project and contributed as trainers. One of them is Gabrielle Chouin, who held trainings for employees in the education system. "Our participatory approach has quickly expanded," explains Sylvie Delcroix. "Trainings, in which courses are designed and maintained in cooperation with our users, are still seen as a rare and innovative approach."

Joint development in the future

The year 2018 will also be full of activities. "We are continuing with both internal and institutional trainings, in cooperation with our partners," explains Delcroix. "For the first time, our training will be included in the French National School for the Judicial Protection of Young Persons, as a course for educators. Also, we will be training professionals working in a camp near Paris, within the framework of an ambulance program. "

In order to respond to these new challenges, SOS Children's Villages France will work to increase the number of young experts / trainers, in cooperation with the National Association for helping people in child protection programs. Conducting trainings for trainers will also continue in cooperation with partners.

"This approach to children's rights is unique," Sylvie Delcroix is convinced. "It is in our interest to bring together decision makers from different areas. The original European project is the beginning, which we are now developing further. "

SOS Children's Village Serbia, in cooperation with SOS Children's Villages Croatia, at the end of last year launched the project "Alternative Care and Children's Rights in Serbia" financed by the European Union. The project is focused on the development and implementation of practical and innovative training for professionals who care about children in the social protection system. Read more about the project HERE.

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