WELCOME TO THE JUNE NEWSLETTER OF
The European Youth Centre, Budapest was the venue for the spring meeting of FICE-Inter from the 9th to 13th May 2007. The dates might, in future years, be regarded as important ones in the development and the future of FICE-Inter. The President thanked FICE Hungary for the arrangements made for the meetings.
FICE-Inter Website The CF had a verbal report on the development of the revised website. It was stressed that FICE-Inter needed to get updated material so that the communication list could be updated.
Congress 2008 The Helsinki Congress for 2008, which will be from 10th – 13th June. It is hoped that Quality for Children will be a major element of the Congress. There is to be a young people’s congress from the 8th to 13th June with registration before 30th November and it is planned that there will mutual presentations between the two congresses. The overall theme for the Congress is ‘A better Future for Children – Today.’ This will be based on the Congress themes of: Quality – policy issues – best practices, Future trends affecting child welfare and Past – present – future. We hope to have 300 participants and an early-bird fee will be 400 Euros. Accommodation prices will range from 53 to 213 Euros. Most information will be on the web rather than by flyer or brochure. Deadline for abstracts is to be 15th February with the early bird fee to be by 28th February.
FICE – Europa: After a useful discussion, the CF agreed that the creation of international platforms was a goal but FICE is not ready to go there yet.
Reports: CF heard with pleasure that There are good contacts in Kosovo, in Albania and that Turkey is also showing interest in having membership. FICE Montenegro is now a part of South East Europe. The four sections are: Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.
Webmag: The Webmag has been going for seven years. It is intended to have the paper as a FICE Newsletter. The Webmag could provide some money so that if agencies could place an advert in the magazine, then the some income could come to National Sections.
Projects: Partnership Project The USA Section is creating a sponsoring partnership organisation, which will assist developing countries in their child welfare work. A professional association (PAR) is partnering the FICE South Africa Section and they visited the section, which went well. To get assistance the partnership section has to be a member of FICE-Inter. The Dutch Section wants to establish a youth exchange programme. Each National Section is asked to respond to the Dutch questionnaire.
The future of FICE: The President made a presentation of the future of FICE-Inter. The CF held group discussions on: the future of FICE, finance and Q4C standards. There were two immediate outcomes from the discussions: the creation of a short life working party to revise the statutes and consider structures and each National Section is asked to submit a publicity name to go with the FICE name and logo. Submissions to be made to the Secretariat for consideration at the Tel Aviv meeting.
Future meetings: Tel Aviv between 10th and 13th October. The CE will meet in London in January and the CE, the CF and the General Assembly and Congress will be in Helsinki opening on 11thJune.
The Extraordinary General Assembly confirmed the appointment of Andrew Hosie as the Secretary General. The GA also agreed to the amendment of the Statutes by adding to the categories of membership. FICE International Membership for Individuals, NGOs and organisations. FICE International Membership is open to anyone interested in questions of childcare and open to those individuals whether their country has a National Section or not. Where there is a National Section, they will be required to be members of that National Section as well as being FICE International Members. Further details will be in the next Newsletter.
This was received on 12th June and is sent for information. Quality4Children: The European quality standards for out-of-home care will be presented in Brussels.
Hundreds of thousands of children and youths in Europe can not grow up with their biological parents. The aim of the Quality4Children (Q4C) project is to guarantee and improve their chances of development. Together with a group of affected persons, three big international organizations in the field of out-of-home child care, SOS Children’s Villages, IFCO (International Foster Care Organisation) and FICE (Féderation Internationale des Communautés Educatives), have developed a set of quality standards for out-of-home child and youth care.
The official presentation of these standards will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on June 13 at the invitation of Lissy Gröner, member of the European Parliament. The event will be attended by representatives of the European Union and international organisations. The standard presentation will be embedded into various key-note presentations on the issue of “Improving the situation of children in out-of-home care“.
On the background of Quality4Children
Now, a total of 18 standards, which have been divided into the three chapters of “Decision-making and admission process“, “Care-taking process“ and “Leaving-care process“ are available. As a next step, the standards are to be put into practice, while being continuously evaluated.
Independent of the three big organisations which will use the Q4C standards in their own work, there are concrete declarations of intent of various countries to put the Q4C standards into practice. The youth welfare authorities of Switzerland, the Netherlands and Malta, for example, are planning to use the Q4C standards as a frame of action for guaranteeing and improving care quality.
The official presentation will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 13 June, at the invitation of Lissy Gröner, member of the European Parliament and in presence of representatives of various international organisations, including, of course, the three Quality4Children partner organisations, SOS Children’s Villages, FICE and IFCO. The standard presentation will be embedded into various key-note presentations on the issue of “Improving the situation of children in out-of-home-care. The different presentations will address different aspects. They will deal with the need for quality standards but also with indicators for good out-of-home child and youth care.
As of 13 June, the Q4C quality standards will be available in both print and online versions and can be accessed via this webpage: www.quality4children.info
Quality standards in out-of-home care: an example
What do these standards contain? Let's look at the example of "care-taking": the related standards, for example, state that children should be adequately involved in making any decisions that will affect their lives. They also stipulate that, as far as possible, the children should stay in familiar social and cultural surroundings. One standard stipulates that special needs children should receive adequate care and that their care-personnel should count on specialist training and receive ample support. One of the standards, on the other hand, places special emphasis on co-operating with the child's biological family. A further standard deals with supporting children and youths in their development into adults capable of living on their own.
Each individual standard is described in detail. This includes aspects such as responsibility, guidelines, warning signs and a reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Furthermore, relevant quotations from the narrators of the Good Practice stories have been included.
Second edition: June 2007