Dealing with Young People Leaving Residential Care



(Care Leavers Integration Programme)

CLIP Project Bulgaria




A brief description of CLIP’s objectives

A. An individual and personalised approach for each “out-of-home” child

          A1. Working with the individual approach

  • Defining the objectives of each “out-of-home” stay, always bearing in mind the best interest of the child.
  • The importance of the individual reference person (a qualitative relationship with each child)
  • The work on the child’s resilience, resources and intrinsic competencies.
  • The importance of the child’s participation to define its needs, options and perspectives for the future
  • Recreating the links with the child’s family whenever possible.
  • Creating an external social network for each child

          A2. The professionals’ values and attitude when performing the individual approach

  • The importance of respecting the child as a full individual with its own history and will.
  • The importance of “Tender Loving Care”, especially for children living in institution: the Erikson’s “life cycle”
  • Creating a balance between collectivity and and individuality.

A3. The Individual approach and the children’s living conditions. The Protected Living Spaces and the Half-Way Apartment as key to a progressive autonomisation.

  • Protected Living Spaces (PLS)
  • Half-Way Apartments (HWA)
  • The importance of respecting each child’s intimacy

B. The creation of a favourable environment: the necessary conditions for an effective work.

          B2. At social and political level

  • The collaboration with the institutions at municipal level
  • The Operational groups
  • Sensitisation and trainings
  • The promotion of decent working conditions for the professionals working with children
  • The creation of the CSRI: promoting a multidisciplinary approach.


Social and vocational integration of young people leaving residential care

In many countries of the former Soviet block, tens of thousands of children without parental care are still living in social institutions in poor conditions. They are the innocent victims of a hideous social system inherited from the past and are at the same time the future of their countries. The life of these children has been harsh not only because of the lack of essentials (food, clothes, medical care etc…) but also because they didn’t have the chance to rely on someone caring for them and interested in their fate. Once they reach the age of 18 years old they are sent away from their “home” without support, place of life or real prospect to integrate the labour market or the studies. As a result, many of them end up caught in criminal activities or living on the verge of the society. These wasted lives represent a shame for the country they are living in as well as a social and economic burden.

How is it possible to create a positive future for children with a heavy past?

ISS had the opportunity to run a four year programme (CLIP) in Bulgaria aiming to prepare and support the social and professional integration of the young people raised in social institutions and about to leave them. By publicizing these guidelines we would like to share our experience and the lessons we have learned. Even though our programme had some material components, the main work and achievement was the change of attitude from the society’s actors towards these young people.

We started from the needs expressed by the young people themselves and built progressively a model based on three main pillars:

  • the individual care of young people and the development of their personal skills
  • the development of trust relationships
  • the development of genuine prospects for their future.

The model of action developed by the project constantly refers to the individual approach towards the child and insists on her/his resources rather than on her/his deficiencies. This approach must be adopted not only by professionals but also by the whole society. Indeed, integration cannot be delegated to a single institution but is the responsibility of the community.

The methodology developed in the frame of the programme is intended for capacity building of the young people themselves as well as of the child care workers. Such methodology shouldn’t be applied as such. It’s not a technic or a magic recipe, but it’s more an adaptive tool aiming to change attitudes for a bigger respect of the child.

Rolf Widmer and Olivier Geissler

Director and coordinator of the CLIP programme


Based on CLIP capitalisation report, those summarised guidelines are elaborated specifically on CLIP principle of action, values and methodology. They are destined to provide the professionals with a brief “reminder”, hopefully to help them in their day-to-day work.

Project's Intervention

The main questions addressed by those guidelines are:

  • How is it possible to create a positive future with/for a child who has had a heavy past?
  • What are the main care-leavers needs and how is it possible to meet them? How is it possible to palliate the lack of family care for the children living in institutions?
  • How should an “out-of-home” child be progressively prepared to autonomy?

CLIP project (2003 -2007) aimed at working with children during the crucial phase of their existence – since 15 years old to maximum 20 – when they are about to leave residential care (institutions). The children living in institutions in Bulgaria have to leave when they reach the age of 18[1], whether they are prepared or not. Therefore, the final objective of the project was to progressively prepare them to become truly and durably independent.

In order to do that, and overcome the risks of an unprepared and brutal leaving for those children, the projet intended to work three main topics:

  • The LIVING CONDITIONS and PLACES were the children live (as proper tools to prepare them to independence)
  • The SOCIAL integration of children
  • The PROFESSIONNAL integration of children

A brief description of CLIP’S objectives.


Every specific CLIP’s objective thrive to achieve the final objective, which is to help the care-leavers to become autonomous (in terms of social and professional integration), and to bring standards on national level for their accompaniment by institutions and professionals[2].


The strategic decision to work with youngster between 15 and 18 has been decided in Bulgaria because no other actor was working with this specific age and social group. But clearly, the sooner the children in institution are properly cared for, the better for the construction of their identity[3]. The best would be to work with them as soon as the decision is taken that they will enter the institution.


CLIP Project's Final Objective

A. An individual and personalised approach for the “out-of-home” children

A1. Working with the Individual Approach


Child Focused Approach



Warning signs

1. Defining the objectives of each out-of-home stay, ALWAYS in the best interest of the child.

Educators and Social Services

  • The stay in the institution has no purpose or objectives.
  • It is not considered as a phase, which has a beginning and an end.
  • The expectations towards the stay are not clearly defined.

2. Working with an Individual Reference Person.

Educators and Social Services

  • The child has no one to build a trustful relationship with.
  • The persons of reference are not properly trained to be that.

3. Working with the Child past history (BIOGRAPHY), resilience, resources and competencies.

Educators and Social Services

  • The child hasn’t been listened to properly.
  • Its biography hasn’t been done.
  • Its competences are not known or acknowledged; they are not used as a key element for the construction of its identity / future
  • It has no opportunity to build on its successes.

4. Promoting the Child’s family participation to define its needs, options and perspective.

Educators and Social Services

  • The family isn’t involved in the definition of the child’s future.

5. Promoting the link with the Child’s family whenever possible.

Educators and Social Services

  • The child has no contacts with its family.

6. Creating an external social network for each Child.

Educators and Social Services

  • The child has no friends outside the institution

A2. The professionals’ values and attitude when performing the Individual Approach[4]




1. Respecting the Child as a full individual, with its own history and its own will, RESPECTING IT FOR WHO IT IS, build on its successes. For a child care worker, respect towards a child can be summarised in a few key words:

Educators / Professionals working in institutions / Social Services
2. How to palliate the lack of family care and create a securising and trustful environment necessary to all children; the importance of giving loving care[5] for each child; the importance of EMPATHY. Children in institution have often never been “loved for who they are”. In other words, they lack the secure base offered by a parental “unconditional love”. They are taken care of “because they are there”, and not because they are loved. As stated in Erikson’s “Life Cycle Theory”, and in Bowlby’s “Attachment Theory”[6], love is the most important thing after the basic survival needs such as food and oxygen. For human beings, trustful and loving relationships are of the outmost importance in the construction of the personality. Moreover, it also allows the children with difficult past histories to become resilient[7]. Working on the child’s successes with benevolence will also help him in the resilience process by improving its self esteem. Educators / Professionals working in institutions / Social Services
3. Creating a balance between collectivity and individuality. Taking the opportunity of collectiveness to use INCLUSION in children’s education – as opposed to EXCLUSION CLIP’s methodology is clearly designed to step out of an ancient “collectivist” approach for caring for child in institutions (for example by giving them their personal clothes or ensuring they have a personal space where they can keep their own things, etc.). However, educators have obviously to create a balance between a purely individual approach and the collective aspects inevitable in the institutions. They can also adopt a positive attitude towards those collective elements imposed by the situation and benefit from them in the psychosocial support of the children (social skills). Educators / Professionals working in institutions

A3. The Protected Living Spaces and the Half-Way Apartments: the tools to a progressive autonomisation.

The Protected Living Space (PLS) – built in the institutions – and the Half-Way Apartments (HWA) – organised outside the institutions – are accommodations designed to help the children to gradually lead them towards autonomy.They can be understood as an effective tool for preparing the children to independence.

Path to Independence




  • The protected living spaces are living facilities built inside the institutions, accommodating 4 to 6 children each. With a proper educative support, the youngsters learn there to become self-sufficient in their day to day life.
  • In the continuity of the PLS, the Halfway Apartments, situated in the community (meaning outside the institutions), were the children will live when they leave the institutions, before they become truly independent. During this period, they stay in close contact with the Centres, which support them in the implementation of their individual projects

  • In the PLS, the supervision of the youngsters is stronger and more directive, and the educators support and listen to them more actively. In the HWA, the youngsters are considered more autonomous, and they have to be proactive in asking for support from the CSRI. This progression allows a good transition period toward independence.
  • Ensuring the continuity in the logic of care, especially with the transition from PLS to HWA, is very important. During this phase in the youngsters’ life, the collaboration within the educators and the Social Services is also central.
  • The atmosphere in those living facilities is fundamental to create de conditions in which the children can become more autonomous. The respect of their privacy is there of the outmost importance, and can be considered as a key element to ensure the children’s personal, psycho-affective development, and their education.
  • Those conditions also give them the opportunity to improve their social skills in order to make their own decisions and solve their own problems.

B. The Creation of a favourable socio political environment: the necessary conditions for an effective work.


B1. Building the network at social and political level

Area and topic (based on CLIP’s experience)

Minimum Standards & guidelines


B1.1 The collaboration with the institutions at national level 1. It has to be an expressed political will at national level for concretising child welfare reform, incl. the elaboration of special policy for the care leavers.2. Determination of a common framework for collaboration between the key institutions, including their strucutures at all level -national, regional and local. Changing the present and the future of the care leavers has to be a special PROCEDURE at national level. It must contain the following:

  • General and specific objectives of the action,
  • The concrete activities to reach them,
  • Expected results
  • Role and responsibilities of each of the state institutions,
  • The finance that the government could give for the project implementation. This is very important in order to make a choice of the dimension of the project- the number of pilot municipalities and residential institutions.

3. Determination of the exeucutive body (institution)

4. Creation of the Steering Committee for monitoring of the services’ implementation.

Council of ministersWork group of experts from all concerned ministriesCouncil of Ministers

Area and topic (based on CLIP’s experience)


Minimum Standards & guidelines

B1.2 The Operational groups

Operational Groups

The OGs are there to unite all the concerned actors around the needs of the children living in institutions.At the beginning, they have to be led by a specialist of children’s rights, in order to focus on those aspects and facilitate the collaboration among all the actors involved. The socioprofessionnal integration of the youngster deprived of parental care can’t (and mustn’t) be the duty of only one institution. On the contrary, it is a responsibility of the society as a whole, including all the social services and every concerned institution.Therefore, it is important that the social institutions and the municipal services work together and brainstorm to define concrete solutions for the youngsters and set up standards for their work.In a project such as CLIP, the Operational Groups are set up to respond to that need, so that all the stakeholders can come together in a network, cooperating around those youngsters needs, with a “service provider” spirit.The participants to those groups are coming from the municipalities themselves, from the social institutions and from the civil society (namely the vice-mayors, the directors of Social Aid, the directors of the Labour Offices, the Child Protection Services, the orphanages) and all the other concerned actors.Last but not least, the OG has to be involved in the individual follow up of the cases, by becoming a “placement commission” for the youngsters, deciding who among them would be able to live in the HWA. Therefore, they are concretely and regularly confronted with the concrete problems of the youngsters.

Area and topic (based on CLIP’s experience)

Minimum Standards & guidelines


B1.3 The sensitisation and trainings[8] for professionals The trainings for the professional must be carefully planned. They constitute a fundamental and necessary tool to create a favourable environment for out-of-home children. The three main topics that have to be addressed during the training sessions are:The youngsters’ needs for an harmonious development, namely:o   A feeling of security
o   Respect and trust relationship
o   Perspectives for the futureThe life skills to bring to the youngsters:o   Self-knowledge and self-esteem (biography, identification of the youngsters’ resources and qualities, etc.)
o   Social and communicational skills
o   Social Integration and network
o   Practical life skills
o   Professional insertion
o   Civics, Children Rights and DutiesThe capacity building of the professionals in charge of the youngsters:o   The individual approach
o   The individual planning (participants, procedures, objectives)
o   The youngsters’ needs assessment
o   The ” Individual Care Plan”
Project manager and people responsible for giving the trainings.

Area and topic (based on CLIP’s experience)

Minimum Standards & guidelines


B1.4 The guaranty of decent working conditions for the professionals working with children, and an appropriate ratio children/educators Social work, especially with children in difficult situation, is a very emotionally demanding profession. Thus, the social worker must be able to work in an environment that allows them to give as much energy as possible to the children themselves. Therefore, they must be supported with decent working conditions, namely:

  • The educators /social workers has to have a limited number of children to take care of, to be able to appropriately follow the through every stages of their way to independence and autonomy.
  • They must be offered quality trainings, followed by a proper supervision and evaluation, made on a regular basis.
  • They must have decent salaries (which is also a way of reducing the turn over)
State, municipal authorities

Area and topic (based on CLIP’s experience)

Minimum Standards & guidelines


B1.5 The creation of the Centre for Social Rehabilitation and Integration (CSRI): promoting a multidisciplinary approach. The first role of the CSRI is to follow the children in the transition period. It is then one of the most important places was the INDIVIDUCAL APPROACH – or the case management – operates in the project. It is a place for dialogue, reflexion and psychosocial consultation depending on the needs.Moreover, the CSRI act as a “uniting agent” with the case management, in the sense that they have to find collaboration with many different stakeholders to find appropriate solutions for each youngster (other social services, employers, schools, etc.)The staff of in the CSRI has to come from a multidisciplinary vocational background, such as social work or psychology. Project Manager / Municipal Authority

ANNEXE 1: Short guidelines for the social evaluation of a child’s situation (How to make a proper evaluation file)

1. People concerned

  • Indicate the child’s family’s composition (with the relations to the child, including last name and first name, and age of each family member. Indicate the last names in capital letters.
  • Give the families full address
  • Give the profession of the people when applicable

2. Family’s and child’s past history

  • Investigate the past history of the Child
  • Indicate the circumstances of the child’s separation from it’s family
  • Describe the family’s relations before the separation

3. Living conditions

  • Describe the household and the family’s general living conditions
  • Give the number of people living in the household
  • Evaluate the family’s situation
  • Describe briefly the family’s place of living (house, apartment)

4. Family’s economic conditions

  • Indicate the family’s income
  • Evaluate the family’s economic situation

5. Health

  • Evaluate the physical and mental health of the family members (especially the primary care giver)
  • Evaluate the access to health services

6. Education

  • What are the possibilities for the child to attend school?

7. Chances of family reintegration and/or other alternatives to institution

Questions to investigate:

  • Is the family aware of the real situation of the child, if yes to what extend?
  • What is the reaction of the family (and/or the enlarged family) to an eventual return of the child?
  • Would the family be capable of caring for the child in case of return (especially in case of children with special needs)?
  • What are the family’s projects / plans for the future?
  • What is the family’s access to social services (in order to anticipate and supervise the family before and after an eventual return)?
  • If the family hasn’t been localised, what are the other alternatives to institution, if any?

8. Special circumstances

  • Political conflicts / instability
  • War
  • Economic crisis
  • Natural hazards or disaster


Erikson’s « life cycle », the construction of the identity

Summarised explanation of Erikson theory, and it’s importance for the children raised in institutions[9]

Erikson TheoryAt the first stage, the child will find out whether its care givers are reliable. If not, it is highly at risk of developing basic mistrust. In institutions, it is then very important that the care givers give to very young infants the “tender loving care” they need for the construction of their identity. At the second stage, the child will learn to explore the world. The care-givers need neither to be too protective, nor neglectful; in order to develop the child’s potential. At the third stage, the child will develop its basic abilities to make its own decisions. If it’s is systematically discouraged to do so, it will develop a basic sense of guilt in its personality. At the forth stage, the child will learn to recognize major disparities in the competencies and abilities among its peer. The care givers or teachers must, at this very important stage, ensure that the child doesn’t feel systematically inferior. Building on its SUCCESSES is then of outmost importance. At the fifth stage, the teenagers are at a fundamental stage of the construction of their identity, defining who they are, and where there are going in life. The care-giver must then allow the teenager to explore the world around, and at the same time provide them with a “secure base[10]“. The usual rebellion often encountered during this phase is fully part of the process of integrating social rules and commonly accepted behaviours. This means that the expression of rebellion must not be systematically discouraged or heavily punished, but rather talked through with the children. At the last stage that interests directly children living in institution (the sixth stage in Erikson theory), the young adults will organize their identity around the social network and the relationships they have, either in love and intimacy, or isolation. The creation of an external social network (external to the institution they grew up in) then makes tremendous sense, and that’s why it is of the utmost importance for institutionalised children to have one.

ANNEXE 3[11]: John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

Attachment theory, as originating in the work of John Bowlby, is a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive and explanatory framework for discussion of interpersonal relationships between human beings. In infants it is primarily a process of proximity seeking to an identified attachment figure in situations of perceived distress or alarm. Infants become attached to adults who are sensitive and responsive in social interactions with the infant, and who remain as consistent caregivers for some months during the period from about six months to two years of age. During the later part of this period, children begin to use attachment figures (familiar people) as a “‘secure base» to explore from and return to. Parental responses lead to the development of patterns of attachment which in turn lead to ‘internal working models’ which will guide the individual’s feelings, thoughts, and expectations in later relationships.

In Bowlby’s approach, the human infant is considered to have a need for a secure relationship with adult caregivers, without which normal social and emotional development will not occur. However, different relationship experiences can lead to different developmental outcomes.

Mary Ainsworth developed a theory of a number of attachment styles in infants in which distinct characteristics have been identified known as secure attachment, avoidant attachment, anxious attachment and, later, disorganized attachment. Subsequently other theorists extended attachment theory to adults. Attachment styles can be measured in both infants and adults, although measurement in middle childhood is problematic. In addition to care-seeking by children, attachment behaviours include peer relationships of all ages, romantic and sexual attraction, and responses to the care needs of infants or sick or elderly adults.

Attachment theory was developed by Bowlby as a consequence of his dissatisfaction with existing theories of early relationships. He explored a range of fields including evolution by natural selection, object relations theory (psychoanalysis), control systems theory, evolutionary biology and the fields of ethology and cognitive psychology, in order to formulate a comprehensive theory of the nature of early attachments. The result, after some preliminary papers from 1958 onward, was published in a trilogy called “Attachment and Loss” between 1969 and 1980. Mary Ainsworth‘s innovative methodology and comprehensive observational studies informed much of the theory, expanded its concepts and enabled its tenets to be empirically tested. Although in the early days he was criticised by academic psychologists and ostracized by the psychoanalytic community, attachment theory has become the dominant approach to understanding early social development and given rise to a great surge of empirical research into the formation of children’s close relationships. There have been significant modifications as a result of empirical research but attachment concepts have become generally accepted. Many treatment approaches, some currently in the process of being evaluated, are based on applications of attachment theory.

Criticism of attachment theory has been sporadic, much of it relating to an early precursor theory called “maternal deprivation“, published in 1951.  There was considerable criticism from ethologists in the 1970s. More recent criticism relates to the complexity of social relationships within family settings, and the limitations of discrete styles for classifications.

ANNEXE 4[12]: The importance of RESILIENCE and CREATIVITY: building a better future for a child who had a difficult past.

The word “resilience” comes from the Latin “resalire” (literally “jump again”) appeared in English language and passed in psychology in the sixties, with Emmy Werner. This American psychologist went to Hawaii to assess the development of children who had neither school nor families, and who lived in very precarious situations, exposed to illnesses and violence. She followed them for 30 years. After that time, she found out that 30% of them were able to read and write, had learned a profession and founded a family. 70% were in a terrible state (…). But if men were machines, this percentage would have reached 100%.

(…) There is no such thing as a socio-cultural profile of a resilient child, but there is a profile of traumatised children who have developed an aptitude for resilience. Those children are those who have gained the “basic trust[13]” between 0 and 12 months: “one has loved me, therefore I am “lovable””; therefore I have hope to meet someone who will help me to catch my development again.

Those children are in sadness, but they continue to orientate themselves towards the others, (…) and seek for the adult in themselves, that they will transform into a parent[14]. Then, they forge themselves a narrative identity: “I am someone who has been deported, or raped, or transformed into a child-soldier, etc.” If we give the children opportunities of making good and express themselves, a huge percentage of them (90 to 95%) will become resilient.

We have to offer the youngsters “platforms” of CREATIVITY and kid’s “life tests” such as enrol with scouts, prepare an exam, organise a trip and learn how to be useful. Youngsters in difficult situations feel often humiliated if someone gives them something (or if someone lectures them on morality). But they can find a good balance if we offer them opportunities to give.

Often, when reaching adulthood, those youngsters are attracted to altruistic professions. They want others to benefit from their experience. They often become themselves educators, social workers, psychiatrists or psychologists. Having been themselves “monster-children” make them able to identify, relate to and respect the other “wounded ones”.

ANNEXE 5[15]: The development of the attitude and the professionalism of the child care workers: the evolution toward METHODOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, PARTICIPATION and EMPOWERMENT.





One predominant method

Child care worker can turn his hand to anything and uses, depending on the circumstances, different methods



Child care workers decides for the parents and children


Child care worker supports parents and child with taking their own decisions



Child care worker handles, solves all the problems and “heals”


Child care worker supports the power of the family to heal itself in a non patronising approach.



Organisation decides on the care demand: “the supply determines the demand”.


Parents and child decide on the care demand: “the demand determines the supply”


In cooperation with the FICE, the IFCO and SOS-Kinderdorf International, the ISS Switzerland has drafted quality standards for “out-of-home” child care in Europe, in a report fully available, in several languages, on the “Quality 4 Children” website[16]. For the full explanation of the points below, please refer to this report itself. The main standards are reproduced below to echo CLIP’s experience and sharable best practices.

Standard 1 : THE CHILD AND HIS/HER FAMILY OF ORIGIN RECEIVE SUPPORT DURING THE DECISION-MAKING-PROCESS The child and his/her family of origin have the right to an intervention if they express the wish to change their living situation or when the situation demands it. The child’s safety and best interests are the highest priority. The child and his/her family of origin are always listened to and respected.
Standard 2 : The child is empowered to participate in the decision-making process All persons involved listen to and respect the child. The child is adequately informed about his/her situation, encouraged to express his/her views and to participate in this process according to his/her level of understanding.
Standard 3 : A professional decision-making process ensures the best possible care for the child During the out-of-home care process, siblings are cared for together. Separate placement is only indicated if it serves the well-being of the siblings. In this case, it is ensured that they maintain contact.
Standard 4 : Siblings are cared for together During the out-of-home care process, siblings are cared for together. Separate placement is only indicated if it serves the well-being of the siblings. In this case, it is ensured that they maintain contact.
Standard 5 : The transition to the new home is well prepared and sensitively implemented After the agreement on the care-form has been made, the future care organisation prepares the child’s admission thoroughly. The welcome must be gradual and cause as little disruption as possible. Transition to the new placement is arranged as a process whose main purpose is to ensure the child’s best interests and the well-being of all relevant persons involved.
Standard 6 : The out-of-home care process is guided by an individual care plan An individual care plan is created during the decision-making process and further developed and implemented during the entire out-of-home care process. This plan is intended to guide the overall development of the child.Generally, the care plan defines the developmental status of the child, sets objectives and measures and clarifies the resources needed to support the overall development of the child.
Standard 7 : The child’s placement matches his/her needs, life situation and original social environment The child is given the opportunity to grow up in an inclusive, supportive, protective and caring environment. He/she has the chance to maintain contact with his/her original social environment. Family-based care options are a priority.
Standard 8 : The child maintains contact with his/her family of origin The child’s relationship with his/her family of origin is encouraged, maintained and supported if it is in the best interests of the child.
Standard 9 : Caregivers are qualified and have adequate working conditions Caregivers are thoroughly assessed, selected and trained before taking on the responsibility of caring for a child. They receive continuous training and professional support to ensure the overall development of the child.
Standard 10 : The caregiver’s relationship with the child is based on understanding and respect The caregiver pays individual attention to the child and makes a conscious effort to build up trust and to understand him/her. The caregiver always communicates openly, honestly and respectfully with the child.
Standard 11 : The child is empowered to actively participate in making decisions that directly affects his/her life The child is recognised as the expert of his/her own life. The child is informed, listened to, taken seriously and his/her resilience is recognised as a strong potential. The child is encouraged to express his/her feelings and experiences.
Standard 12 : The child is cared for in appropriate living conditions The living standards and infrastructure of the care organisation satisfy the child’s needs in respect to comfort, security, healthy living conditions as well as uninhibited access to education and to the community.
Standard 13 : Children with special needs receive appropriate care Caregivers are continuously and specifically trained and supported to meet the special needs of the children in their care.
Standard 14 : The child/young adult is continuously prepared for an independent living The child/young adult is supported in shaping his/her future towards becoming a self-reliant, self-responsible and participating member of society. He/she has access to education and is given the opportunity to acquire life skills and adopt values.The child/young adult is supported in developing self-esteem. This allows him/her to feel strong and secure and to cope with difficulties.
Standard 15 : The leaving-care process is thoroughly planned and implemented The leaving-care process is a crucial stage in out-of-home childcare and is thoroughly planned and implemented. It is primarily based on the child’s/young adult’s individual care plan.The child/young adult is recognised as an expert regarding the quality of his/her care. His/her feedback is essential for further developing the quality of the care system and of the respective care model.
Standard 16 : The communication in the leaving-care process is conducted in a useful and appropriate manner The child and his/her family of origin have the right to an intervention if they express the wish to change their living situation or when the situation demands it. The child’s safety and best interests are the highest priority. The child and his/her family of origin are always listened to and respected.
Standard 17 : The child/young adult is empowered to participate in the leaving-care process The leaving-care process is based on the individual care plan. The child/young adult is empowered to express opinions and preferences about his/her current situation and future life. The child/young adult participates in the planning and implementation of the leaving-care process.
Standard 18 : Follow-up, continuous support and contact possibilities are ensured After the child/young adult has left out-of-home care, he/she has the opportunity to receive assistance and support. The care organisation strives to ensure that he/she does not perceive the leaving-care process as a new strong disruption.If the young adult is of age, the care organisation should continue offering support and contact possibilities.

ANNEXE 7: CLIP’s profile sheet

Project’s title Care Leavers Integration Programme (CLIP)
Country, region Bulgaria, three municipalities:

  • Veliko Tarnovo
  • Lovech
  • Sevlievo
Area of intervention Reintegration of youngsters deprived of parental care and leaving the institutions (care leavers)
Project’s duration 2003-2007
Project’s objectives Social and professional integration of youngsters deprived of parental care.
Project’s target population
  • Youngsters aged from 15 years old, living in institutions and in autonomisation phase (= Care Leavers).
  • Social workers and other professionals
  • Municipalities and municipal Social Services
Contact people ISS Bulgaria :Sabina SABEVAProject coordinator[email protected] ISS Switzerland :Rolf WIDMERDirector ISS Switzerland[email protected] Olivier GEISSLERDesk Officer[email protected]
Field activities’ implementation ISS Bulgaria
Contributors In Bulgaria :Ministry of Education and Science (MEDU)Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP)In Switzerland :Swiss Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Project’s budget 2’015’962 CHF


ANNEXE 8 : CLIP’s logic of intervention

CLIP's Logic of Intervention

[1] And up to 20 if they are completing a secondary education[2] See also ANNEXES 7 and 8 for more details on CLIP Bulgaria project.[3] On this subject, see Erikson’s “Life Cycle” theory, summarized in Annexe 2[4] On this subject, see also Annexe 5.[5] This is especially meaningfull in relation with Erikson’s “Life Cycle” theory, and Bowlby’s “Attachment Theory”, summarised in Annexe 3.[6] See Annexes 2 and 3.[7] See Annexe 4.[8] For content of trainings for professionals, please refer to the “Quality for Children” standards (Annexe 5)[9] Based on Wikipedia’s online encyclopaedia and other online resources on Erikson’s work.[10] See also Bowlby’s “Attachment Theory”, Annexe 3.[11] SOURCE: Wikipedia online encyclopaedy:[12] Based on an interview of Boris CYRULNIK published (in French) on the UNESCO website:[13] See ANNEXE 2[14] See the of Erikson’s seventh phase, the “Generativity” in adulthood, ANNEXE 2[15] This table has been inspired by an unknown external source found in ISS Switzerland documentation.[16],id,2,nodeid,2,_language,en,_country,at.html

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