About Alternative Future



Alternative Future addresses the needs of a highly vulnerable group: child victims of violence, ages 12-18, living in Residential Care Facilities (RCFs).

According to Eurochild, it can be estimated that one percent of children, approximately 1 million of boys and girls, are taken into public care across the EU. Although most countries consider placement in an institution as a last resort, the number of children in RCFs is stable, and even rising, in some EU states.

As stated in the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child, children belonging to vulnerable groups face particular risks and are exposed to discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion. The UN study on Violence Against Children stresses the pervasiveness of violence against children as a global phenomenon, perpetrated too often by those close to them and occurring in a range of settings that should be protecting them. Among children in RCFs, experiences of violence are even more pervasive. The results of research carried out in 5 EU countries through the Empowering Care project showed that in most of the cases, children had been victims of violence before entering the residential care facilities.

The EU Guidelines indicate that the repercussions of violence against children are grave and damaging. Due to the previous traumatic experiences of violence, the emotional health and self-concept of boys and girls living in RCFs is likely to be damaged. The effects of violence not only have consequences in the present lives of victims but also have impacts on their future aspirations and opportunities.

Professionals have a key role in helping children overcome the trauma and navigate them in their empowerment process to prevent future situations of violence. Experienced and well trained professionals can proactively prevent problems as well as help children deal with the trauma they experience.



Alternative Future seeks to address the aforementioned reality by pursuing the following objectives:

– Assessing the needs of youth victims of violence as well as the professionals working with them in RCFs, especially in terms of gender and child rights issues.

– Designing and implementing a capacity building programme youth-centered approach with particular attention to gender perspective for professionals working in RCFs to better support the recovery and empowerment of victims ages 12-18.

– Pilot-testing child-centred specific support actions form a gender perspective and children’s rights approach to meet the needs of 12-18 year old children living in RCFs, in order to improve the specific support services provided and to accompany children in their empowerment

– Raising awareness, promoting cross-national exchange and disseminating the results of the project across the EU.




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