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Homes For Hope

“Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center undertook the establishment and operation of private children’s shelters for the accommodation and support of unaccompanied children following the approval of the Social Welfare Services and the funding from the European Funds Unit of the Ministry of Interior. Presently, the shelters’ capacity is for maximum 45 children who are under the legal guardianship of the Director of the Social Welfare Services.

Main Goal

The shelters aim, and were set up with the intention to provide unaccompanied children with more than just accommodation. They were rather set up to provide multi-disciplinary and holistic services to the children, which would cover all aspects of their daily lives and attend to their needs in the fullest extent possible, with a special focus on psycho-social support and legal guidance to unaccompanied children.

Specific goals:

  1. Effective protection and safety of children
  2. Specialized legal services
  3. Ongoing psychosocial support and counselling
  4. Establishing mechanisms of durable solutions for family tracing, assessment and reunification
  5. Smooth integration into the reception or host country, reintegration into the country of origin or a third country
  6. Provision of assistance in the transition period from adolescence to adulthood
  7. Coordinated and comprehensive assessment of the background of every child – Individualized approach.

Interdisciplinary and Holistic Services

The children’s shelters provide their services based on models that are considered of good practice in other EU member states and are adjusted to Cyprus standards. The referral of the children to the shelters is always done by the Director of the Social Welfare Services, who according to the National Law is the legal guardian of unaccompanied children in Cyprus. Thus, the services to the children are provided through the close cooperation and monitoring of the Social Welfare Services.

The Nicosia Municipality Multifunctional Foundation is supporting the educational activities of the shelters as partner of Hope For Children.

The services provided are grouped under three main pillars that form the operating mechanism of the shelters:

Α) Rehabilitation services

- Intake of social history / personal care plan

- Assisting in the procedure of age assessment

- Legal and social counseling services

- Psychological support / counselling and therapy (were deemed necessary).

Β) Integration services

- Legal and social counseling services

- Psychological support

- Language classes (Greek, English, etc.)

  • Educational Activities (art, drama, dance etc)

       - Educational Seminars (sexual education, human rights, anger management, hygiene, etc.)

  • Supporting access to the public education system

- Assisting access to education

- Access to private schools.

C) Durable solution services

- Family tracing and assessment, possibility of family reunification with relatives in other EU member state (Dublin regulation) and/or of voluntary return to the country of origin

- Exploring the possibility of placement in foster care

- Legal and social counseling services

- Psychological support / therapy

- Support during the procedures for integration in the community during transition to adulthood.

The shelters are co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (90%) and the Republic of Cyprus (10%).