Studies (M. Jerszow 2019) show that even the most mature young people in the foster system exhibit a high level of fear, aggression, and unwillingness to change one year before leaving the facility. The percentage of persons who have become independent in this group and who receive welfare or are unemployed in 2012-2013 was: 23.1% (welfare) and 31.2% (unemployed) (Supreme Audit Office (NIK) 2014). In Sochaczew County, there are two care facilities and 60 foster families, but to date there have been no all-embracing projects to help with the process of becoming independent.
The project will provide support for wards of the foster system in becoming independent and prompting them to express their views in matters concerning them.
There will be three areas of activity. The first two will be awareness-raising (workshops on law, economics and administration, IT, and soft skills) and empowerment of children (drama, art, and martial arts workshops and an integration and therapy excursion) preparing them at the same time for a self-advocacy role. The third area is practical activities (employee or voluntary internships, support or self-help groups, a consultation point, self-advocacy). For guardians of children in the foster system, we will conduct eight workshops to enhance their child-raising, communication, and economic and legal skills.
This will mean greater self-confidence, agency, and competencies of children and their guardians. Self-advocacy measures will be initiated.
50 wards of the foster system from Sochaczew County (20 aged 7-12 and 30 aged over 12) and 20 guardians will participate in the measures.
The informal group Open Sochaczew will help to organize drama workshops and employee internships, and in communication measures. The County Family Aid Center will provide premises and personnel for the Consultation Point.