Working with other stakeholders

An unaccompanied child with a guardian usually has more than one service provider assisting them, for example the social service (social worker), a placement provider (reception in families, small housing units or residential reception facilities), the health services and an education provider.

As a guardian, you have to know all the actors involved. Networking with them and with other relevant stakeholders will help you to identify more professionals who may be useful for managing the relationship with the child and responding to their needs. Sharing the individual care plan, while keeping the privacy of the child in mind, and sharing information about the expectations and needs of the child, will contribute to good decision-making and to acting in the best interest of the child.

The position, responsibilities and tasks of the guardian are not always clear to others. It is therefore important to clarify your position in your contact with them: who are you and what is your role?

  • Training and tools

    Tool: strengthening cooperation between actors

    The CONNECT-project (2014) has developed ‘who’s responsible?’, a tool to strengthen cooperation between all actors involved in the protection system for unaccompanied migrant children. It is available here.

    Tool: standards for cooperating with other actors

    The CONNECT-project (2014) has developed the tool ‘standards to ensure that unaccompanied migrant children are able to fully participate’ to assist all actors in legal and judicial proceedings. This includes standards for cooperating with other actors working with unaccompanied children. The tool also gives some examples of noteworthy practices and is available here.

    Tool: protocol for cooperation between actors involved

    The Scottish Guardianship Service developed a Practice Manual in 2013 which includes a helpful protocol for cooperation between actors involved in taking care of the unaccompanied child in Appendix 1 (pages 69-85). Among other things, it describes the different roles, responsibilities and tasks of those involved in care provision.

    Training and guidebook for creating trust and supporting the child through cooperation

    This training gives information (in Finnish) on multidisciplinary cooperation, child protection legislation and information sharing. It is meant for anyone working with children and families. The training consists of a guidebook and online training (Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare).

  • Good practices

    Croatia: strengthening cooperation between stakeholders

    The Croatian Protocol on the Treatment of Unaccompanied Children stipulates the establishment of an interdepartmental committee for the protection of unaccompanied migrant children. The committee should be made up of representatives of the ministries responsible for the country’s social affairs, home affairs and education, the Office for Human Rights and the Rights of National Minorities, international organisations dealing with the protection of children’s and refugee’s rights and, where appropriate, civil society organisations concerned with the protection of children’s rights.

    The interdepartmental committee will be appointed by the government and its work will be coordinated by the ministry responsible for social affairs. The committee aims to improve inter-agency cooperation between the state administration and other stakeholders involved in the protection of unaccompanied children.

    Italy: guardianship network

    The Veneto region has put in place a guardianship system based on networking. The network was created from a group of social service professionals, appointed as promoters of a guardianship project and as local agents. Later on, other networks were set up: an institutional partners network, a guardians network and a network of service providers within the child protection system. This strategy gave the project more solidity and created a local resource which takes local needs into account.