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TOPIC : Care for migrant minors, including unaccompanied minors

Topic identifier: AMIF-2018-AG-INTE-4
Publication date: 26 July 2018

Types of action: AMIF-AG AMIF Action Grant
Opening date:
26 July 2018
Deadline: 31 January 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund AMIF website
Pillar: Legal migration and integration
Work Programme Year: AMIF-2018
Topic Description

According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child should grow up in a family environment, and children who are temporarily deprived of their family environment, including migrant children, are entitled to special protection and assistance.

In line with the requirements of Article 24(2) of the Reception Conditions Directive, unaccompanied children seeking to obtain international protection in the EU must be provided suitable and safe reception conditions, which include placement with a foster family, accommodation centres with special provision for children, or other suitable accommodation, such as supervised independent living arrangements for older children. The UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children constitute relevant standards in this respect.

The Communication on the protection of children in migration identified gaps in the protection offered to migrant children along the entire migratory route, and set out detailed actions to address the gaps identified. The Communication recommended to the Member States to (1) ensure that a range of alternative care options for unaccompanied children are provided; and (2) ensure and monitor the availability and accessibility of a viable range of alternatives to the administrative detention of children in migration. It has also emphasised that there is a wealth of knowledge and good practices in the Member States on the protection of children in migration, including as regards alternative care systems and methods and alternatives to detention, which needs to be shared at local and national level.

Alternative care systems (see article 29 of the of the 2010 UN Guidelines for the alternative care of children), including family-based care, foster care, and supervised independent living arrangements, have expanded in recent years in the EU. Such non-institutionalised systems have proven to be successful, cost-effective, less harmful and more beneficial for the development of the children than institutionalised care. However, family-based care systems are still under-utilised for the migrant children: very often child protection and migration legislation are not aligned, and there is a fragmentation of the relevant procedures among multiple public, private and voluntary bodies. Only a limited number of unaccompanied migrant children have been given access to family-based/foster care, due to an insufficient spread of the knowledge about how to access such systems and of the good practices that exist at local level in different jurisdictions.

Alternatives to the detention of migrant children are foreseen in the legislation of several Member States, yet in practice, the alternatives are either not used or used in a limited way. Furthermore, as flagged in the Communication, in some instances migrant children are detained only due to a shortage of places in suitable and safe accommodation.

In this context, the exchange of good practices and the provision of training on how to access alternative care systems and to support their operation (including by training the families providing the care), and respectively, on the effective use of alternatives to detention, will be highly beneficial.


Concretely, the objectives of this priority are to:

  • Finance projects focusing on the exchange of good practices and/or provision of the necessary training so as to support the implementation/expansion/improvement of alternative care systems (such as family-based care, or foster care, or supervised independent housing arrangements) or of effective alternatives to detention. (Projects with an exclusively national/regional/local focus should seek AMIF funding via the National Programmes, taking account of projects already co-funded in this area.


  • Exchange of good practices and/or training and/or logistic support for the implementation/expansion/improvement of alternative care systems for migrant children, such as foster care, family-based care and/or supervised independent living where appropriate.
  • Exchange of good practices and/or training and/or logistic support for the implementation/expansion/improvement of effective alternatives to detention, such as regular reporting to the authorities (by the appointed representative/family-based care/foster carers), the deposit of a financial guarantee, or an obligation to stay at an assigned place.

Actions that are not eligible for financing under this call are those involving:

  • Institutionalised care systems
  • Capacity building for institutional care systems
  • Operating costs for family-based/foster care systems/supervised independent living/alternatives to detention (such as the cost of staff, buildings, real estate)
  • Research on foster/family-based/independent living systems or alternatives to detention (there is already ample research available on these subjects – see bibliography below).


The projects financed under this priority should achieve the following outcomes:

  • Creation/consolidation/expansion and improvement of foster/family-based/independent living alternative care systems that are better adapted to the needs of children and more apt to promote their sound development. Increased/improved use of family-based care/foster care/supervised independent housing for unaccompanied children.
  • Creation/consolidation/expansion and improvement of effective and viable alternatives to the detention of migrant children, especially when detention is aimed to prevent absconding.
  • Training and preparation of staff/foster carers/family-based carers for performing all tasks related to promoting the well-being of the children (suitable accommodation, access to basic services and support, pro-integration activities). Preparing the carers for being able to identify and cater for the individual needs of each child and to table a tailored response to meet them.
  • Exchange of good practices and 'know how' across the Member States, as well as dissemination of the knowledge already accumulated on family-based alternative care systems and alternatives to detention across the national borders and at regional and local levels.
  • Improved access to of alternative care systems and to effective alternatives to detention for the migrant children, measurable through indicators such as:

o Number of migrant children who will benefit from the projects (Possibly disaggregated by age groups 0-14 and 15-17), and duration (for how long).

o Number of training days that carers benefit from.

o Number of places in alternative care (foster care, family-based care, (semi)-independent living etc.) covered (specifying if new places were created) by the project.

o Number of places in alternatives to detention (specifying if new places were created) covered by the project.

o Description of the services provided to unaccompanied minors (e.g. access to mental health, health and education/vocational training/labour market support) that were improved as a result of the project.

Applicants are also invited to take note of, to avoid duplication with, and to build on previously funded projects:

  • The 10th European Forum on the rights of the child: the protection of children in migration, held on 29-30 November 2016
  • The 11th European Forum on the rights of the child: Children deprived of their liberty and alternatives to detention, held on 6-8 November 2017. Under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, the EU has funded a number of transnational projects aiming at building child protection capacity in the area of alternative care which are also a useful reference for potential applicants for this call.
  • The Daphne Toolkit
  • DG Justice Grants

All application under this call should be elaborated in close partnership with and/or be led by appropriate key players (e.g. child protection agencies; ministries/authorities for children or social affairs; social protection; children’s ombudspersons; social services responsible for: housing, labour market integration, higher education and vocational training; health and mental health; counselling and psychosocial support; caregivers' associations, civil society organisations; the judiciary; academia).

At least one public authority from the country/countries where the alternative care or alternatives to detention are implemented must be involved either directly as applicant or co-applicant or indirectly (for example, only as beneficiary of the exchanges of good practices or training). The indirect involvement of the public authority shall be demonstrated at the moment of the signature of the contract through a letter from the public authority confirming its support of the application.

Child protection/safeguarding policy

Where a project involves direct contact with children, the beneficiaries of funding (including partners not directly in contact with children) need to demonstrate in the application that they have set in place an internal child safeguarding policy. An internal child protection policy should include internal standards and rules that cover four broad areas: (1) policy, (2) people, (3) procedures, and (4) accountability.

The continuation or follow-up of successful initiatives, including the scaling up of existing initiatives and/or testing them in a different context, may be funded if it is aligned with the priority. However, the duplication of an initiative will not be funded.

Topic conditions and documents

1.   Eligible countries: All EU Member States, with the exception of Denmark.


2.   Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in sections 5 and 6 of the Call document.


3.   Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement: described in section 3 of the Call document.



4.   Proposal templates and model grant agreements (MGA):

      Standard proposal template
      Call document
      Guide for applicants
ulti-beneficiary Model Grant Agreement
Mono-beneficiary Model Grant Agreement

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

5.   Additional documents:
Annual work programme 2018

AMIF legal basis: Regulation No 514/2014 and Regulation No 516/2014
EU Financial regulation

Additional documents

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Type of Action AMIF Action Grant [AMIF-AG]
Topic Care for migrant minors, including unaccompanied minors - AMIF-2018-AG-INTE-4
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