The inception report for a wide-ranging feasibility study into the prospect of a Child Guarantee has been published by the European Commission. The study aims to assess the feasibility, implementation options and added value of a Child Guarantee, focusing on four specific groups of vulnerable or disadvantaged children.
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The inception report sets up the study by:
- mapping the current situation in relation to four key target groups of children:
- children residing in institutions,
- children with disabilities and other children with special needs,
- children of recent migrants and refugees,
- children living in precarious family situations, and
- outlining plans for further research activity, including stakeholder workshops and an online consultation held at the beginning of 2019.
Steps towards a Child Guarantee
The Child Guarantee proposal would establish a commitment by Member States to tackle poverty and ensure access to critical services for children in vulnerable situations.
The initiative was included in a 2015 European Parliament Resolution on reducing inequalities with a special focus on child poverty which called for Member States to ‘introduce a child guarantee so that every child in poverty can have access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition, as part of a European integrated plan to combat child poverty’.
The proposal follows the implementation of the Youth Guarantee, a current commitment by Member States to provide all young people under the age of 25 with a good quality offer of employment or continuing education within four months of entering the labour market.
Activities towards this goal are supported by the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), a € 8.8 billion financial resource comprised of dedicated funding and contributions from the European Support Fund (ESF).
Study will aim to develop recommendations for the implementation of a Child Guarantee
In addition to the online consultation, which was conducted in January-February 2019, the study will include a series of stakeholder workshops over the course of the year:
- Workshop on children residing in institutions: Romania (Bucharest), September 2019,
- Workshop on children with disabilities: Latvia (Riga), September 2019,
- Workshop on children with a migrant background: Sweden (Malmö), October 2019,
- Workshop on children living in precarious family situations: Italy (Rome), October 2019.
These will be followed by four focus groups with children, to consult them on the emerging study findings and recommendations.
The study will present final recommendations at a conference in early 2020. These will include:
- analysis of the barriers facing children in the target groups from engaging with critical services, and the role of national policies and existing legal frameworks in tackling these;
- an assessment of the extent to which a Child Guarantee as proposed could help to address these barriers, and
- options for the design and implementation.