Alternative Care Training
January 2020 – December 2021


ACT is a cooperation of Comissió Catalana d’Ajuda al Refugiat (Spain), International Rescue Committee (Italy) and Lumos Foundation (Bulgaria), coordinated by Nidos (the Netherlands).


Background of the project
Between 2014 and 2017, some 219,575 so-called unaccompanied children aged between 15 and 18 came to the EU and Norway, seeking asylum. These children risk violence, physical and sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, with many arriving burdened and traumatised. The vast majority are placed in institutional reception centres. But experts agree that alternative care options like foster care are more beneficial to these children’s development, while also being more cost effective.

The Alternative Care Training or ACT project aimed to improve reception in alternative care arrangements being used for unaccompanied children (uac) aged 15-18 (in connection with guardianship), with a special focus on Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.


  • Analysis & Situation reports
    The project team looked at access to and the quality of alternative care in the target countries of Bulgaria, Italy and Spain. Stakeholder meetings were held to consult with key stakeholders and gather their views and input. Combined with desk research, this in-depth analysis culminated in situation reports on the current state of play in each country. It was completed with a seperate recommendation report containing recommendations for all participating countries and. Although not being a target country in the project, Nidos has also conducted the analysis for the Netherlands resulting in a similar report.
    The reports to be found at the bottom of this page.
  • Study visit
    A study visit to the Netherlands for project partners was held on 5 October 2021. It offered project partners and some of their national stakeholders a look into the Dutch alternative care system and good practices.
  • Training
    A specialist training on both improving access for unaccompanied children to alternative care and boosting the quality of these services was lacking across the EU. Tailor made training of trainer (T-o-T) courses were developed under the ACT project for specialist staff in the three target countries. The analysis mentioned above and an expert meeting served as input for the development of the training. The expert meeting facilitated a discussion among experts from project partners as well as other European experts. The T-o-T’s have been conducted in May and June 2021. The training programmes to be found below.
  • International training & Exchange
    The international training was a succes with over 40 participants receiving training and exchanging their knowledge. The Material of the training such as Powerpoints and videos of good practices from Bulgaria, Italy and Spain can be found here.
  • Final leaflet
    A short final leaflet has been made containing lessons learned from the project and general recommendations flowing from the project.

Contact details
Marjolein Groen
Project Manager Nidos
Phone: +31 (0) 6 574 93 994