Youth care

One of the most important phases in the care of children and young people is when they move from an SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Facility. This is normally a critical stage for young adults, but it is even more of a strain for children at the SOS Children's Villages because in most cases they had traumatic experiences of separation at an early age.

During this process, when the young people gradually become independent, it is particularly important that they are directly involved in the decisions that affect their development, and that they can actively take part in determining how they lead their lives.

SOS Children's Villages' youth work involves offering different options and forms of care: shared flats, youth houses or supervised living. In some countries educational therapy shared flats are on offer for young people with special needs.

The young people, who move into an SOS Youth Facility at the age of 14 on average, go to school or are doing an apprenticeship. They are supported in their further development by a team of education specialists so that they are able to go on to have a steady income, be independent and take responsibility for themselves. A focus is placed on helping the young people to manage their daily lives, and to develop their job prospects and a sense of responsibility.

Great attention is paid to supporting the young people in selecting good training. Job prospects and basic conditions present a challenge in countries outside Europe in particular. We ensure that adequate careers advice is available; we look for job opportunities for the young people and establish contacts in the business world.

They are also given start up help. SOS Children's Villages supports young people who want to start their own projects to ensure they have an income. Loans with low interest rates and flexible repayment options are provided specifically for the young people to start up their own small businesses (handicraft businesses, farming, service companies).

If required, SOS Children's Villages also provides follow-up care. During this final phase of care we step back and support the young people's further development from a distance. The follow-up care supports the young people in their last steps towards independence.

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