Fostering Across Borders

Almost 200,000 unaccompanied migrant children sought asylum in Europe since the surge in arrivals of refugees and migrants in 2015.

The Fostering Across Borders project aimed to improve the quality and expand the availability of family-based care for unaccompanied migrant children in six EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Poland and the United Kingdom.
A foster carer training programme was developed and professionals (including foster carers) were trained on and supported to better protect and meet the needs of these children.

The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights recognised that family-based care is better than large-scale residences to provide children with a nurturing environment and address their individual needs. The agency found that fewer children go missing from foster care compared to reception centres and institutions, while highlighting that training for professionals remains a high priority to ensure the highest standards of care and protection for these children.

Fostering Across Borders builds on the output of the ALFACA (Alternative Family Care) project , particularly its good practice manual and e-learning package for professional and the experience working with reception families and the unaccompanied children living with them.

Fostering Across Borders Activities

  • Map the existing training gaps and needs for professionals and family-based carers, at national level;
  • Develop and deliver training for professionals and foster carers to enhance their ability to care for unaccompanied migrant children, based on a Training-of-Trainers approach;
  • Produce a foster carer training programme, adapted to each country context;
  • Support the recruitment and retention of family-based carers for unaccompanied migrant children through information sessions, foster carer forums and the development of awareness raising materials;
  • Consult with children and young people to reflect children’s views of family-based care in all the FAB materials (child-centred approach).


FAB was funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union (2014-2020) and led by IOM. It ran from January 2018 to September 2019.
IOM staff in the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland implemented the project in partnership with local partners (see more below).






United Kingdom

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Funded by the
Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme
of the European Union