International Care Leavers’ Convention 2020
Date: November 23-26, 2020
Meaningful improvements for children and youth growing up in care can only be made in partnership with Care Leavers who have experience with the care system. The solution lies in the wisdom of lived experiences of Care Leavers who most know what’s at stake, towards powerful lasting change. The need of the hour is to hear the unheard voices of Care Leavers and provide them a platform to improve the support and opportunities available to them, especially considering the care system exists for their benefit.
The International Care Leavers Convention is a unique opportunity to collectivize Care Leavers at international level and elevate the voices of children and young people – because without the insight of these young leaders our care systems won’t be effective.
The objective of the convention is to bring Care Leavers together and provide them a platform to emerge to learn, share and exchange experiences, knowledge and challenges on their situation such that it amplifies their voices and attracts the attention of decision makers to act upon their demands through betterment of the policy and practice related to them.
Udayan Care recently concluded a seminal research on ‘Aftercare’ to understand the situation of Care Leavers (youth who have lived in childrens homes and left them at 18 years). Since 2017 Udayan Care has supported an informal support group of Care Leavers from Delhi and this group launched itself at an international conference in March 2018. Known as CLAN, (Care Leavers Association and Network), this youth group has been formed as a city wide network so that CLs from different CCIs can join and there can be a greater synergy and support system amongst themselves.
Members from CLAN presented their care experiences in the form of a street play at the launch of the report on Aftercare.
Udayan Care in association with the University of Hildesheim – Germany, organized an Indo-German Meet for Care Leavers (youth exiting Child Care Institutions upon turning 18), from December 1-6, 2019, as part of the Project “Peer-Port”, transnational cooperation between Care Leavers in India and Germany.
The main objective of the project “Aftercare Peer Support” (Peer Port) is to create and support a group of Care Leavers who are strong enough to support others and empower them to investigate, advocate and promote the participation of Care Leavers in the local communities, educational system, and labour market.
It was a great learning experience for everyone who participated in the programme. The programme shared insights on the respective systems on child care and Aftercare in the two countries. It also helped to understand the challenges faced by Care Leavers. The care leavers are very excited about this collaboration and look forward to their work together to improve systems and policies in their respective countries.