Alternative Future. Towards the Empowerment of Children victims of Violence in Alternative Care Through a gender Sensitive and Child-centered Capacity Building Programme for Professionals


Alternative Future is an innovative project aimed at improving the lives and life chances of young people who have experienced violence. It is being delivered by a partnership of organizations across six European countries – Fundació SURT (Spain), Animus Association Foundation (Bulgaria), Children in Scotland (UK), Instituto degli Innocenti, IDI (Italy), Dissens (Germany) and Association for Men’s and Gender Issues Styria, AMGI (Austria), and is funded under the Rights, Education and Citizenship programme of the European Union.

How the project carries out its work

The first step is to speak directly to young people who live in residential care settings, so that we can understand better how they perceive, understand and reflect on violence. This group of young people has been chosen as many of them will have direct experience of violence, through physical assault, sexual abuse, coercion by adults and aggression within peer relationships. The project team is speaking to young people in all six partner countries, to gather and reflect a diverse range of circumstances, experiences and contexts. The team is also gathering information from practitioners.

The information gathered from the young people and staff will be used to develop learning resources. These will build the capacity of staff to work more effectively with young people who have experience of violence and its continuing adverse effect. This information will be shared at a number of seminars – five or six in each participating country – so we hope to reach a substantial number of practitioners. Work with practitioners through the learning events should result in a number of identifiable actions to empower and support young people who have experience of violence, with particular emphasis on young people within the care system.

Informing policy at national and European level is a key part of project activity. A final European symposium will be held in Edinburgh near the end of 2017.

What we will produce

The main output of the project will be a Transnational Good Practice Catalogue, which will be the result of all the aforementioned activity. There is a project website where the learning materials and methods will remain available after the project ends.