The CALEAMI Project

Why?

Transition to independent life is a hazardous life process and produces insecurity in young people. In Catalonia, many young people choose to continue living with their parents well into their adult age due to the high cost of living and the high rates of youth unemployment.

However, this is not an option for many foster youths who, at the age of 18, are pushed to face life on their own without a job and/or a solid training with which to compete in such precarious labor market.

For these reasons, this stage of life is especially difficult for foster youth who do not receive any support from their family or lack a consolidated social support network available to other youth. Due to various circumstances, these youth often arrive at this stage having fewer resources in terms of competencies and educational training than other young people. Many studies warn about the high risk to care leavers of ending up in situations of exclusion, such as unemployment, poverty, homelessness, or delinquency, which can be aggravated by teen pregnancy, affective problems from abuse, or substance consumption.

Support-to-transition programs are aimed to accompany these young people at this difficult and complex stage. This accompaniment is very brief, and it is especially difficult with youth who often have a more emotionally unstable adolescence due to their family situation and have not overcome the trauma experienced in the past.

It is necessary that these projects are efficient and provide resources adapted to suit the needs of youth in the socioeconomic context in which they are transitioning to independent life. Keeping these projects updated requires the evaluation of data regarding the difficulties and necessities that change as the Catalan socioeconomic context changes. Information for these evaluations will be collected systematically, allowing the preservation, improvement, or readjustment of the transition-to-adulthood support services and programs for care leavers.

 

How?

 

The project proposes the creation of a system for monitoring the experience of care leavers in their transition to independent life. This monitoring system must allow periodic gathering of information to maintain, readjust or improve the services and support programs for the transition that are currently available in Catalonia. The project aims to keep track of the different groups of young people for eight years (from the ages of 18 to 26), selecting each year a new representative group of young people who reach the majority of age being tutored on which to start the longitudinal tracking.

 

 

Who?

The CALEAMI project is a participatory project developed by researchers, professionals, youth, and administration technicians. It is the result of the collaboration between the Federation of Entities offering Assisted Projects and Apartments (Federació d’Entitats amb Projectes i Pisos Assistits – FEPA) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona Research Group on Children and Adolescents in Risk (Infància i Adolescència en Risc – IARS). Consequently, the project is led by a promotion committee comprising the FEPA professionals, care leavers, and researchers from the IARS Research Group. This commission is in charge of the design of the study, validation of the instruments, data collection and analysis, drafting of the findings, and boosting the participation of the advisory board and collecting their proposals.

The project also benefits from the participation of an advisory board responsible for offering support in some of the phases of the project. The advisory board consists of other transition expert researchers, care leavers, professionals from residential care homes, and administration technicians. This board collaborates with the promotion commission in the different phases of the project; in particular, in the design of the study and the instruments, the collection of data, and the discussion of the results.

 

When?

The CALEAMI project is currently in the development phase, and it is embodied in the next phases:

Phase 1

Design and development of a monitoring pilot system.

Phase 2

First implementation and validation of the monitoring pilot system.

Phase 3

Monitoring pilot system first implementation analysis of results.

Phase 4

Systematic monitoring system implementation every two years.