Children and adolescents who grow up in statutory care are highly vulnerable and disadvantaged. At the age of 18, they must leave their care home and manage their lives on their own. The project provides young people aged 15 and over with a long-term, reliable mentor: A volunteer to guide their transition out of statutory care.
Care Leaver Mentoring
Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy
Fields of action: Youth welfare, Mental health
Project owner: Volkshilfe Wien: Freiwilligenmanagement, Fachbereich Kinder und Jugendliche
Responsible person: Doris Moravec
Trained volunteers support young people leaving state care as caregivers in difficult life situations. The exchanges begin early in their adolescent years, while the young people are still in the care of Volkshilfe Wien. The Care Leaver Mentoring programme provides long-term support for a successful transition out of statutory care with professional assistance and guidance.
The programme works with children and adolescents who grow up in statutory care of Volkshilfe Wien. Volunteer mentors and the project team meet the young people regularly for workshops and recreational activities such as pizza, bowling, and billiards. These interactions with volunteers motivate the youngsters to join and participate in the mentoring programme.
The programme and activities have impacted the young people in Volkshilfe Wien care, including young people who are suspicious of new relationships. Care Leaver mentors help the young people with their homework, accompany them to appointments, or are just there to listen. The Care Leaver Mentoring programme provides resources that are rarely available outside of statutory care.
Project management and coordination are vital to the programme’s implementation and success. The programme is transferable to any child and youth welfare institutions in Austria and abroad.