When an unaccompanied or separated child enters the European Union, they need a representative taking parental responsibility, who has the mandate to take important decisions in their best interest. Furthermore, this representative takes the responsibility for arranging all their basic needs and assisting them in the asylum procedure. EGN believes that a guardian is the best representative for this arrangement. The guardian is not only made responsible for the child, but is also equipped to take that responsibility in difficult matters such as return, Dublin, family tracing and the asylum procedure.
Professional guardianship is not the rule in Europe. Guardians are often volunteers, with only their own network, their passion and a few days of training to rely on. While this is already a challenge in the simplest of guardianship cases, it becomes a serious problem in the more difficult ones. EGN partners promote all development towards professional guardianship and increased quality of guardianship. From this principle, more resources, training, access to information and assistance for individual or voluntary guardians is welcomed and is supported by EGN. EGN wants to improve the working standards of guardians and – by doing so – the rights and well-being of unaccompanied and separated children by assisting in the development of guardianship systems, offering support to individual guardians or social workers and exchanging good practices.
7 standards of guardianship
The network promotes 7 standards that were adopted by all EGN members which:
- help guide EGN Members in strengthening guardianship in their countries
- support exchange within the EGN on guardianship practice across Europe
- inform the development of good practice and capacity building in the EGN
- underpin the contributions of the EGN to European policy namely the regulatory developments.
Get to know the 7 standards of guardianship