Italy – "WE ARE NEVER FOREIGNERS IN FAMILY: Promoting and putting foster care in place for unaccompanied foreign minors"

21 May 2024

(ANS – Rome)  – Next Tuesday, 28 May 2024, the Salesian Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco work in Rome will host a conference with authorities and experts in the field to discuss a very topical issue: the reception and social inclusion of Unaccompanied Foreign Minors, focusing on the fundamental role that families can play.  

According to the half-yearly In-depth Report of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies on Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MiSNA), there were 23,226 MiSNAs in Italy as of 31 December 2023, 2,300 more than for 30 June of the same year.

Although in the same reference period the first months of 2024 saw a decrease in the number of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, as can be seen from the Annual Report of the UNICEF Office for Europe and Central Asia in Italy, the percentage of unaccompanied foreign girls and boys in the total number of people arriving is growing, equal to 14.6%, compared to 10% the previous year.

MiSNA's presence on Italian territory poses a double challenge: accepting these underage children, and integrating them, encouraging their processes of growth and autonomy. In this context, foster care in family is a response to be privileged as a powerful tool for social inclusion.

In order to promote the MiSNA foster care institute, Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco, in collaboration with UNICEF, Rome, the National Coordination of Reception Communities (CNCA) and "Salesians for Social", is organising a seminar entitled "We are never foreigners in family" to be held on 28 May 2024 from 8:30 to 2:00 at the Sala Biavati,  Borgo Ragazzi don Bosco (Via Prenestina 468, Rome).

The intent is to share tools and working models experimented with and consolidated with institutional actors of reference, in order to implement the operational network and involve and raise awareness among civil society towards an ever greater attention to the best interests of each child, as enshrined in art. 3 of the Convention on the Rights of Children and Adolescents.

The hope is that, in teamwork with the recent Guidelines for Family Foster Care in 2024, the working model established in Rome can produce and strengthen the necessary inter-institutional collaborations in order to increasingly promote the use of the foster care institute, which the Zampa Law (Law 47/2017) also identifies as an instrument to be favoured as a priority for the reception of minors.

The seminar will also be an opportunity to present the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Roma Capitale, Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco and CNCA and the related Flow Diagram, to promote foster care in an integrated way for MiSNAs in and around Rome.

In three years, according to the data of the Organisational Unit for the Protection of Minors in Rome Capital, thanks to the collaboration with Borgo Ragazzi don Bosco (Progetto AltriLegami) and CNCA ("Progetto Ohana" and "Progetto Terreferme – Lazio"), there were 24 MiSNAs included in a family. In Rome alone, 68 foster families were formed.

The works include the opening greetings and introductory presentations by Fr Daniele Merlini, Rector of Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco, Barbara Funari, Councillor for Social Policies and Health in Roma Capitale, and Ivan Mei, Head of Child Protection programs in Italy of the UNICEF Office for Europe and Central Asia.

A round table on intervention strategies and policies will follow, with contributions from Lidia Salerno, President of the Juvenile Court of Rome; Antonio Mazzarotto, Director of the Family, Minors and Fragile Persons Area of the Lazio Region; Stefania Milone, Director of the Organisational Unit for the Protection of Minors in Rome Capital; Laura Versace, Lawyer and Volunteer Guardian; and Frida Tonizzo, Representative of the National Table for Relief.

In the morning there will be a second round of talks focused on roles, practices and work tools. On this occasion, the following will speak: Piero Caputo, Social Assistant, of the MiSNA Office of Roma Capitale; Carola Iacuitto, Coordinator of the "AltriLegami" Project at Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco; and Liviana Marelli, National Reference person for the RIGADA Area (Reception, Family Relations, Right to the future of young children/and adolescents) of CNCA. Nicoletta Goso, Head of the "Rimettere le Ali" (Give them back their wings) area at Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco, will moderate discussions.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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