The VVSG, UVCW and Brulocalis are non-profit organisations established and managed by the local authorities within the three Regions of Belgium (the Flemish Region, the Brussels-Capital Region and the Walloon Region). One of their main activity is, as umbrella organisations, to represent, inform, and defend the interests of the local Public Centres for Social Welfare (PCSW). PCSWs are public institutions that exist in each of the municipalities in Belgium and their role is to provide social assistance and social integration services. They have been identified as key actors in the inclusion and support of separated and unaccompanied children and youth.
The VVSG, UVCW and Brulocalis have made the common observation that the PCSWs and their local reception structures encounter difficulties when being confronted with separated and unaccompanied children and youth who need additional and specific support. Responding to these challenges, the goal of the project was to strengthen the expertise of the local PCSWs with regards to the profiles, needs and rights of the unaccompanied and separated children and youth in order to better support and empower the latter in their transition to autonomy and emancipation. As leading organisations of the project, the three umbrella organisations closely worked together to reach this common goal at the national level with joint national activities and tailored, but similar, regional activities. The project targeted all Belgian PCSWs, most specifically those who are confronted with the reception of separated and unaccompanied children and youth.