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Start date: Jun 18, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A group composed of 16 young people between the ages of 18 and 23 years from Croatia, Albania, Austria and the Netherland will meet for one week at an European youth exchange. The aim of the exchange is to present the youth with an opportunity to set their own life changing goals that will enable them to take control of their lives and be less dependent on the youth care system for the rest of their lives. Four young people from each participating country will come with one group leader. Croatia and the Netherlands will select an additional group leader due to the target group with special needs. This makes the total number of participants 22. All targeted young people are personal experts in youth care. They know how the youth care system in their own country deals with the important date of their 18th birthday. Is there support for young people after their 18th birthday when they start their independent life? How are the young people prepared for their independancy? This is where the youth exchange program comes in. The program will provide them with tools to live independent. The tools will be about being in control of themselves; who they are, where they stand and where they want to grow to in the next five years. The aim of the youth exchange is to give all youngsters a positive boost. Main goals: - Self-guidance - Communication (both native tongue & foreign languages) - Social and civic competence (connecting, trust and civic knowledge) - Initiative and entrepreneurship - Cultural awareness - Expression - Learn how to learn. There will be time to dream, for self-reflection, for relaxation, move out of the comfort zone, to make decisions for a new direction. For youth with a background of youth care it could be a life-changing event! The objective: A concrete five -year plan with milestones that can be managed by the youth themselves after the meeting. To provide them with tools to keep the plan alive, to overcome obstacles, to celebrate every victory and to keep heading into a future they can control. The program will be published in the following media: - Short movie of the youth exchange; - Press release that is distributed within the participating countries (through newsletters, websites etc.). Through the exchange week, it is possible to make the problems that come with leaving youth care more clearly on a local, regional, national and European level. It is possible to analyze the best practices from four European countries. A possible follow-up could be creating guidelines within Europe for leaving youth care. A connection with FICE International will be made. The FICE International can use the results as an input for policy and draw attention to issues of leaving youth care at a European level.
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