The Bari town council has launched an initiative entitled 'Famiglie Senza Confini' to use economic incentives to persuade families to take in unaccompanied foreign minors and 18-year-olds.
A Bari town council initiative entitled 'Famiglie Senza Confini' ('Families Without Borders') will place unaccompanied foreign minors and those who have recently reached adulthood with families, couples and individuals who will receive 100 euros per month, an amount that will be cut from the monthly amount that the facilities currently housing the migrants receive.
The residences holding agreements with the town council house 225 minors. The project does not have a pre-set time limit. Ten families have requested information so as to take part in the project.
Project aims to give 'a signal of a countertrend'
The initiative was presented by the councilor for welfare, Francesca Bottalico, the head of the GEA cooperative that will be tasked with the service, Grazia Vulpis, and the judges for the Bari Court for Minors Roberta Savelli and Riccardo Leonetti.
Bottalico said that ''we want to give a signal of a countertrend compared with what is happening in other parts of Italy. These are very young people who had to leave their families at age 10, 11 or 12 and they have the right to a family and adults that will look after them and their growth, in line with the International Convention of Rights.''
The GEA cooperative, which manages the fostering service on behalf of the town council administration, will be tasked with bringing the migrants and those interested in hosting them together.
Tailored paths for each youth
A path will be drawn up for every youth on the basis of what is available. ''We believe that we will be able to bring in true change,'' Vulpis said, adding that a special telephone line and that a team of six psychologists, two social workers and an educator had been set up.
She added that ''we will hold public meetings to raise awareness among the public and we prepare those interested in the project before creating possible matches. We will be at their side in all phases of the initiative that, as is clear, could lead to difficult times for both the parties involved.''
''Over the past year,'' Leonetti said, ''unfortunately almost 100 minors left the facilities they were staying in and we have lost all trace of them.'' ''This is one of the reasons,'' he said, ''that we are especially interested in the developments of this project'', which ''includes the figure of a volunteer tutor introduced by the latest regulations on the issue, and a family of reference.''