11-17th of April 2016

Vilnius, Lithuania

In the frame of Erasmus+ program

While the level of young parents in EU cannot be regarded as high, those who do become parents are more likely to experience multiple disadvantages including educational disadvantage and fewer opportunities to participate in activities that can help them to improve or gain competencies. Being young parent or being pregnant itself may become an exclusionary factor for these young people because of the lack of childcare and child friendly practices in places of education and training. However, international researches identify a range of barriers and factors that may serve to negatively influence young parents’ decision to participate in education or training. These include:

Many of these factors can be positively affected or impacted. The support may be received not only from family members but also from youth workers and trainers of NGOs. Moreover, structural and institutional factors strongly affect young parents and pregnant women participation in activities that they can develop their competencies that later can be helpful in order to get a job or to contribute to community life in general.

Lack of institutional support, lack of finances and supportive programmes is a key factor in determining whether or not young parents participate in education or training after the birth of their child. It is important to consider how best to strengthen existing strategies or options such as NFE to increase their relevance for these groups in general. Young parents are rarely specifically identified as a group ‘at risk’ of experiencing educational disadvantage. Increased attention needs to be given to the multi-dimensional nature of educational disadvantage and exclusion.

It is not a secret that most of the time youth workers or trainers don’t think about involvement of young parents or pregnant women into youth activities. Because of factors mentioned above, young parents and pregnant women don’t think about participation opportunities.

Why and what is possible to do in order to include and at the same time to encourage young parents and pregnant women to participate in activities is the major key of the international TC on how to ensure kids friendly training environment – KIDS IN ACTION.

TC will support youth workers and trainers with competencies on how to integrate young parents with kids up to 4 years and pregnant women into their actions. This will encourage and provide with opportunities for young parents and pregnant women to participate in different actions (including international) and to develop their competencies.

For this training we specifically focus on young parents with kids up to 4 years, because of the connections between kids and parents. Mother who is breastfeeding her baby cannot leave baby longer then 2-4 hours. At the same time kids up to 4 years had a really strong connection with one of the parents and separation that last longer then 8 hours can affect development of kid’s feeling of security and self-confidence. This may in the future follow more difficulties in social communication, long-term relationship and in establishment of long-term relationships. As most of the youth activities last longer then 8 hours, it is very important to train youth workers and trainers on how to ensure kids friendly training environment in order to develop inclusion of young parents into these activities. Moreover, the issue includes single young mothers or fathers, who has no opportunities to leave kid with partner.

The objectives of this project are:

– To train 16 youth workers and trainers from Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria by providing with knowledge and skills on how to ensure kids friendly training environment;

– To encourage participants to ensure inclusion of young parents and pregnant women in youth activities in their organizations;

– To show to participants how they can continue working in youth field while being parents of kids up 4 years;

– To help and to support participants in preparing the concrete action plans of their activities for young parents and pregnant women that later they will implement back home in the period of 3 months after TC;

– To provide this opportunity for participants to be a part of TC that involves parents with kids up to 4 years and pregnant women;

– To prepare recommendations on how to implement/improve inclusion of young parents with kids up to 4 years and pregnant women in youth activities as well as recommendations for Erasmus+ programme;

– After the TC to develop an online courses in order to give a possibility for more youth workers and trainers who are interested in this topic to develop their competencies on the topics of this TC;

-To provide with a space for NGO’s to meet in order to start and strengthen cooperation and to encourage future cooperation between partners in the frame of Erasmus+;

– To stimulate participants‘ mutual understanding/intercultural dialogue.

Draft daily program of the training course.