Prague, June 24 (CTK) – Youths who leave Czech children’s homes mostly are not ready to live an independent life outside the institution in which they were raised and they have no solutions if their plan fails, according to a survey that Ipsos agency conducted for the Mimo domov NGO.
Within the survey in 13 children homes, 27 youths who have left the children home and about 100 children who were to do so soon were interviewed.
A majority of the children said they know what they would do in the first 12 months after leaving the institution. They usually wanted to find a job and a place to live and to study.
But two out of five had no idea what they would do if their plan failed. “The absence of any plan may be the reason why they get in desperate situations after a failure,” the authors of the survey write.
After leaving the children’s home, more than half of the teenagers had problems with accommodation and they feared that they would become homeless. One third of them had financial problems and debts, one out of four got involved in thefts or other crimes, and several of them had experience with prostitution.
Prague-Dolni Pocernice children’s home director Martin Lnenicka said previously that the follow-up care for the youths who left the home is not sufficient.
The survey showed that only one in five was not afraid of leaving the children’s home. The youths mostly feared seeking a job or accommodation and possible debts, as well as big changes in their life, loneliness, the loss of friends, and the need to be independent.
After leaving the children’s home, they especially needed to find a place to live, get a job and money, and deal with state offices. Some children received assistance from nongovernmental organisations, others from friends, their children’s home and its staff or social workers.
A vast majority of the children had contact with somebody from their family. About one out of five said their relations with their family were bad.
The survey concluded that a strong fixation on the women that raised them in the children’s home may be a big problem for these youths after they leave the institution to start living on their own.
When seeking accommodation, one third of the children asked for assistance from NGOs or accepted an offer of a sheltered housing. Some of the others lived with their relatives, temporarily or for a longer time, or shared a rented flat with friends and acquaintances.
Only 13 percent of those who would be leaving the children’s home said they had saved some money for the start of their independent life.
The survey showed that the financial literacy of the children was rather poor. In the institution, they had little knowledge of the costs of living. Only a small part of them were able to explain the meaning of health and social insurance.
The survey concluded that low education made it harder for the children to find a job: 71 percent of them were apprentices (mostly cooks, waitresses, bricklayers, shop assistants and nurses) and the perspective of further education was limited due to their qualification.
Nearly half of the children said they were not satisfied with their education and a majority of them wanted to study after they would leave the children’s home, but only one in ten kept wanting to study after they left.