The European Union continues to place attention on child, youth and family policy.

Through the adoption of Council Regulation 2019/1111, the European Union has facilitated the application of decisions on divorce, legal separation, marriage annulment, parental responsibility issues and on international child abduction across borders.

Recently, the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC)  published the latest developments in child, youth and family policy in EU Member States, highlighting several legal provisions taken in EU Member States. It covers the establishment of new organisations dealing with children and youth; the publication of analyses such as UNICEF’s report examining family-friendly policies; and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ report presenting young Jewish Europeans’ experiences with antisemitism.

EPIC also published two policy memos on:

  1. Risks and support mechanisms for single parents across the EU
  2. Children’s rights and participation in policy frameworks in the EU and Member States

The role of Social Services

Since 2008, our members have been discussing the role of social services in child, youth and family policy. Social services are key actors in providing support to disadvantaged children, young people and families by providing child protection, alternative care arrangements, helping young people onto the labour market, and supporting parents with complex needs.

Over the years, ESN has launched several initiatives focusing on these target groups, laying the importance on continuous needs assessment, co-production of services with children and young people, family- and community-based care and the cooperation with other sectors, such as education, health and justice.

Our Practice Library includes innovative practices implemented by our members for children, youth and families and our 2019 Working Group on Integrated Care and Support focuses on leavers, promoting better outcomes for children and families in need.


Internal resources:

ESN: Policy and Practice- Child, Family & Youth Support

ESN: Practices- Child, Family & Youth Support

ESN: Care leavers- Integrated care and support


External resources:

European Commission: Adoption of new rules for children

European Commission: July 2019 developments in child and family policy

UNICEF: Family-friendly policies report

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: Young Jewish Europeans: perceptions and experiences of antisemitism

European Commission: Mechanisms supporting single parents across the European Union

European Commission: Policy memo on children's rights and participation