With no families to act as guides, children in state foster care homes have to go on their own way when they enter adult life. The government, however, now aims to step in to help them shape a career upon graduation.
Minister of Family, Labor and Social Services Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk has announced that some 2,899 children between the ages of 13 and 18 will benefit from the occupational consultation services.
The services aim to guide children to fields they are skilled in. The services, for children living in Child Support Centers and Children’s Houses, will be provided by the ministry’s employment agency, İŞKUR, the country’s main employment agency.
Child Support Centers house child victims of crime or those driven into crime, as well as orphans. Children’s Houses offer apartment-style accommodation for older children.
Selçuk said in a written statement on Monday that İŞKUR consultants would be paired with children and young people to take account of their skills and interests in order to help them choose a path of education and eventual career. "We believe children will take a better step for their future with correct guidance," she said.
The scheme primarily covers children who have dropped out of school or cannot attend for personal reasons. "Our goal is to develop their vocational skills and in their career planning and help them by setting up vocational courses for them," she said.
In the past, Turkey ran traditional orphanages and other child care facilities to care for orphans and children in need of a home. However, in the past decade, the government has transitioned to a model that provides more freedom to these children.
Children from impoverished families, for instance, are prevented from being handed over to social services. Instead, their families are given financial support for child care.
The adoption of orphans has also been promoted, while those above a certain age are accommodated in apartments where each has his or her own room and is supervised by social services staff.