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The National Strategy on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction 2015-2020 (approved by Government Decision no. 383/2015) and the Youth Strategy 2015-2020 (approved by Government Decision no. 24/2015) have been the strategic framework for the youth social inclusion policies in Romania. In March 2022 none of the two strategies have been renewed. A separate strategy on the social inclusion of young people as such does not exist in Romania.
In the field of social inclusion of youth, the two strategies have included measures targeting children and young people under 18 and measures targeting young adults. The most important of these measures are continued after 2020 (in 2021 and 2021) and they are:
- The School after school national program in the less favoured schools
The programme aims at educational support for vulnerable children and young people in order to prevent school dropout by providing after school programmes, including hot meals. The programme piloted in 50 schools and expanded then at the national level.
The programme offers a flexible school approach to bring children, young people and adults back to school, allowing them to graduate mandatory education levels.
- The socio-professional insertion of young people leaving the special protection system
The initiative aims at developing Transit Centres, Social Apartments, social housing and support for socio-professional inclusion of young people leaving the special protection system.
There is no unique responsible authority for the implementation of the social inclusion measures. Different measures are in the responsibility of different authorities, as follows:
- all measures regarding activities in schools are supervised by the Ministry of Education, and implemented by the County School Inspectorates;
- the National Employment Agency and its local offices, under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity has to implement all measures including activities aiming at the employment of vulnerable young people
- the National Authority for Children Protection and Adoptions (NACPA) under the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities coordinates the General Offices for Social Assistance and Children Protection, at county level, for the implementation all measures regarding young people from the special protection system
In 2021 a new Youth Strategy and a new National Strategy on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction were expected, with a few debates on the strategies initiated in 2020. However, in March 2022, the strategic processes were not finalised, and the strategies were not adopted by the Romanian Government.
In 2020 the Ministry of Youth and Sports started preparing the youth strategy 2021-2027. In December 2020 a needs assessment was provided by the Life Quality Institute to support the elaboration of the strategy in 2021. Additionally, the Youth Barometer 2020 was released with the same aim. Other than that, consultations with the Counties’ Directorates on Youth and Sport and with other governmental institutions with responsibilities in the field of youth were organized. Based on the outcomes of the research and the consultation processes and after consultation with the National Council for Youth, a preliminary proposal for the new Youth Strategy, in line with the European Youth Strategy, was published in 2021. A cooperation protocol with the Government’s General Secretariat was signed by the Ministry of Youth and Sport in order to be provided with additional support for the coordination of the development and adoption process of the new Youth Strategy. In 2022, the consultation processes with the governmental and non-governmental organisations will continue, aiming to have the final project adopted by the end of the year.