This report summarizes the discussions and activities held at Eurochild’s 11th Annual Conference, co-hosted by Hope and Homes for Children in Bucharest, Romania on 26-28 November 2014. The event, which focused on “better public spending for better outcomes for children and families,” brought together representatives from civil society and government as well as researchers, other professionals, and young people themselves from 36 countries in Europe. The group was convened with the purpose of developing “a clear and convincing narrative to bring those people on board who still believe that children are for charities and not for the real business of government.”
The first stage of the conference consisted of presentation of ideas and themes for discussion from representatives of the hosting organisations, the Romanian government, young people and keynote speakers. The second stage of the conference focused in on three main themes: Evaluation Methodologies, Public-Private Partnerships, and Social Return on Investment. In the third stage, participants presented examples of good practices and in the fourth stage, four workshops were held, each covering a different theme: Child Participation, Children in Alternative Care, Early Years Education and Care (ECEC), and Family and Parenting Support. The fifth stage involved a panel debate on funding advocacy for children’s rights. And the conference finished with concluding messages from keynote speakers on supporting vulnerable families and eliminating institutional care, among other topics.