Towards the Right Care for Children: Orientations for reforming alternative care systems. Africa, Asia, Latin America

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Abstract Summary

“Towards the Right Care for Children” is the synthesis report of a vast review of alternative care on three continents – Africa, Asia and Latin America – and in six country case-studies – Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda. The European Commission contracted the study from SOS Children’s Villages and its research partner, CELCIS, to understand how best to approach deinstitutionalisation as a component of alternative care system reform outside the European context. The regional and country-specific research confirmed both that the reasons why children are in alternative care, and the ways in which it is provided, vary extensively across countries and regions. Initiatives to prevent unnecessary placement in care as a primary goal and offer suitable quality alternative care in line with the UN Guidelines only when necessary, must therefore be tailored to country situations. 

Factors to be considered include the extent to which the government currently provides, monitors and finances prevention and alternative care; the presence and role of non-State providers; the prevalence and cultural framing of informal vs formal care; the reasons children find themselves in care; and the degree to which alternative care is embedded in a robust child protection system involving sectors ranging from social work, education and health to the judiciary. The synthesis report sets out recommendations for the EU and governments to take steps towards evidence-based reform of alternative care systems within a UNCRC framework. Inter alia, the findings highlight the priority to increase investment in preventing unnecessary care placements and the need for better data to inform decision making. They also note that in countries where formal foster care by non-family members can be seen as a culturally acceptable and viable protection measure, its development will require substantial investment to ensure quality and thorough, realistic planning and delivery. 

Abstract ID :
Submission Type
15-minute plenary presentation
Abstract Topic
1.2. DI and family based care in different regions: Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America (local, national, international, and comparison studies)