Welcome to the Better Care Network

The website is a vital source of information for people working on issues related to children who lack adequate family care. The website library contains over 1300 research, policy and programme resources related to the care and protection of vulnerable children. The library is searchable by region, country or specific topics.


Without Dreams: Children in Alternative Care in Japan 
This report by Human Rights Watch examines Japan’s alternative care system for children, describing its organization and processes, current data on the use of different forms of alternative care, the problems found in the institutionalization of most children (including infants), as well as abuses that take place in the system.

World Family Map 2014: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-being Outcomes
The second annual edition of the World Family Map investigates how family characteristics affect children’s healthy development around the globe and includes a new essay focusing on union stability and early childhood health in developing countries.

Does Family Matter? The Well-Being of Children Growing Up in Institutions, Foster Care and Adoption
In this chapter of the Handbook of Child Well-Being, the authors review the findings from research on the cognitive and social-emotional development of children growing up in institutions, foster care and adoption.

Children, Orphanages, and Families: a Summary of Research to Help Guide Faith-based Action
This Summary of Research by the Faith to Action Initiative provides a concise overview of a range of studies and findings that can inform approaches to caring for children who, through orphanhood, abandonment, or other causes, have been separated from parental care.

Global Research, Practice, and Policy Issues on the Care of Infants and Young Children at Risk: The Articles in Context 
This introductory article of a Special Issue of Infant Mental Health Journal on Global Research, Practice, and Policy Issues in the Care of Infants and Young Children at Risk provides a useful overview, placing the articles in the broader contexts of research on institutionalized children and different initiatives to prevent inappropriate care.

From Institutional Care to Family Support: Development of an Effective Early Intervention Network in the Nizhny Novgorod Region, Russian Federation
This article documents an initiative to establish a replicable professional model that would direct the child welfare system in the Nizhny Novgorod Region away from institutional care and toward services for young children and their families that reduce the risk of institutionalization.

Residential Care for Abandoned Children and their Integration into a Family-Based Setting in Uganda: Lessons for Policy and Programming 
This article describes a model of care for abandoned and neglected infants in need of urgent physical, social, and medical support as implemented by the Child's i Foundation, an international, nongovernmental organization operating in Uganda.

From Maid to Mother: Transforming Facilities, Staff Training, and Caregiver Dignity in an Institutional Facility for Young Children in Nepal 
This article provides a case study of a project to improve the health, safety, and development of children birth to 6 years old in a large orphanage in Nepal.

Adoption Policy and Evidence-Based Domestic Adoption Practice: A Comparison of Romania, Ukraine, India, Guatemala, and Ethiopia
This article uses data collected from adoptive parents’ postadoption and governmental data in Romania, Ukraine, India, Guatemala, and Ethiopia to focus on domestic adoption in each of these countries. 

How the Republic of Georgia has Nearly Eliminated the Use of Institutional Care for Children 
This article documents how between 2005 and 2013, the Government in the Republic of Georgia closed 32 large, state-run institutions housing children without adequate family care.

Save the Children Policy Brief: Child Care Institutions – A Last Resort
Save the Children has released a policy brief outlining its position on the use of institutional care for children.

Addicted to Orphans: Donor influence in Uganda's child protection system
Cheney presented a paper at the Young Lives and Globalization in Africa workshop at the University of Liège, Belgium on 21st February 2014 on the "Orphan Industrial Complex."

Drumming Together for Change: A Child’s Right to Quality Care in Sub-Saharan Africa
This report is based on a synthesis of eight assessments of the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children (“the Guidelines”) in Benin, Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Researching the Linkages Between Social Protection and Children’s Care in Rwanda: The VUP and Its Effects on Child Wellbeing, Care, and Family Reunifi
This report features the results of, and recommendations based on, a study conducted in Rwanda which investigates the links between a cash transfer program, child well-being, and children’s care and family reunification.

Children's Reintegration: Longitudinal study of children’s reintegration in Moldova
This important report by Partnership for Every Child Moldova and Family For Every Child documents a 22-month longitudinal study of the reintegration of children in residential care in Moldova.

Current trends, figures and challenges in out of home child care: An international comparative analysis

This article closes a special edition of the journal Psychosocial Intervention focused on the state of child protection in 16 countries with special attention to out-of-home care placements, principally family foster care and residential care.

Kinship Care for the Safety, Permanency, and Well-being of Children Removed from the Home for Maltreatment: A Systematic Review
This article presents a systematic review of controlled experimental and quasi-experimental studies in which children removed from the home for maltreatment and subsequently placed in kinship care were compared with children placed in non-kinship foster care for child welfare outcomes.

Save the Children: Position Statement on Families 
This position statement by Save the Children highlights the central place of families in numerous international legal instruments and how the concept is understood under international law and by the organisation.

Perceived food and labor equity and school attendance among Ugandan children living in kin care
This study examines the association between relatedness and perceived food and work equity, and school attendance for children living in kinship care in Uganda.

Australia: Whose responsibility is it? Supporting the needs of informal kinship care 
This presentation by Professor Connolly of Melbourne University reviews recent trends in the use of kinship care in Australia and discusses what this shift means in the context of the model of child protection used in that country.

Understanding and Improving Informal Alternative Care Mechanisms: Kinship care in West Central Africa
A report by Save the Children examining the role and extent of kinship care in West Central Africa, as well as looking into program and policy implications and gaps in advocacy.

Kinship Care and Poverty: Using Census Data to Examine the Extent and Nature of Kinship Care in the UK
The paper presents findings from the first-ever study of kinship care in the UK using census micro data, with important implications for policy, particularly with regard to the needs of kinship carers for financial, emotional, practical and other support.

The 'dance' of kinship care in England and Ireland: Navigating a course between regulation and relationships
This paper charts some of the reasons for the 'organic growth' of formal kinship care in the UK and Ireland in the last 20 years and the multiple dynamics that have shaped this.

Myanmar: Kinship Care Handbook
This Handbook aims to provide guidance for Save the Children staff, NGO partners, Community Child Protection Groups and community volunteers in Myanmar in protecting the welfare of children living with extended family members.

Nepal: Kinship Care at Community is Better Model to Ensure Psychosocial and Economic Security of Orphans Living with HIV than from Care Homes
The objective of this study was to investigate which model of care and support is more appropriate for improving psychosocial and economic security of AIDS orphans in Nepal.

USA: Stepping Up for Kids -what government and communities should do to support kinship families
This policy report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation summarizes what is known about kinship care in the United States, identifies the problems and issues these families face, and make recommendations about how best to support caregivers 

Out of home care in France and Switzerland 
This article focuses on the structural similarities and dissimilarities that exist between child protection systems in France and Switzerland, as exemplified by the evolutions of the last decade.

Out of home care in Norway and Sweden - similar and different 
This article provides an overview of the current situation in the out-of-home care in Norway and Sweden. 

Education for Orphans in Africa: Predictors Impacting School Attendance
This powerful chart illustrates data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in 5 African countries to better understand how orphan status affect the school attendance of children in Africa and the extent to which living in kinship care can act as a protective factor in this context.

The Right of Boys and Girls to a Family. Alternative Care. Ending Institutionalization in the Americas
This report (in Spanish) by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) analyzes children’s right to live and be raised by their families, and establishes the resulting obligations for States when it comes to supporting and strengthening families’ ability to raise and care for their children.

Indicators of Family Care for Development for Use in Multicountry Surveys 
This important article explains the process through which global indicators of family care for (child) development were drafted and tested in several countries.

Improving positive parenting skills and reducing harsh and abusive parenting in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review.
This article investigates effectiveness of parenting interventions on reducing harsh and harmful parenting practices in low-to-middle income countries.

Spanking and Child Development across the first decade of life
This study examines the prevalence of maternal and paternal spanking of children at 3 and 5 years of age and the associations between spanking and children's externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary through age 9.

A study of children in institutions offers a perspective on the cognitive benefits of parenting
This article reviews a new book by Charles A. Nelson, Nathan A. Fox and Charles H. Zeanah who conducted seminal studies in Romania on children who were institutionalised, comparing their developmental and well-being outcomes to children who were placed in foster care or adoptive families.

Alternative Care in Laos: An Exploratory Study With Children and Caregivers
This report summarizes the findings of a study on parental and alternative childcare in Luang Prabang and Xayabury provinces in Northern Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

New Country Care Reviews from the Committee on the Rights of the Child! 

Care related Concluding Observations adopted by the Committee on China, Kuwait, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Moldova, Paraguay, Sao Tome & Principe and Tuvalu

The UN Commission for Social Development Resolution on the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family
The UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) held discussions in New York in observance of the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family and drafted a resolution to be adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council.

Ending Legalised Violence Against Children (Global Report 2013)
This comprehensive report by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children analyses data regarding progress toward eliminating corporal punishment amongst all states party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Report of the 2nd Pan-African Conference on Parenting 2013
This report summarises the presentations and conclusions from the 2nd Pan-African annual conference on parenting held on the 16-17th October 2013 in Malawi on the theme of "Understanding realities of teenage parenting: a special focus on adolescents (boys and girls) with parenting responsibilities."

Program P: A Manual for Engaging Men in Fatherhood, Caregiving, and Maternal and Child Health
The Program P Manual is a resource developed as part of the global MenCare campaign that identifies best practices on engaging men in maternal and child health, caregiving, and preventing violence against women and children, through the lens of gender equality.

Toward a World Free from Violence: Global survey on violence against children
The Global Survey on Violence against Children, conducted under the auspices of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, examines the measures in place around the world to ensure follow-up to the recommendations set out in the 2006 UN Study on Violence against Children.

Men who Care: A multi-country qualitative study of men in non- traditional caregiving roles
A report examining the experiences and attitudes of men involved in non-traditional care activities and roles in Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico, and South Africa.

War Child Holland: Syria Child's Rights Situation Analysis January 2014
Through participatory information gathering tools, War Child Holland implemented a Child Right Situation Analysis to discuss and analyze the issues identified by Syrian children as the most important to them.

Caring for orphaned children in China

This fascinating new book provides a comprehensive and clear picture of the situation of children who are orphaned or abandoned in China. It introduces the context and framework for the alternative care system and China’s welfare system as it applies to children, and describes both the formal child welfare system and the informal care system, particularly kinship care.

Left Behind: The Exclusion of Children and Adults with Disabilities from Reform and Rights Protection in the Republic of Georgia
This hard-hitting report by Disability Rights International finds that although the Government of Georgia has undertaken an ambitious child care reform process over the last decade, institutionalized children with disabilities were largely excluded from this reform process.

Assessment of Community-and Family-Based Alternative Child-Care Services in Ethiopia
This assessment conducted by FHI 360, with support from Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs (MoWYCA) and the OAK Foundation examines formal community and family- based alternative child care services and service providing agencies in Ethiopia, with a particular focus on magnitude, quality and quality-assurance mechanisms.

Development Perspectives of Foster Care in Armenia: Research Results Analysis
This report produced by the Center for Educational Research and Save the Children summarises a broader research study which examined the foster care system in Armenia and in particular lessons learnt from a pilot programme introduced in Armenia in 2005.

Foster Family: A Study on the Practice of Foster Care for Children In India
This important study on foster care practices in India provides important insight into the history, approaches, challenges and opportunities facing the development of foster care services in the country, presenting a picture of foster care practices across nine Indian states.

Foster Care Services for Children in Moldova
This comprehensive assessment of foster care services in the Republic of Moldova explores the differences between the two main types of foster care services provided in that country, including in terms requirements and profiles of caregivers and of the children, the legal and policy framework underpinning them, including the legal status of the foster parent, as well as the allowances and benefits for each type of care.

An International Literature Review of the Impact of Fostering on Foster Carers’ Children 
This literature review by the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education at the University of Oxford was undertaken to identify the ways in which carers’ children might be more effectively prepared and supported when their families are fostering.

After Yolanda: What Children Think, Need and Recommend
On 14th December, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, working with UNICEF, organized consultations with 124 children and young people in Capiz, Cebu, Iloilo, Leyte and East and West Samar to listen to their views about the humanitarian situation six weeks after the Typhoon, find out what their priorities are and ask for suggestions to improve the response.

Strategic Response Plan for the Emergency Response: Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the Philippines
This Strategic Response Plan was developed and designed to support the Government of the Philippines’ response to the immediate humanitarian needs of the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), and to complement the Government’s National Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan.

Evaluation of the Implementation of the national strategy and action plan for the reform of the residential childcare system in Moldova 2007-2012
This evaluation reviews the implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Reform of the Residential Childcare System 2007–2012 approved by the Government of the Republic of Moldova in July 2007.

United Nations General Assembly 2013 Resolution on the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family
The United Nations General Assembly adopted on the 18th December 2013 a resolution on Preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family.

United Nations General Assembly Resolutions on Children's Rights 2013
The United Nations General Assembly adopted without a vote four resolutions on children’s rights on the 18th December 2013, focused on the Rights of the Child, the Girl Child, Child, Early and Forced Marriage and Strengthening Collaboration on Child Protection within the United Nations system.

Moldova: General Presentation "Protecting Children of Moldova from family separation, abuse, neglect and exploitation"

On the 17th October, Dr. Stela Grigorash, a senior Moldovan child protection expert and the Director of Partnerships for EveryChild Moldova gave a presentation at the USAID/DCOF office in Washington DC, USA, on the important work and lessons learnt in reforming the care system in that country. 

Moldova: Technical Presentation "Protecting Children of Moldova from family separation, abuse, neglect and exploitation"

The second of two important presentations by Dr. Stela Grigorash, the Director of Partnerships for EveryChild Moldova, on the important work and lessons learnt in reforming the care system in that country.

Indonesia: Changing the Paradigm- Save the Children’s Work to Strengthen the Child Protection System 2005-2012

This report documents the work conducted by Save the Children in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs over a period of 7 years to strengthen the national child protection system and change the underlying paradigm for that system away from over-reliance on residential care and towards child and family centered responses.

DRC: Research on factors surrounding the family reintegration of street girls in Kinshasa

This research looked at the factors affecting the family reintegration of girls in the Tshangu district of Kinshasa (DRC), an operational zone of the local NGO OSEPER, a partner of War Child for a 3-year project, seeking to address the needs of street-connected girls, including family reintegration.

Reaching for Home: Global learning on family reintegration in low and lower-middle income countries 
This inter-agency, desk-based research aims to arrive at a clearer understanding of reintegration practices for separated children in low and lower-middle income countries, pulling together learning from practitioners and academics working with a range of separated children.

Inter-Agency Statement on strengthening child protection systems in sub-Saharan Africa: A call to action to African Union States 

Thirteen agencies working in Africa have issued a Joint Statement calling on African governments to strengthen their child protection systems to secure the right of children to a life free from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in both emergency and non-emergency settings.

The New Delhi Declaration on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights, 25 October 2013

The New Delhi Declaration renewing governments' commitments to the rights of children and pledging to support each other in the achievement of those rights, was adopted unanimously on 25th October 2013 by 32 Asian and Pacific States attending the Second High Level Meeting on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific.

EU Commission Recommendation (2013/112/EU) on Investing in Children

This Recommendation by the European Commission on Investing in Children, stresses the importance of early intervention and preventative approaches, and makes quality childcare one of its key policy areas to break the cycle of disadvantage in early years and reduce the risk of child poverty and social exclusion.

Latin American and Caribbean region launches Call to Action to end the placement of children under three years of age in institutions

On the 22nd October 2013, a new regional campaign in the Latin American and Caribbean region was launched to end the placement of children under three years of age in institutions.

Preventing violence: evaluating outcomes of parenting programmes

This report seeks to increase understanding of the need for, and the process of, conducting outcome evaluations of parenting programmes in low- and middle-income countries. The guidance is aimed at policy-makers; programme planners and developers; high-level practitioners in government ministries; representatives of nongovernmental and community-based organizations; and donors working in the area of violence prevention.

Syria: Child Protection Assessment 2013

This report just issued by the Child Protection Working Group presents the main findings of an interagency child protection assessment for Syria, covering the period February- May 2013, including on key thematic areas such as psychosocial wellbeing, physical violence, separation from caregivers and access to basic services and information.

Social Justice and Intercountry Adoptions: The Role of the U.S. Social Work Community 

Using social justice as the conceptual foundation, the authors present the structural barriers to socially just intercountry adoptions (ICAs) that can exploit and oppress vulnerable children and families participating in ICAs. They argue that such practices threaten the integrity of social work practice in that arena and the survival of ICA as a placement option.

A Better Way to Protect ALL Children: The Theory and Practice of Child Protection Systems, Conference Report

The report of a major conference held in New Delhi in November 2012 entitled “A Better Way to Protect ALL Children: The Theory and Practice of Child Protection Systems”, encapsulates the substantive content of the presentations and related discussion; provides an analysis and documents the journey; and suggest an agenda, or at least direction, for future work on Child Protection systems.

AZERBAIJAN: Educational reform and prevention of vulnerability

This paper explores the role of education in social policy and its interplay with economic policy; underlines the links needed between deinstitutionalization, inclusive education and alternative services; and examines how child protection can be understood in the context of inter-Ministerial responsibilities and coordination.

Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children to the UN General Assembly 68th Session

The SRSG's annual report highlights the results of an expert consultation on violence in early childhood, which pointed the urgency of supporting families and caregivers in their child-rearing responsibilities and securing a responsive national child protection system to strengthen families’ capacity to raise young children in safe environments and prevent child abandonment and placement in residential care, with special attention to young children at risk.

Orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Crisis, the Interventions, and the Anthropologist 

In this paper, the author argues that the response to the orphan crisis in sub-Saharan Africa has focused mainly on mobilizing and distributing material resources to households with orphans. He provides an analysis of the trends in foster-care research in Africa and suggests that current ethnographic data on foster-care practices do not adequately reflect the changing context of fostering in that continent.

Understanding children’s perspectives on wellbeing: The Australian Child Wellbeing Project: Phase One Report 

This document reports on Phase One of the Australian Child Wellbeing Project, a child-centred study in which young people’s perspectives are being used to design a major nationally representative survey of wellbeing among 8-14 year olds, and to interpret findings from that survey, including with young people living in out of home care and young people living with disability.

The Parenting Gap

This paper by the Brookings Center on Children and Families examine the scope of parenting interventions in the US that directly address poor parenting, as research has found how much parenting matters.

Care related sections of India's third and fourth combined report to the CRC

India submitted its third and fourth combined report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This extract of the report focuses on sections relevant to children's care and in particular those addressing Family Environment and Alternative Care.

Care related sections of China's third and fourth combined report to the CRC

The People’s Republic of China issued its third and fourth combined report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in June 2012. This extract of the report focuses on sections relevant to children's care and in particular those addressing Family Environment and Alternative Care.

National Survey of Institutions for Children in Rwanda

Hope and Homes for Children, in partnership with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), has conducted a national survey of all institutions for children in Rwanda to obtain an accurate picture of the current institutional system and the children living within it. 

Goa, India: The Foster Care Scheme- Vatsalya

The state cabinet of Goa in India has approved a foster care scheme to assist children deprived of parental care or of the care of guardians, and in need of protection. These government guidelines set out the purpose of the scheme, criteria for eligibility and procedures to be followed, including the relevant forms.

SAAGN-Butterflies petition: a child's right to a family

The South Asia Alliance of Grassroots NGOs (SAAGN) launched the campaign “My Caring Family is My First Right” in June 2013.  As part of the campaign, Butterflies, a registered voluntary organization working with street and working children in Delhi, is supporting a new online petition that calls on governments in the region to respect a child’s right to a family.

Baseline Survey on Community Child Protection Systems in Uganda

This report describes the methodology, findings and recommendations of the baseline survey for the project titled, “Building and Strengthening Community-Based Child Protection Systems in Busoga and Acholi sub-regions” commissioned by ANPPCAN.

Foster Care as a Viable Alternative to Institutional Care in the Middle East: Community Acceptance and Stigma Across Type of Placement in Jordan

This paper describes a study that assessed the attitudes of people in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan toward the implementation of foster care as an alternative to institutions for children.

The latest Country Care Reviews: Rwanda, Slovenia and Uzbekistan

The care related Concluding Observations adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child with a particular focus on sections addressing Family Environment and Alternative Care.  

Social Transfers and Child Protection

This study, published by the UNICEF Office of Research and Brooks World Poverty Institute, examines the direct, indirect, and implementation impacts of social transfers on child protection outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.

Kazakhstan: External Evaluation of the BOTA Foundation's Social Sector Programmes

Oxford Policy Management has conducted two rounds of qualitative evaluations of three poverty-reduction and human development programmes run by the BOTA Foundation in Kazakhstan and reviewed some of the impact of these programmes on family strengthening.

Effects of Household Size on Cash Transfer Utilization for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Rural Ghana

This qualitative study explores how household size influences the extent to which the basic needs of orphans and vulnerable children who received the cash transfers were met through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program in Ghana.

USA: 2013 Kids Count Data Book- National and state-by-state data on key indicators of child well-being

The 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book provides a detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the Data Book ranks states in four domains: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.

Providing Alternatives to Infant Institutionalization in Bulgaria: Can Gatekeeping Benefit from a Social Development Orientation?

Gatekeeping has been widely promoted as a key strategy to combat the unnecessary institutionalisation of children. This paper by Andy Bilson and Cath Larkins provides details of research into the gatekeeping system in Bulgaria for children under three and examples from recent Bulgarian and international practice, assessing the strength of the gatekeeping system in that country.

Children without parental care in Poland: Foster care, institutionalization and adoption

This article describes how the child welfare system for children without parental care is organized in Poland focusing on institutional care, foster care and adoption. It also discusses indi­rect and direct reasons contributing to the necessity of placing children in out-of-home care and challenges in the implementation of the current reforms of the system.

Building Protection and Resilience: Synergies for child protection systems and children affected by HIV and AIDS

This paper presents findings from a study commissioned by the Inter Agency Task Team on Children affected by HIV and AIDS. The study identifies practical ways in which child protection and HIV sectors can combine their comparative expertise, to strengthen child protection systems that meet the needs of all children at risk of abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect, whilst also meeting the unique needs of HIV-affected and infected children, and those at increased risk of HIV infection and protection abuses.

UN CRC General Comment No. 14 (2013) on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration

General Comment 14 issued by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, refers to article 3(1), of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that asserts the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration in all actions or decisions that concern him or her (in both the public and private spheres). The Committee provides also important guidance on the application of this right in the context of care decisions, including placement in alternative care.

A review of published literature on supporting and strengthening child-caregiver relationships (Parenting)

This paper presents a comprehensive literature review of evidence-based parenting programs from around the world. The report reviews published literature from 2000 to 2012 and summarizes empirically based recommendations for supporting and strengthening child-caregiver relationships in the context of AIDS and poverty.

Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit

The USA-based National Child Traumatic Stress Network has recently released a second edition of the Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit, which is part of the Child Welfare Trauma Training course. The course assists those in the field of child welfare who wish to learn more about child welfare and trauma. 

Road to Melbourne Meeting: Young Children Born into HIV‐affected Families

The goal of the Road to Melbourne meeting series is to build evidence and understanding amongst policy makers and programmers from different disciplines on approaches to the early identification of children born into HIV-affected families to ensure the linked provision of integrated services and support to children at risk and their families to promote optimal development.

Outstanding children’s homes

This report by the national regulatory agency in the UK analyzes how a small sample of 12 children’s homes in England achieved and sustained outstanding status over a period of three years. It draws on the views of managers, staff and young people about what makes these homes outstanding and the key features which have contributed to their success.

The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities

In its 2013 State of the World’s Children Report, UNICEF has chosen to highlight the particular issues, needs, and circumstances of children with disabilities worldwide. The report includes a description of the common issues that children with disabilities face, models for inclusive policy and practice, and an agenda for action moving forward.

Retrak: Standard Operating Procedures – Family Reintegration

Retrak, a UK-based organization working with street children in Africa, has published an excellent practical manual detailing its standard operating procedures (SOPs) for family reintegration for children working or living on the street. This document includes guiding principles of family reintegration, key steps, tools, monitoring and evaluation, as well as variations on the key steps of family reintegration.

Evaluation Outcomes: Retrak’s Use of the Child Status Index to measure wellbeing of street-connected children

Retrak is an organization that works with street children in Africa. This report offers an evaluation of the impact of Retrak's programs in Ethiopia and Uganda in its pilot period (2011 and 2012) and the progress of the children involved in the programs using the Child Status Index (CSI), as a measurement of child wellbeing and a tool for tracking children’s progress as they transition from the street to family homes.

A Systematic Review of Interventions for Promoting Reintegration and Reducing Harmful Behaviour and Lifestyles in Street-connected Children

This systematic review, co-registered within both the Cochrane and Campbell Collaborations, summarizes the evidence from empirical studies comparing the effectiveness of interventions that have been established to promote inclusion and reintegration, and to reduce harm, in street-connected children and young people (who work and/or live on the streets) worldwide. The review includes 11 studies, evaluating 12 interventions from high income countries. No studies from middle and low income countries are included due to inadequate quality of available studies.

Returning home from care: what’s best for children

This report, published by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the UK, highlights the need to improve outcomes for children leaving care and returning to parents or families. The NSPCC provides recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to improve the quality of assessment, planning, and preparation regarding when and if a child should be returned home from care and to increase the support for children and their families once they return to their families.

My World, My Vision: Consultations with children on their priorities for the post-2015 framework

The Millennium Development Goals will come to an end in 2015 and discussions are currently taking place on what framework will replace them. Children’s participation is crucial to these discussions. Between July 2012 and March 2013, members of Family for Every Child consulted with children living in seven different countries. This report summarizes the main findings that emerged from these consultations.

EveryChild Moldova’s Programme Experience: Improving Children’s Lives through Deinstitutionalization

This Program Review documents the evolution of EveryChild Moldova since 1994, presenting the development of interventions to improve the lives of children through deinstitutionalization and identifying best practices that are relevant, useful, and replicable to other initiatives and organizations around the world.

All Children Count: A Baseline Study of Children in Institutional Care in Malawi

This study commissioned by the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Community Development and financially and technically supported by UNICEF and the Better Care Network, aimed at describing the situation of children in institutional care and creating a database containing all institutions in Malawi catering for children requiring alternative care.

The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention

This paper presents new estimates of the average lifetime cost per child maltreatment (CM) victim in the United States and aggregate lifetime costs for all new cases of CM incurred in 2008 using an incidence-based approach. This study extends previous research in this area by correcting methodological flaws of previous studies; incorporating more recent and comprehensive studies of the epidemiology, consequences, and costs of CM; and providing a framework for using the findings in the literature to estimate the incidence-based economic burden of CM.

The Neglect of Child Neglect: A meta-analytic review of the prevalence of neglect

This article describes the results of a meta-analytic review aimed at providing an estimate of the prevalence of physical and emotional neglect by integrating prevalence figures from the body of research reporting on neglect. The authors conclude that neglect seems to be a neglected type of maltreatment in scientific research.

The Long-Term Health Consequences of Child Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, and Neglect: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of scientific literature to summarize the evidence for associations between individual types of non-sexual child maltreatment and outcomes related to mental and physical health. This review is the first of its kind to demonstrate in aggregate quantitative effects the knowledge behind the associations, using 124 studies mostly from Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Chronic Neglect: Bulletin for Professionals

This Child Welfare Information Gateway bulletin for professionals discusses what constitutes chronic neglect, and reviews ways to work with families experiencing chronic neglect, including critical elements of successful casework practice, examples of what agencies are doing, and ways agencies can integrate child welfare approaches to chronic neglect with prevention and early intervention efforts.

Ethiopia: Impact of Parental Death in Middle Childhood and Adolescence on Child Outcomes

Using data from three rounds of the Young Lives longitudinal survey conducted in 2002, 2006, and 2009 in Ethiopia, this paper investigates whether the death of a parent during middle childhood has different effects on a child’s schooling and psychosocial outcomes when compared with death during adolescence.

Because We are Sisters and Brothers: Sibling Relations in Alternative Care

This publication by SOS Children’s Villages International brings together research findings, learning and policy recommendations about sibling relations in alternative care gathered from five different SOS Children’s Villages associations (Germany, Austria, France, Italy, and Spain).

England: Family Stressors and Children's Outcomes 

This study from the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, an independent research center with funding from the United Kingdom Department for Education, identifies which family stress factors and parental behaviors are associated with positive and negative outcomes for children at the age of 7 and whether stressful life events experienced in childhood are associated with negative outcomes in adolescence.

Social Security for All: The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation 

This International Labour Organization (ILO) brief introduces a new international standard adopted in June 2012, the Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), that provides guidance to member States in building comprehensive social security systems and extending social security coverage by prioritizing the establishment of national floors of social protection accessible to all in need.
This report from the International Labor Organization, the first in a series of the World Social Security Reports, presents the knowledge available on social security coverage in different parts of the world, identifies existing coverage gaps and examines the scale of countries' investments in social security. Finally, it focuses on social security responses in the context of the economic crisis.

This edition of Insights produced by UNICEF summarizes the findings and recommendations of studies on the impact and outreach of social protection systems in Albania, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine where high rates of child placement in formal care still persist. The research offers important insight into the weaknesses and challenges faced by social protection systems in the region, but also point to ways in which policy-makers might maximise the impact of social protection systems in order to ‘keep families together’.

Children under the age of three in formal care in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: A rights-based regional situation analysis

Through a comprehensive statistical analysis and literature review, this UNICEF report provides a child rights-based up-to-date review of the situation of children under the age of three in formal care in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS). It examines regional and country level trends in the use of institutional care and family based alternative care options, in particular foster care.

Foster Care in India

This article presents the findings of an exploratory survey of community perceptions about foster care conducted in Udaipur City, Rajasthan, in India in order to assess the prospects for implementing foster care as an alternative to the dominant system of institutional care available to orphaned and abandoned children in India.

Moving Forward: Implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

This major new tool is aimed at legislators, policy-makers and decision-makers, as well as professionals and care providers, to support the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. It explains the key thrusts of the Guidelines, outlines the kind of policy responses required, and describes ‘promising’ examples of efforts already made to apply them in diverse communities, countries, regions and cultures. 

Changing Children's Chances: New Findings on Child Policy Worldwide

This new report by the World Policy Analysis brings together key findings from the book, Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving and Thriving, providing a global picture of what laws, policies, and programs countries have in place to address areas vital to children’s healthy development.

Children's Views of Living with Informal Kinship Carers: Social networks, Stigmas, and Attachment to Carers

This study funded by Big Lottery and undertaken in partnership between the University of Bristol and Buttle UK, a grant-giving charity for vulnerable children, aims to fill gaps in understanding about the experiences of children living with kins, and in particular how children in informal kinship care view their situation.

Skillful Parenting and Molding Behavior at an Early Age: Bridging the Gap Between What We Know ad What We Do

This new study by Parenting in Africa Network (PAN) was conducted in three regions in Kenya (Nairobi, Mombasa and Busia), involving primary care givers of children age 0-8, children participating in Early Childhood Development and Education centers, and stakeholders and professionals involved in skillful parenting and early childhood development.

Permanency for Children: The Development of the BCS Global Foster-to-Adopt Pilot Project in Ethiopia

This report provides initial documentation of a pilot program launched by Bethany Christian Services in 2009 in Ethiopia. The pilot aims at moving children from institutional care to family-based care by developing alternative family care for non-relative children using a foster-to-adopt approach, working through a partnership between faith communities in Ethiopia and American faith congregations in the US.

World Family Map: Mapping Family Change and Child Well-Being Outcomes

The World Family Map Project is a new initiative by Child Trends to monitor the health of family life around the globe and to learn more about how family trends affect the well-being of children. Using internationally comparative data for low-, middle-, and high-income countries on key characteristics of families, including family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture, the Map looks at trends in 45 countries, representing every region of the world.

Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

The Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action were formulated in 2011-2012 by the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG), an inter-agency working group composed of child protection practitioners, academics, and policy makers working to support child protection work in humanitarian settings.       

The Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children Policy Brief

This policy brief by Save the Children introduces the background, goals, and guiding principles of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children endorsed by the UN General Assembly on the 20th of November 2009 while also explaining why family-based care is a preferred care arrangement over institutions. Furthermore, it suggests policy and practice recommendations to further protect children without appropriate care and strengthen families and communities.

When Care Ends Lessons from Peer Research: Insights from Young People on Leaving Care in Albania, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Poland

This report presents the findings from a two-year peer research project which includes the testimony of more than 300 young people with care experience in Albania, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Poland. More than 40 care leavers from the four countries were selected and trained to play an active role in the all aspects of the projects. The interviews revealed widespread inadequacies regarding the process of leaving care, promoting the research team to draw up recommendations to address them.

Child Abandonment and Its Prevention in Europe

This comprehensive manual provides an overview of child abandonment and its prevention in Europe, exploring the extent of child abandonment, possible reasons behind this phenomenon, the consequences of abandonment, and good practices in terms of prevention. Country specific reviews of child abandonment and its prevention are provided for 10 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the UK). 

The Chronic Urban Emergency in Rift Valley Kenya: Report From Profiling Children Connected to the Streets in Rift Valley Province

This research was conducted by Save the Children and UNICEF in five Rift Valley towns in Kenya in 2011 to better understand the links between emergencies and the perceived increase of children joining the streets. The authors call for an urgent, large-scale response to place children currently connected to the streets in durable situations such as family reintegration or other forms of care, in tandem with a multi-sectorial development approach to tackle and address the crisis at its root.

Integrating Gender in Care and Support of Vulnerable Children: A Guide for Program Designers and Implementers

This guide provides step-by-step guidance and recommendations on how to identify and address gender-related issues that negatively affect vulnerable boys and girls in the local program context. It is intended to be a practical tool for staff involved in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of care and support programs for vulnerable children.

Family First: Prioritising Support to Kinship Carers, Especially Older Carers

The latest in EveryChild's Positive Care Choices series of papers on children's care options, Family First, calls for greater prioritisation to be given to supporting kinship carers and the children in their care, including ensuring such households are able to access social protection, and receive psycho-social and health care support and assistance with education where needed. 

The latest edition of the BCN Newsletter is out!

Published monthly, the BCN Newsletter is a vital source of information for people working on issues related to children without adequate family care. 

Mexico Children's Home: Probe into previous abuse claims

Mexican Attorney General’s office is opening up an investigation into previous abuse allegations brought against a children’s home in Zamora, in the state of Michoacan, Mexico.

Call to Action to end the placement of children under the age of three in residential care endorsed at 35th CARICOM Heads of Government conference

The Prime Minister of Grenada presented the Call to Action, urging Heads of Governments of the Caribbean region to commit to ending the placement of children under three years of age in residential care institutions. The Communique issued at the conclusion the conference notes that the call was received and supported by the Heads of Government.

USA: White House will ask Congress for new powers to tackle immigration surge

The US President is preparing an emergency request to Congress for additional powers to enable the fast-track deportation of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who are crossing the US border illegally.

Cambodian Activist’s Fall Exposes Broad Deception

Recent controversy around the accuracy of a famed Cambodian woman’s story of sex trafficking has shone a light on the current state of many Cambodian orphanages and their duplicitous practices.

Child Adoption: Government accuses private agencies of commercializing adoption

The video presents a news clip from NTV Kenya reporting on recent changes in Kenyan adoption policy.

Caring for sick babies: The dilemma facing China’s poor

This BBC article tells the story of two families, like many other families in China, who need intensive medical attention for their children but cannot afford it, and the difficult decisions they have to make.

India: Supreme Court Verdict On Adoptions Is A Turning Point
This article reviews the recent judgment by the Supreme Court of India, which ruled that all that all persons, irrespective of religion, caste and creed, have the option of adopting a child.

Ghana: Social Welfare closes down 48 children's homes
This article reports that the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) in Ghana has closed down 48 children’s homes and orphanages since 2007 because they were unregistered.

All orphanages to close down in Kazakhstan
This article by Tengrinnews reports that Kazakhstan plans to introduce major changes to its orphans and disadvantaged children programs with the closing of orphanages and a move towards family based alternatives.

UK: A child’s eye view of adoption
This article highlights the impact three recent television documentaries on British television have had on public awareness and understanding of foster care and adoption processes.

A Mother's Dream: The real life stories of India's baby-factory surrogate mothers
This documentary published by Journeyman Pictures investigates the reality behind India's commercial baby surrogate industry.

Ending harmful institutions for children in Georgia
This video by Save the Children highlights the major reforms ongoing in Georgia to end harmful child institutionalisation and the work of its project to support the Government in this reform process.

China baby hatch suspended after hundreds abandoned
A baby hatch in southern China has been forced to suspend work after hundreds of infants were abandoned, overwhelming the centre. Supporters say the baby hatches save lives, but critics say they encourage parents to abandon their children.

Early Childhood Intervention: The Power of Family
The Open Society produced this short film discussing the importance and benefits of early childhood intervention in enhancing development opportunities for children.
This article reports on the growth of baby hatches in China, despite falling numbers of abandoned children. Where abandoned children used to be primarily girls, most of these children nowadays are sick or have a disability.

Safe haven no more: Children's home or lion's den? 
This article reports on a mushrooming of children's institutions in Uganda and the poor standards of care and abuse met by children in those institutions.

Shelter is required before UAE can enforce abandoned child law
This article reports on delays in the implementation of a two-year-old law aimed at caring for orphans in the United Arab Emirates apparently linked to the delayed construction of a new and expanded shelter.

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain
This report by NPR discusses the findings and implications from the research conducted on children who spent time in Romanian orphanages and the critical role of parental bonding in children’s brain development.

MenCare Sri Lanka Short Film
This moving short film (7 mins) produced by MenCare examines the circumstance (female partner migrating abroad for work) where one man found himself as the primary caregiver to their children.

Family for Every Child has commissioned a research study to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding around foster care and is seeking literature, both published and unpublished ‘grey’ literature, covering the research questions and foster care in general.

New Zealand: Disabled kids 'abandoned'

This article highlights the efforts of a lobby group in New Zealand, CCS Disability Action, which is demanding an amendment as part of sweeping child protection reforms, arguing that children with high needs are being abandoned and denied their right to a family life.

Cambodia: child protection workers call for end to ‘orphanage tourism’
Child protection and NGO workers are pleading with tourists and volunteers to stay away from orphanages in Cambodia, claiming so-called “orphanage tourism” damages the children and enables exploitation.

Guidelines for partner operators on volunteering directly with vulnerable children
Responsibletravel.com, a travel company operating from the UK since 2001 has issued Guidelines for partner operators for volunteering directly with vulnerable children, including in the context of orphanage volunteering.

The Dangers of Voluntourism: When Good Intentions Are Not Enough
In this article for Prism Magazine, a publication of Evangelical for Social Action, the authors ask challenging questions about the role of 'orphanage tourism', where Westerners visit or volunteer to work at a residential care center (orphanage) in the developing world, whether the trip is arranged by a tour or travel company, a nonprofit, or by a church.

NEPAL 'Voluntourism': The Orphan Business
This documentary produced for Channel 4 Television goes undercover to explore the reality behind 'Voluntourism' in Nepal.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Emergency Response

Key Messages for Caregivers Messages developed by the Global Child Protection Cluster in response to Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines (in English, Filipino, Waray, Ilongo and Cebuano).

A Child’s Right to Live in a Supportive, Protective and Caring Environment: Summary of the event

On Tuesday, October 22rd, the NGO Committee on UNICEF’s Working Group on Children without Parental Care in collaboration with the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Violence against Children and the Permanent UN Missions of Austria and Brazil hosted an event at the UN to review progress on the implementation of the guidelines and share experiences from various regional perspectives.

Jordan: Journalist uncovers widespread child abuse

An interview with Jordanian journalist, Hanan Khandagji, who uncovered harrowing child abuse cases while researching institutions for disabled children.

Child protection is inadequate at one in seven councils in England, says Ofsted

A new report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) which inspects children's social care in England, including child protection services, said more needed to be done to address "incompetent and ineffective" leadership in children's services.

Situation with orphans in Russia improves dramatically, Pravda.Ru, 24 October 2013

The Commissioner for Children's Rights under the Russian President and the First Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, speak about changes in the field of adoptions and alternative care in Russia during the recent years.

U.S. lawmakers call for action to curb Internet child trading

U.S. lawmakers call for federal action to prevent parents from giving unwanted adopted children to strangers met on the Internet, and the Illinois attorney general urged Facebook and Yahoo to police online groups where children may be advertised.

The Child Exchange: Inside America’s Underground Market for Adopted Children 

This series of articles by Reuters investigates the disturbing practice of 'private re-homing' of adopted children in the USA, particularly affecting children adopted from overseas. 

International adoptions in decline as number of orphans grows

In a series of articles looking at different sides of the debate on the use of Inter-country adoption in the U.S., CNN hears from families, children and experts on its decline and whether the trend could –or should- be reversed.

Iran lawmakers pass bill allowing men to marry adopted daughters

This article in the Guardian reports on a new bill passed by parliamentarian in Iran that includes a clause that allows a man to marry his adopted daughter and while she is as young as 13 years. 

India’s Women: The Mixed Truth

In this article for the New York Review of Books, the Nobel Prize economist Amartya Sen discusses India’s response to the gang rape of a young medical student in Delhi and the complex reality of entrenched gender inequality that underlies violence against women and girls in that country.

Effects of child abuse can last a lifetime: Watch the ‘still face’ experiment to see why

This Washington Post article discusses the findings from a major report by the National Academy of Science on child abuse and neglect that found that advances in brain research showed that child abuse and neglect damages not only in the way a developing child’s brain functions, but changes the actual structure of the brain itself.

Children's homes- The nanny state, The Economist, 17th August 2013. 

This article reviews trends in the use of institutional care for children and highlights that a global shift away from its use is underway, although considerable challenges remain and some countries continue to "buck the trend".

Pakistan: Abandoned babies given away on Pakistani TV programme, BBC News, 1 August 2013.

Two baby girls were given over to new adoptive parents live on a television program in Pakistan. The host claims that the babies were not given away as a ploy for ratings, but to unite children in need of a home with new parents looking to welcome them.

UK/Cambodia: Orphanage volunteering 'part of the problem', The Telegraph, 30th July 2013.

One “ethically-minded” tourism company in the UK is shutting down 10 orphanage tours because the firm believes that “orphanage volunteers, despite their best intentions, are part of the problem rather than the solution for children living in poverty throughout the world."

Poland:  Baby on sale -Illegal adoptions in Poland, The Economist, 26th July 2013. 

According to the article, there are roughly 2,000 illegal adoptions in Poland every year. The commissioner on children’s rights is calling for reform of the adoption law to reduce this number but government ministries seem thus far undecided on how to address this issue.

The Charity that just Gives People Money

The well known radio show This American Life has collaborated with Planet Money to investigate the work of a charity called GiveDirectly. Instead of funding schools or wells or livestock, it has decided to just give money directly to the poor people who need it, and let them decide how to spend it. 

End Violence Against Children Campaign

UNICEF launched its “#ENDviolence against children” campaign. One of the biggest promotions of the campaign is a one-minute public service announcement (PSA), a video narrated by the well-known film actor Liam Neeson.

Kidnapped and Sold: Inside the Dark World of Child Trafficking in China, The Atlantic, 25th July 2013.

This article features the personal stories of parents representing two different experiences of child trafficking in China and its relationship to adoption, both domestic and inter-country.

Inter-agency statement on the 2014 United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the Rights of the Child

Over 40 international and national NGOs and networks, including BCN, have issued a joint call to member States of the United Nations General Assembly (UN GA) to focus the 2014 Resolution on the Rights of the Child on strengthening family care and providing appropriate alternative care for children.

“We don’t want your teddy bears:” A 30-second PSA

This Public Service Announcement (PSA), produced by Disability Rights International, is part of the organization’s “Worldwide Campaign to End the Institutionalization of Children.”

Rwanda: Closing of Orphanages on Track, but 2,000 Children Still Need Families

This article discusses challenges in the implementation of the Rwanda National Strategy for Child Care Reform (MIGEPROF) adopted in 2010. The reforms aim at transforming Rwanda's current child care and protection system into a family-based one. 

Grants for orphans and vulnerable children in Sudan

International children’s charity Hope and Homes for Children has received grants totalling £543,651 from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to help establish family-based care services for abandoned children in Sudan.

Goa cabinet approves foster care scheme for needy children

The state cabinet of Goa, India recently approved a foster care scheme to assist children deprived of parental care or of the care of guardians, and in need of protection.

England: Children's homes: 'Worrying' standards of care

This article reports on research conducted by the TV Programme Panorama on some of the current practices and standards in the children’s residential care system in England, with findings described by a charity representing children in care as “extremely worrying”.

Opening Doors for Europe's Children Campaign

The ‘Opening Doors for Europe’s Children’ campaign, led by Eurochild and Hope and Homes for Children seeks to achieve significant progress in policy, legislation and funding at EU and national levels to dismantle institutional care systems and ensure that children are no longer separated from their parents as a consequence of poverty and social exclusion.

First draft of outcome document from High-level Meeting on Disability and Development released ahead of negotiations

On June 14, 2013, the General Assembly submitted a report in advance of its sixty-eighth session as a contribution to the High-level Meeting of the Assembly on the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities. The report reviews good practices and existing approaches to disability-inclusive development and concludes by recommending steps to include disability as an integral part of all development efforts, with a view to contributing to an action-oriented outcome document of the upcoming High-level Meeting.

Caring for Vietnam's 'invisible' disabled children

Illuminating many of the observations and conclusions from the UNICEF State of the World’s Children report on children with disabilities, the New Straits Times has published an article on the state of children with disabilities in Vietnam.

Adoptees help to change adoption culture in Korea

This article, published in the Korea Herald, highlights the recent reforms in Korea’s often-criticized international adoption policy, including some reforms that will help to make the adoption process more transparent.

Signing Hague Convention: Implication and challenges for Korea

This Op-Ed piece indicates the authors’ views on the Korean Minister of Health and Welfare’s recent signing of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The article speaks to the four ways in which the authors believe the signing of the Convention, and its ultimate ratification and implementation in Korea, would improve the child welfare situation.

Filling up an Empty Nest

This article, published in the New York Times on May 14, 2013, brings to light a new trend in U.S. adoption: older adults who choose to adopt children, particularly older children and adolescents.

Grand mufti urges Emiratis to foster children abandoned in the UAE

The grand mufti and head of the Fatwa department at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai called on Emiratis to come forward to foster abandoned children. Speaking at a forum to discuss children of unknown parentage, Dr. Al Haddad stated that, although adoption is not permitted in Islam, fostering is a moral obligation.

Dubai unveils new fostering rules for care of abandoned children

The Community Development Authority (CDA) in Dubai has announced new fostering rules for the care of abandoned children. Professional foster mothers will look after children in groups of up to six children in a family setting until more permanent surrogate families can be found for them.

Is Adoption the Answer to Kenya’s Abandoned Children?

This news report highlights the increasing trend towards domestic adoption in Kenya, despite the country’s stringent adoption laws and rigorous procedures for families to adopt. The article discusses the requirements and processes to adopt and the changes in cultural attitudes and lifestyle that may be behind this increase.

Bihar (India): Central Adoption Resource Authority to open 8 new child adoption centres

This article from the Times of India reports that the Central Adoption Resource Authority in India is planning to open 8 new adoption centers in Bihar, acting on the recommendation of the state authorities, to respond to increasing number of domestic adoptions. Most of the children adopted, however, are boys and children without disabilities, although more girls are being abandoned.

Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession

In this article for the magazine Mother Jones, Kathryn Joyce the author of a recently published book on the issue titled The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption chronicles the rapidly growing evangelical movement for international adoption in the United States, and its impact on children and their families, with a particular focus on Liberia.

South Africa: Fostering Grandparents Can Get Grants

By highlighting the recent court ruling made in an appeal to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg against a finding by the Children's Court in Krugersdorp in 2011, this news report introduces South Africa’s efforts to make grandparents who care for their grandchildren eligible for foster care grants.

Stealing a generation: Cambodia’s unfolding tragedy

This news report by the Sydney Morning Herald highlights the trend in which orphanages in Cambodia are often run as businesses where children are being used as economic assets to attract tourists and volunteers. It brings to light the trend of increased number of orphanages while the actual number of orphans is on a decline.

Ethiopian orphanages used ‘child harvesters’ to find children

This article by the Copenhagen Post reports that adoptions from an Ethiopian orphanage through a Danish adoption agency were recently halted by the Danish Social and Integration minister following recent reports of child neglect at the institution and revelations of the use of ‘child harvesters’ to convince families to put their children up for adoption.

Russia: Are efforts to help thousands of 'abandoned' children being resisted? (BBC, April 2, 2013)

BBC Newsnight reports on efforts to reform Russia's institutional care system, with a government programme to move tens of thousands of children out of institutions and into family homes through foster care and adoption running into strong resistance from those benefiting from the State funding attached to these institutions.

The Deputy Director of Ghana's Department of Social Welfare, Child Right Promotion and Protection spoke at a press conference on the conditions needed for children's placement in institutional care and the importance of ensuring children are cared for in their families.

This new radio report from NPR challenges some of the misconceptions about fostering, including that people foster for the money or that foster parents "must be saints to take in other people's children". Two main speakers, a foster parent for over 15 years to more than 40 children, and a Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law share their insight and experiences about fostering in the US context.

The German cabinet has agreed a bill allowing women going through unwanted pregnancies to give birth in hospital under a false name.  The draft law is aimed at reducing unsafe births and giving mothers an alternative to abandoning unwanted newborns in so-called baby boxes.


Deportation's Forgotten Children by the Los Angeles Times 

This op-ed written by two U.S. Congresswomen puts forward the case for the adoption of the Help Separated Families Act, a bill introduced by them in Congress that would make it harder to terminate parental rights solely based on immigration status, and would also allow foster children to be placed in the best homes for them, regardless of the immigration status of the potential guardian. 

How Shall We Care for Haiti's Orphans? 

Following on her New York Times piece in December, 2012, on efforts to try to close down orphanages in Haiti, Emily Brennan discusses debates in the evangelical movement on the approaches used to what some Christian leaders call “orphan care.”

Haiti: Trying to Close Orphanages Where Many Aren't Orphans At All 

A consensus is developing among Haitian government officials and children’s advocates that a new approach is required to reduce the number of orphanages. But the transition is not easy, and some question whether the country is ready for it.

Rwanda: Government On Course to Meet Deadline of Closing Orphanages

Following an ambitious agenda to remove all children from residential care, Rwandan government is on pace.

Ukraine orphans: A life trapped in care

When orphans in Ukraine reach adulthood, some are deemed "incapacitated" - a label that consigns them to a life in institutions. But many of these young people may have nothing wrong with them at all. It is an official classification in Ukraine that critics say strips the bearer of basic human rights.

Cambodia's Orphanage Business

Throughout Cambodia well-intentioned volunteers have helped to create a surge in the number of residential care homes as impoverished parents are tempted into giving up their children in response to promises of a Western-style upbringing and education.

Library of Documents

Examples of child care legislation, protection policies, tools and statistics.
Resources on social support programmes designed to maintain family unity.

Tools to adequately support and assess a child in care.
Resources on promoting and developing family and community based care.

Resources on the protection of vulnerable children in an emergency.
Literature on threats to children and families and relevant responses.