BCN is an interagency collaboration formed to enhance understanding and action across sectors and agencies. The Steering Committee of the BCN serves as the executive leadership of the Network and its Secretariat staff.
As it is not a legal entity itself, BCN relies upon the financial and technical contributions of the Steering Committee for its administration. Funding and administrative responsibilities are shared among members ensuring that the network is truly interagency in operation. The Committee meets regularly to define objectives and continue to refine its mission and vision.
The organizations represented BCN Steering Committee include some of the most influential organizations involved in care for children globally. Over the past five years, the membership of the Steering Committee has expanded and now includes: Cooperative Relief and Assistance Everywhere (CARE USA), Firelight Foundation, Save the Children UK, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) and the Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
While the views represented on this site does not necessarily imply the views of our Steering Committee member agencies, membership on the Steering Committee implies an institutional commitment to the ethos of the BCN.
The Guiding Principles of the Better Care Network are available online.
Profiles of the BCN Steering Committee members:
UNICEF: UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF support child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic and girls education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) of USAID: DCOF supports programs that help families and communities provide the necessary care, protection, and support for children in need: children affected by armed conflict; street children; children with disabilities; and children otherwise separated from appropriate care-giving situations. Within these categories, DCOF programs are based in the community and carried out by members of the community; Allow children to participate and make decisions and seek to address both the physical and emotional needs of families and children while respecting their religious and cultural practices.
Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA) of USAID: Since the inception of its HIV/AIDS program in 1986, USAID has been at the forefront of the global AIDS crisis and a technical leader within the fields of Pediatric AIDS care and treatment and support for children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. The office of HIV/AIDS at USAID is a key partner in the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest and most divers HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment initiative in the world.
Save the Children UK: Child protection is one of Save the Children UK's (SC UK) four main policy priorities. The SC UK Child Protection Team leads organizational policy relating to child protection. All of our work seeks to improve children's access to, and the quality of, local and national care and protection systems. We support programming in around 40 countries worldwide to build and promote systemic solutions to several child protection issues including child trafficking and exploitation, neglect, and children affected by armed conflict. We help to shape organization-wide policy positions and advocate at the international level for global policy change in relation to child protection.
CARE USA: CARE's HIV and AIDS programs target at-risk and vulnerable groups including youth and adolescents; mobile populations; injecting drug users; sex workers; orphans and vulnerable children; and women as care givers. In response to the increasing feminization of the AIDS epidemic, CARE's programs focus on the role that prevailing gender identities, roles and hierarchies play in shaping the dynamics of infection, transmission and living with HIV. In addition to focusing on gender issues, critical elements of CARE's HIV and AIDS programs emphasize dignity, equality, and the involvement of people living with HIV.
Firelight Foundation is private foundation created to support and advocate for the needs and rights of children who are orphaned by or affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Firelight strives to increase the resources available to grassroots organizations that are strengthening the capacity of families and communities to care for children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.
Family for Every Child is a diverse, global network of hands-on national civil society organisations with almost 400 years’ combined experience supporting children. Family for Every Child aims to be a catalyst for global and local change. The network provides a platform for sharing and amplifying the expertise of its members. Family for Every Child works with others who share its vision to enable significantly more children to grow up in secure families and access temporary, quality alternative care when needed. Family for Every Child was registered as a charity in 2012. In 2014 the Assembly of Members elected the first member-led Board of Trustees, who are supported by a secretariat team. There are currently 16 members with the plan to grow to 40 by 2017. More information is available here
RELAF: Established in 2003, RELAF promotes and supports the initiatives of governments and NGOs towards the de-institutionalization of children, the development of family-based alternative care and the prevention of the separation of children from their birth families. The network is made up of hundreds of NGOs, children, adolescents, families, professionals, carers, researchers, staff of institutions, government employees and authorities, policy-makers, trainers, consultants, teachers, social workers and mental health workers, among others. RELAF has also published several multi-disciplinary pieces of research on the issue. Since 2010, it has maintained a cooperation agreement with UNICEF, which supported the elaboration of the friendly versions of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children for the staff of Homes and for children, used in workshops in more than 8 countries. The scope of its actions can be found throughout South America, Central America, the Islands of the Caribbean and Mexico. At a global level, it is part of the Working Group on Children without Parental Care of the NGO Group for the CRC, in which it participates actively, contributing to the global advocacy strategies from a Latin American point of view. More information is available here