Roadmap for Mid-Level Cadre Workforce Development Under Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS)

The objective of this consultancy is to develop a Roadmap for development of the mid-level cadres’ workforce, including mapping the workforce in terms of structure, analyzing the challenges in the present workforce, planning recommended strategies of the workforce, and training and supporting the workforce.

Foster-Care Plan for Tribes Filled with Problems

A small number of Native American tribes in the USA are receiving federal foster care assistance. This article explores why.

16 Children Rescued from Capital-Based Orphanage

Local authorities in Kathmandu, Nepal have removed 16 children from a children’s shelter where they had been living in “horrible conditions,” according to the article.

Rwanda Outgrows its Genocide Orphanages

This article describes the deinstitutionalisation initiative in Rwanda.

12 Children Return to ‘Closed Down’ Countryside Orphanage

The Countryside Children’s Welfare Home at Bawjiase in the Central Region of Ghana was closed down recently due to allegations of abuse and 100 children were removed from the facility. Now, however, 12 children have been returned to the home.

How Foster Care Support Can Boost Mental Health When Life-Skills Classes Are Not Enough

This article highlights recent research from the US revealing that supporting youth in transitioning from foster care can help to promote strong mental health and to protect youth from developing mental health difficulties later in life.

Hundreds of Unaccompanied Children Land on Italy's Shores

This article describes the recent rise in migrants and refugees coming to Italy from Libya and other parts of North Africa, especially the large numbers of unaccompanied children, and the efforts being made by aid workers to place those children in appropriate care.

New Overseas Adoption Rules Raise Ire of Stolen Children

Two Australian adoptees, taken from their parents as children, are concerned with recent federal government plans in Australia to “streamline” intercountry adoptions.

Latvia Complains to UK Parliament Over Forced Adoptions

The Parliament of Latvia has issued a formal complaint to the UK House of Commons, claiming that children of Latvian descent are being “illegally and forcibly adopted by British families,” says the article.

Parliamentary Panel Rejects Plan for Inter-Country Adoption of Orphans

A Parliamentary panel in India has recently rejected a proposal for intercountry adoptions of orphaned children, according to the article.

$1.5 Million Database for Orphans and Potential Parents: Dealing with Corruption in Orphanages

Kazakhstan has approved a $1.5 million project to create a database of children who have been identified as available for adoption, according to the article.

Private Adoption Methods Still Raise Arguments

According to the article, Children’s Rights Commissioner Leda Koursoumba argues that private adoption arrangements should be abolished and removed from a forthcoming adoption bill proposed by the Labour ministry of Cyprus.

Abandoned Kids on Rail Premises to be Protected

The Indian government has launched Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the reunification and rehabilitation of children separated from their families at 20 big railway stations in the country, according to the article.

Adopting Orphans and Breaking Taboos in Dubai

This article from AlJazeera tells the story of Aysha Albusmait, a single woman in Dubai who adopted a young girl.

In Pictures: Child Migrants on Lampedusa

This photo series, courtesy of Save the Children, depicts the experiences of unaccompanied young people who travel from North Africa across the Mediterranean in hopes of reaching greater safety in Europe.

Cambodia to Resume Foreign Adoption

The Central Authority for Inter-Country Adoptions of Cambodia has begun to enter into agreements with several countries to resume inter-country adoptions, after a four-year suspension due to child trafficking concerns, according to the article.

Inside the Foster Care System: A Bleak Last Stop for Lost Youths

A reporter and photographer from the LA Times spent two weeks reporting on a residential home for foster youth in Los Angeles, California in the US and the difficulties faced by the youth who are placed there.

Ebola Orphans in Africa Do Not Need Saviours

Written from the perspective of someone who grew up as a so-called “AIDS orphan” in Africa, this opinion piece from Al Jazeera describes how Western media has tended to portray orphaned children with pity, rather than with dignity.

ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children Reiterates Strong Commitment to Children's Protection from Violence

Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, Maria Santos Pais, met with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Commission on the Rights of Women and Children in Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting included updates from the ASEAN Commissioners on efforts and reforms in the region to ensure children’s protection from violence.

US State Considers Baby Drop-Off Boxes

The state of Indiana in the United States is considering implementing “baby boxes” - drop-off spots for parents to anonymously hand over their infants, according to the article.

Poverty is a Child Protection Issue

In this article, Harry Stevenson, President of Social Work Scotland, writes about the connection between poverty and child protection.

Orphanage Trips by Aussie Schools are Doing More Harm Than Good

Some private schools in Australia are taking students on volunteer trips to orphanages in Asia. But “what do these trips mean for the children in orphanages?,” this article asks.

Adoption: Irish Women Open up About their Experiences with Adoption

This article examines adoption from three different perspectives - that of an adoptive mother, that of a mother whose child was adopted by another family, and that of an adoptee - through the personal adoption stories of three women in Ireland.

BIA Changes Guidelines to Better Protect Native Children

The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs has recently announced it will be updating guidelines of the Indian Child Welfare Act, ensuring greater emphasis on keeping Native American children with their families and communities, says the article.

Baramati Orphanage is Crucible for Child Marriage

A recent police investigation in Baramati, India has revealed that a local girls’ orphanage has been running a child marriage racket, according to this article from Pune Mirror.

Foster Care: You Can’t Put a Price on a Happy, Secure Childhood

This opinion piece by Harvey Gallagher, Chief executive of the Nationwide Association of Fostering Providers, argues the need for a “ re-think to rid ourselves of outdated notions” when it comes to foster care in the UK.

Concern About New Foster Care Laws in the NT

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) in Australia has voiced its concerns about new child protection legislation to be implemented in the Northern Territory, says the article.

Sierra Leone Quarantines Ebola-Hit Orphanage

A staff member at a British-run orphanage in Freetown, Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola, sending over 20 children who resided in the orphanage into quarantine due to their exposure to the virus, according to the article.

Misappropriation of Money in the Name of Orphanage

A correspondent from the Daily Star in Bangladesh investigated an “orphanage” at Angaria village in Dumki upazila that was receiving government funds.

Law Aims to Help Youth Leaving Foster Care

A new law proposed in the state of Florida in the US will provide support to youth transitioning out of foster care.

Bill 'Most Important Change in Family Legislation' in State's History, Says Kenny

This article from RTE News discusses the new Children and Family Relationship Bill to be enacted in Ireland.

Children In Families First (CHIFF) and the Evangelical Adoption Movement

This opinion piece, written from the perspective of an adoptee, questions recent US intercountry adoption legislation and why no international adoptees were consulted during the drafting of the legislation.

When Children Become Tourist Attractions

Orphanage tourism is on the rise in Myanmar and in other countries in the region such as Cambodia and Thailand, according to the article.

Fate of 30 Rescued Children Hangs in the Balance

30 children from West Bengal, India were recently “rescued” by police during a child labour raid in the Old City. The children are now being lodged at a rescue home “with little hope of returning to their native place” as they await a First Information Report (FIR) to be issued, according to the article.

Labour Plans to Set up Child Protection Unit in Government, Says Cooper

The Labour government in the UK will announce a new plan to improve child protection policies, according to this article from the Guardian.

Aadhar Cards to be Issued to All Children in Adoption Agencies Across India

The ultimate message of a recent national adoption meeting in India was that all stakeholders should do their utmost to ensure the best interests of children are given priority and first consideration in all matters related to adoption, according to the article.

A For-Profit Foster Care Agency, Traded on the Stock Exchange, Deadly to Children

A national for-profit foster agency in the US has come under recent scrutiny due to investigations revealing alleged “missteps” that are linked to the abuse, maltreatment, and deaths of children served by the agency.

Thailand's Crackdown on 'Wombs for Rent'

This article from the BBC follows up on two recent “baby scandals” that emerged in Thailand last year.

How Science Can Help Us Measure and Improve the Well-Being of Foster Youth

In this blog piece from the Huffington Post, Michael Piraino makes his case for the need for nurturing family-based care as a way to enhance the wellbeing of children in the child welfare system in the United States, citing some recent research.

Cabinet Approves Memoranda On Child Adoption And Others

The government of Ghana has approved four memoranda on children for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, including approval of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, approval of Child and Family Welfare Policy and approval for the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

Good Practices Guidelines No.10 – An Identity for Every Child

The city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has greatly increased the rate of birth registrations, according to this report highlight. This update from Relief Web links to a report from UNICEF on how birth registration services in Kinshasa were improved.

From the System to the Street

This article from the Pacific Standard discusses a new bill passed by the state legislature of Colorado in the United States. According to the article, the bill is designed to combat the “foster care to prostitution pipeline.”

Rapid Growth of Family Support Programmes Calls for Accelerated Research Agenda

UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti recently convened an "Expert Consultation on Family and Parenting Support," bringing together experts from fifteen countries to establish a global research framework designed at improving policies aimed at supporting families and parenting across contexts.

DSWD Continues to Promote Legal Adoption

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines has issued a statement that it will continue to advocate for legal adoptions in the country.

If God Could Only Calculate: International Adoption, Family Preservation and Money

In this opinion piece from the Huffington Post, Frank Ligtvoet writes about the cost of international adoption and how those resources might be better directed to keeping families together. The piece is particularly focused on the practice of intercountry adoption amongst the U.S. Christian community.

Labour Pledges New 'Kinship' Rights to Support Children

Tristram Hunt, shadow education secretary in the UK, will be announcing a series of new measures to support children and families, including offering new “kinship rights” to children in the care of their siblings, grandparents, or other relatives.

Flip-Flopping on Adoption: Aussie PM Proposes Shopping for Kids

This blog post from the Huffington Post describes what the author believes are contradictory actions and recent statements made by the Prime Minister of Australia in regards to adoption.

Abducting and selling babies in Bangladesh

Syed Tashfin Chowdhury from Aljazeera reported on stealing and selling newborns from public hospitals in Bangladesh as numbers of stolen babies are on the rise. New parents describe 'nightmares' after their newborns were kidnapped.


Investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas went undercover at an orphanage in Ghana to expose abuses and corruption. This video documents his experience.

The Woman Who Sold Her Baby For $435 To Buy Firewood

This piece, from the U.S. National Public Radio’s “Goats and Soda: Stories of Life in a Changing World” series, tells the story of a woman in Afghanistan suffering from extreme poverty who is forced to make the decision to give up her infant.

New Research Underway: Effective Interventions for Children in Out-of-Home Care: Explaining the Impact of Decisions and Types of Treatment

The University of Copenhagen Department of Economics is conducting an externally funded research project on the effectiveness of interventions for children living in out-of-home care.

The Better Care Network joins the Child Protection Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (CP MERG) Core Membership

In 2014, BCN was invited to join the Child Protection Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (CP MERG) as a Core Member and to co-chair one of its newest Technical Working Groups, Children and Care.

OAFRICA Calls for Closure of All Orphanages by 2020

“OAfrica condemns the criminal abuse Anas has revealed at Bawjiase Orphanage and calls for the complete eradication of orphanages in the country by 2020.”

Bawjiase Orphanage Shut Down Over Human Rights Abuses

Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and his team posed as volunteers at a children’s home in Awutu Bawjiase in the Central Region of Ghana and uncovered abuses and corruption occurring in the orphanage. The abuses have been reported to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the home as been shut down.

Making it Clear on Foster Care

The foster care system in Trinidad and Tobago may soon see a significant change, according to this article from the Guardian of Trinidad and Tobago.

Study: Federal Government Not Enforcing Child Welfare Laws

A new study from the Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law presents finds that the United States federal government is not adequately enforcing child welfare laws and standards and that individual states are not adequately complying with these laws, says the article.

Risk for Autism Increases for Abandoned Children Placed in Institutions

A recent study from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project has revealed that children who were placed in institutional care have an increased risk of demonstrating behaviors associated with autism, such as impaired social communication, according to the article.

Capacity Building and Monitoring & Evaluation Technical Support Consultancy

Retrak is seeking technical support for its “Deinstitutionalization of Orphans and Vulnerable Children” project in two connected areas

New Alliance to Promote Family-Based Care in Indonesia

Muhammadiyah, a member of Family for Every Child, has launched a new alliance with fellow Indonesian NGOs, to encourage the use of family-based alternative care for children and promote the use of institutional care only as a last result for children in Indonesia.

Government Considers £76m Cost of Keeping Children in Residential Care Until 21

The government of the U.K. is considering new legislation that would permit children to remain in residential care until the age of 21, says this article from Community Care.

Global Service & Ethical Photography Contest is announcing its first Global Service & Ethical Photography Contest, to encourage appropriate use of photography and social media during cross-cultural service experiences, including orphanage volunteering.

Illegal Adoption Agency Charged with Child Trafficking

Zeina Abdullah, the owner of a migrant domestic worker recruitment agency in Lebanon, and two Lebanese doctors, Dr. Aziz Samaha and Dr. Fouad Joseph Helou, have been accused of forming an illegal child adoption ring, according to the article.

Children's Act Amended in Favor of Earlier Foster Care

In Egypt, a decree has been issued to amend the 1996 Children’s Act in order to allow the placement of children into foster homes at a younger age, says the article.

Foster Care India Launches Manifesto to Support Every Child’s Right to a Family

Foster Care India is launching a Manifesto to help change the way that over 1.2 billion people look after and protect children in India.

Loving Foster Homes Repaired Brain Damage of Romanian Orphans

This article presents the findings of a 12-year study, conducted by Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital in the USA, that examined the effects of institutionalization on Romanian children’s brain development.

Illegal Adoption in Lebanon: Mechanisms and Consequences

This article from The Legal Agenda provides an overview of illegal adoptions in Lebanon, including the history of adoption, the systems that perpetuate the practice of illegal adoption in Lebanon, and the various forms of illegal adoptions that occur in the country.

Background Note on Somalia’s Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Having signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2002, the Somali Parliament has now voted to ratify the Convention and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has signed it.

Government of Somalia ratifies UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Since its adoption in 1989, 193 countries have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Somalia has just become the 194th.

Vulnerable Children in South Australia Face Long-Term Emergency Housing

The number of children in South Australia who are living in emergency housing has risen significantly in the past year, says the article.

Inquiry May Omit ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Adoptions

A high-profile inquiry into the treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies by 14 State-linked religious institutions in Ireland from 1922-1998 was launched on 9 January, 2015. However, tens of thousands of people affected by this crisis may be excluded from the inquiry, says the article.

When One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Differing Outcomes for Foster Children in Group Homes

This new study explores the demographics of children placed into out-of-home care in the United States and the effects of group home placement on different populations of youth.

Parents’ Legal Aid Wait to Fight Enforced Adoption of Son Inhumane, Says Judge

A child in the UK was removed from his parents’ custody nine months prior to the publication of this article.

Child Welfare Reform: Effecting Real Change - At Last

In this Huffington Post Blog piece, Sidney Goldberg - founder of the Pathways to Development Program at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in Chicago - shares his views on needed reform of the child welfare system in the United States.

South Korea: Why are South Koreans Reluctant to Adopt Children?

This video report from the BBC examines South Koreans’ perspectives on domestic adoption.

Taking on South Korea's Adoption Taboo

This article explores the cultural taboos surrounding adoption in South Korea and the attempts currently underway to ease the stigma associated with adoption.

An African’s Message for America

This video features Boniface Mwangi, a Kenyan photojournalist and activist, as he speaks with students and volunteers in the United States about international volunteering.

TANF, Child Welfare Partnerships Help Strengthen Families

Recent pilot programs focused on service coordination between social protection and child protection in the United States have shown promise in improving outcomes for families.

In Sierra Leone, Teen Ebola Survivor is Lifeline for Sick Orphans

Seventeen year-old Haja Umu Jalloh, a survivor of Ebola, has been caring for about 40 children at the St. George Foundation Interim Care Center in Sierra Leone.

Researching Reform: Child Welfare People and Policies to Watch in 2015

In this article, author Natasha Phillips writes about the past year in child welfare law in the United Kingdom and the expected reforms for 2015.

Preventing Un-Adoption Tragedies

In this blog piece from the Huffington Post, Mirah Riben describes the phenomenon of “re-homing” in which many adoptive parents in the United States, typically of internationally adopted children, give up those adopted children after a period of time, often times to people who are not properly vetted and who may harm the children.

Judge: Rehoming Kids is Trafficking

A couple in the US is suing an adoption agency that they claim misled them about two children they adopted from Russia. The judge in their case has made a preemptive decision to bar the couple from using the “black market” to rehome the children if he rules not to allow the parents to vacate the adoption.

Over 200 Infants Abandoned in Seoul’s ‘Baby Box’ in 2014

An increasing number of infants have been left at a “baby box” in Gwanak-gu, Seoul since 2009.

Social Welfare Must Give Good Parenting Services

The Ghana NGOs Coalition on Rights of the Child (GNCRC) has recently urged the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and others to provide parenting and counselling support services regularly to parents and children to enhance parent-child relationships.

Link-up of Child-Care Institutions on Cards

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is undergoing a process of linking all child-care institutions across India with one another, according to the article.

U.S. May Soon Stand Alone for Failing to Ratify U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

This article explores some of the reasons behind the US’s failure to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Dan Rather’s Show: “Unwanted Children–The Shameful Side of International Adoption”

Dan Rather, a news anchor and investigative reporter from the U.S. recently produced and aired a documentary special on the phenomenon of “re-homing” internationally adopted children in the United States.

Vietnamese Adoptees Share Struggles to Reconnect with Roots

This article, from NBC News, speaks to the experiences of those who were adopted from Vietnam to the United States and the history of Vietnamese adoption in the United States.

For Ebola Orphans In Liberia, It's A Bittersweet New Beginning

This reportive piece from NPR covers the reunification of 18 children with their families in Liberia after being quarantined at an Ebola care center, or “shelter” in Monrovia.

From Colombia to Minnesota, Program Seeks Homes for Older Orphans

The Star Tribune, a newspaper based in Minnesota, USA, reports on a program designed to match older “orphans” from Colombia to adoptive families in Minnesota through a week-long camp which allows for in-person introductions and interactions.

Orphanage owner gets 10 years in prison for sexual abuse

Chemy “Samuel” Watulingas, owner of an orphanage in the Gading Serpong housing complex in Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia, was found guilty of sexually abusing several children in the orphanage and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Two Men at Orphanage Repeatedly Rape 3 Autistic Girls

A court in Nepal has recently found two men guilty of repeatedly raping three girls with autism who were in the men’s care at an orphanage in Kathmandu.

Mothering via Skype: Europe's absentee parents

This article from Deutsche Welle (DW) depicts the situation that many mothers in Eastern Europe face as they leave their children behind to find work abroad and support their families financially.

Saving Kenya's children born of incest

This BBC article highlights the situation of children born of incest in Kenya.

They Steal Babies, Don’t They?

In this article, journalist E.J. Graff, uncovers some of the corruption, fraud, and deception common within the “mini-industry” of U.S. adoptions from Ethiopia, and how that “industry” has come to see better regulation through diplomacy and a new federal law.

A Reporter Reveals Ebola’s Effect on One Family

A reporter from the New York Times traveled to Liberia to collect the stories of Liberians affected by Ebola.

The disabled children locked up in cages

This BBC article draws attention to the issues faced by children with disabilities in state-run homes in Greece.

Rowling appeal for 'trapped' orphans

"Children's writer JK Rowling has urged an end to the "massive global problem" of the systematic institutionalisation of at least eight million children in so-called orphanages."

Philippines’ typhoon orphans struggle with trauma a year on

This Reuters article depicts the reality faced by children who have been orphaned as a result of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Community-Based & Policy Level Experts on Orphanage Tourism shares two hour-long presentations by an individual who works directly with the issue of orphanage tourism in Nepal, and another individual who has coordinated a global, child-protection-focused, inter-agency initiative directly tied to orphanage tourism.

Rwanda: NCC Grapples With Resettling Adult Orphans Into Foster Homes

This All Africa article highlights the situation that Rwanda's National Commission for Children (NCC) is facing as it looks for new ways to address the challenge of integrating orphans who have reached adulthood into foster families.

International adoption made me a commodity, not a daughter

In this opinion piece from the Guardian, Tariuwa Lemma tells her story of international adoption.

Voluntourism Conference Netherlands

On the 30th of October 2014, ECPAT/Defence for Children Netherlands and Better Care Network Netherlands held a conference on Voluntourism in the Children’s Rights Home in Leiden, Netherlands.

Switzerland's Shame: The Children Used as Cheap Farm Labour

Thousands of people in Switzerland who were forced into child labour are demanding compensation for their stolen childhoods. Since the 1850s hundreds of thousands of Swiss children were taken from their parents and sent to farms to work - a practice that continued well into the 20th Century.

Hundreds of 'missing' children at risk in Greater Manchester

This article highlights the findings and recommendations from the report on sexual exploitation in Greater Manchester. According to the article, the report found that of the 3,242 individuals reported missing to Greater Manchester Police, 530 were in care. The report stated that one in five of those reported missing in Greater Manchester were at risk of serious harm, including Child Sexual Exploitation

In Liberia, Ebola survivors care for orphans of the disease

This article from the Los Angeles Times describes the challenges Ebola survivors face upon returning to their communities.

80 People Attend International Volunteering Conference

Better Volunteering, Better Care steering committee member Hope and Homes for Children, and project team member Daniela Papi participated in a panel on volunteering with children at this Tourism Concern event in the UK in October.

Russia must rethink orphanage system

Andrea Mazzarino, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, visited Russian orphanages as part of a human rights investigation into the conditions and potential abuses in the orphanage system, especially for children with disabilities.

Digital Media students 'animated' about promoting Foster and Kinship Care

Two Digital Media students at CQUniversity, a university in Queensland Australia, created an animated video which encourages people to register to become foster or kinship care to children in Queensland.

Sixth IPC | Social Protection in Africa: Making it work for children

The sixth International Policy Conference (IPC) on the African Child is scheduled to take place on October 27th and 28th at the UNECA Conference Hall, United Nations Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

After Losing Parents To Ebola, Orphans Face Stigma

This article tackles the complex consequences orphaned children face in the context of Ebola, particularly, stigma.

Terrifying, Inspirational: RT Documents Disabled Orphans’ Kilimanjaro Climb

This article describes the journey of three "former orphans" with severe disabilities who attempted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro as a demonstration of support to Russian orphanages. Their journey is also featured in a documentary video found on this page.

The State of the Evidence on Children’s Care: A Better Care Network and CPC Learning Network Symposium

On the 24th September Better Care Network and the CPC Learning Network organized a one day symposium entitled The State of the Evidence on Children’s Care at McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, New York University. The symposium brought together a number of leading academics, policy makers and practitioners involved in the development or implementation of key initiatives to better measure issues of children’s care at country, regional or international levels.

At least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone who have lost one or both parents to Ebola face being shunned

This article by the BBC highlights the impact of the Ebola epidemic on children, including the death of parents and primary caregivers and the struggle to find alternative caregivers in a context of extreme fear of contamination.

South Yorkshire police under fire for failing to protect vulnerable children

According to this article from the Guardian, a police force in South Yokshire, UK has been criticised for turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation of 1,400 children in Rotherham.

Why do children enter alternative care?

A new blog has been posted on SOS Children’s Village’s website tackling the question “why do children enter alternative care?”

RIATT-ESA Strategy Development (2015-2018) Consultancy

The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) is seeking a consultant to complete the development of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Team on Children and AIDS in Eastern and Southern Africa (RIATT-ESA) strategic plan 2015-2018. This work will be guided by recommendations of RIATT-ESA’s strategic planning workshop, among other preparatory processes.

Charities Taking Care of Unaccompanied Minors Getting Significant Federal Grants

Many unaccompanied minors have crossed the US boarder along with the wave of undocumented immigrants that started earlier this year. It is reported that Florida nonprofits have received $21 million thus far to support these children in need. The Department of Health and Human Services has the mandate to care for unaccompanied immigrant children when there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States. It is reported that these federal grants are meant to cover costs for temporary housing, medical care and support services. However, attaining details on how the money is being spent has be

For rescued kids, this home is more a jail

The article depicts the situation of rescued children who were working on the streets in India.A different approach towards is needed, according to the article.

Guilford teen in foster care finds right home, sets sights high

Read Julia Carr’s story, a teen in foster care. For Julia finding the right family was worth the wait.

The Social and Family Development Ministry is looking to better help children in foster care or homes

The Social and Family Development Ministry is looking to better help children in foster care or homes. Minister Chan Chun Sing said the key thrust is to provide a more "homely" environment for the children.

Looked after children: website updated

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has updated its Info4carekids website, a resource for looked-after children and young people. It now includes information about NICE’s quality standard on the health and wellbeing of looked-after children and young people. “Our lives, our standards” is a film that is also featured on the website. The film looks at the lives and experiences of a group of young people from the North East of England who are, or have experienced being in care.

Government consults on second wave of reforms for children’s homes

The Department for Education, in the United Kingdom, has issued nine quality standards, which form part of a series of reforms to children’s homes, for consultation. The Department is seeking views from providers on the standards, as well as changes to administrative processes and a replacement of the current guidance on children’s homes regulations.

Congress Enacts Legislation to Fight Child Trafficking, Strengthen Child Welfare Protections

On September 18th, 2014, the U.S. Senate approved bipartisan child welfare legislation aimed at reducing child sex trafficking, increasing adoptions and improving child support collections.

This World: Ireland's Lost Babies

A Documentary film investigating the Irish Catholic Church's role in an adoption trade which saw thousands of illegitimate children taken from their mothers and sent abroad, often with donations to the Church flowing in the other direction.

Ebola orphans seek new families in Sierra Leone – video

This video from the Guardian depicts the impact of the Ebola epidemic on the foster care system in Sierra Leone.

Learn How to Become a Social Worker, recently published an in-depth guide to Social Worker careers and degree program opportunities.

International Federation for Family Development Launches New Website

IFFD has launched a new website: It will replace and provides much more information about the situation of the family in many countries.

Foster Care India Launches New Website

Foster Care India - an NGO operating in Rajasthan, India aimed at helping the children in need of care and protection in the area through advocacy across Rajasthan and collaborations at local, state, national and global levels - has launched its newest website.

Egypt’s Orphans Struggle Long After Childhood Ends

This article highlights that the problem with Egypt's orphanages goes beyond isolated cases of abuse, and extends to how society as a whole views "children of sin".

Hanoi officials resettle embattled pagoda's population of orphans, elderly and disabled

Officials in Hanoi have recently investigated a philanthropic institution, Bo De Pagoda, which housed children and older adults, and have found that the institution “suffered loose management and offered substandard healthcare” in addition to allegations of child trafficking, says Ha An of Than Nien News.

When the Church is Moved

In this opinion piece, Sarah Sagley Klotz shares her experience of growing up in a small Christian community in the US, learning about the needs of the world from sermons and videos, and later fully realizing the hardships of vulnerable and orphaned children in the developing world through her travels to Mongolia and North Africa.

The Travel Book Gives This Orphanage Four Stars

This opinion piece from Al Jazeera America, discusses the “knotty mess of the orphanage industry built around Western volunteerism.”

Orphanages in Kaski run flouting government rules

In a recent investigation in the Kaski district of Nepal, conducted by the District Child Welfare Council, 63 children’s homes in the district were found to be operating illegally (without government registration), according to the article.

Children brought to offset shortage of orphans in orphanage

In a statement filed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, children have been brought into Kerala, the state in India, in order to supplement a shortage of orphans and “destitute children” at the orphanage at Mukkam at Kozhikode.

Orphans and Economics

This piece, written by Aselefech Evans, a woman adopted from Ethiopia when she was five years old, addresses the issue of family preservation and international adoption.

Launch of the Child and Family Blog

The Future of Children, a collaboration of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Brookings Institute, has launched a new project entitled “The Child & Family Blog.”

Mexico Children's Home: Probe into previous abuse claims

The 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 Heads of State of the Caribbean region endorsed the Call to Action to end the placement of children under three years of age in residential care institutions at the 35th CARICOM conference.

Ending Child Institutionalisation in Europe

In this column, Georgette Mulheir, Chief Executive Officer of Lumos, writes about the funding in Eastern Europe that was intended to support programs aimed at improving the lives of children and, instead, has contributed to the institutionalization of children in inadequate state-run homes.

Conclusions and recommendations from the Cross Regional Meeting for Advancing the Protection of Children from Violence

Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, (SRSG on VAC), Marta Santos Pais, promoted a Cross-Regional Round Table on the prevention of violence in early childhood on June 30 and July 1, 2014 with representatives from several regional organisations.

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.

Cambodia’s Scam Orphanages

This video from the New York Times portrays the situation of orphanages in Cambodia, highlighting the fact that less than a quarter of children in Cambodian orphanages are actual orphans.

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.

Faith to Action Initiative Launches a Summary of Research to Help Guide Faith-Based Action

Faith to Action's latest publication, "Children, Orphanages, and Families: A Summary of Research to Help Guide Faith-Based Action" is now available online

US alarm at growing number of illegal child migrants

This article, produced by the BBC, reports on the growing number of unaccompanied children who immigrate to the United States from Mexico and Central America each year.

Kenya 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.

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.

Reforming the Child Protection system in Armenia

This video documents Save the Children's work in Armenia to reform the child protection system, including its use of the Guidelines for Alternative Care as a roadmap to focus on supporting a range of appropriate family environments for children without appropriate care.

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 under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act 2000.

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.

Children can now lodge complaints with the UN about violations of their rights

Th Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure enters into force following its ratification by the required 10 countries.

SOS Children's Villages Internship opportunity to support global campaign

SOS Children's Villages is offering a paid internship based in its international office in Vienna to support a global campaign team in the day to day running and future development of its global advocacy Care For Me project

Better Care Network (BCN) Consultancy for mapping of child care actors in Eastern and Southern Africa

The purpose of this consultancy is to map child care organizations and coordination efforts in Eastern and Southern Africa and recommend how best BCN can collaborate with the different actors as well as recommend how a collaborative mechanism can inform and guide the Regional Initiative.

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.

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.

The Faith to Action Initiative launches its new website

The Faith to Action Initiative is officially launching its new website on the 18th March 2014 with exciting new resources and features. The goal of the Initiative is to provide the Christian faith community–churches, mission groups, and individuals–with valuable resources, inspiring stories, and practical tools to inform and support ministries in response to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children.

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.

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.

China's unwanted babies once mostly girls, now mostly sick, disabled

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.

Human Dignity Foundation Call for Proposals on child protection

The Human Dignity Foundation (HDF) invites organisations to respond to a Call for Proposals on child protection. The purpose of the call is to identify projects that will contribute to ensuring that ‘all children are safer at home and in the community’.

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.

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.

Request for Consultancy Services: Baseline survey on children deprived of parental care in residential care in Zimbabwe

The Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare’s Department of Child Welfare and Probation Services in Zimbabwe is inviting applications from suitably qualified and experienced individuals or organisations to undertake a Baseline Survey on Children Deprived of Parental Care Living in Residential Child Care Facilities.

UNICEF Myanmar: Call for Expression of Interest Development of Training Curriculum for the Department of Social Welfare Case Managers

UNICEF Myanmar has issued a call for Expression of Interest for the Development of a Training Curriculum for the Department of Social Welfare Case Managers and mentoring and coaching package for newly-assigned Department of Social Welfare Case Managers

Better Care Network is offering a six months internship

Better Care Network is looking for an intern to support its knowledge management platforms as well as BCN’s policy, advocacy and research efforts.

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.

Family For Every Child: Call for Documentation on Foster Care

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.

The Philippines: “Register with us” – Department of Social Welfare tells persons taking care of ‘Yolanda’ orphans

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines has appealed to families and individuals taking care of children orphaned due to Typhoon Yolanda to register under the Rapid Family Tracing and Reunification (RFTR) Program.

Cambodia: Child Protection Workers Call for End to ‘Orphanage Tourism’

This article, from the Guardian, describes the situation of children in orphanages in Cambodia and how orphanage tourism contributes to the unnecessary and inappropriate institutionalization of children.

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.

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.

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.

Technical Bidders Experience Form for the UNICEF consultancy to conduct a Review of Alternative Care in Thailand

This document contains the Technical Bidders Experience Form for the UNICEF consultancy to conduct a Review of Alternative Care in Thailand: Policy to Practice with special focus on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (CABA).

New York City Is Trying a New Strategy to Find Good Homes for Foster Kids — and It’s Working

This article highlights a new family tracing program for children in foster care initiated by New York’s Administration for Children’s Services that borrows from Family Tracing and Reunification techniques used by the International Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies for reconnecting separated children with their relatives.

UNICEF Thailand Country Office is seeking a qualified institution to conduct a Review of Alternative Care in Thailand

UNICEF Thailand Country Office is seeking a qualified institution to conduct a Review of Alternative Care in Thailand: Policy to Practice with special focus on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (CABA).

UNICEF Price Proposal Form for the RFP on Review of Alternative Care in Thailand

This document contains the Price Proposal Form for the UNICEF consultancy to conduct a Review of Alternative Care in Thailand: Policy to Practice with special focus on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (CABA).

UNICEF Thailand RFP Review of Alternative Care in Thailand

This document contains the RFP for UNICEF Thailand consultancy to conduct a Review of Alternative Care in Thailand: Policy to Practice with special focus on Children Affected by HIV/AIDS (CABA).

Better Care Network and Save the Children consultancy on ethical volunteerism

The overall objective of this consultancy is to facilitate an interagency process to develop a global campaign and engagement strategy to encourage ethical volunteerism and discourage volunteerism that sustains orphanages.

Family For Every Child Vacancy for Research Manager

Family For Every Child is seeking an experienced researcher who demonstrates knowledge of a range of participatory tools and social research concepts/ approaches.

Webinar on Deinstitutionalizing the Alternative Care System for Children: The implications for the social service workforce

Webinar co-hosted by Better Care Network and the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance on Deinstitutionalizing the Alternative Care System for Children: The implications for the social service workforce with learning from Rwanda and Moldova

NEPAL 'Voluntourism': The Orphan Business

This documentary produced for Channel 4 Television goes undercover to explore the reality behind 'Voluntourism' in Nepal.

UNICEF Sénégal Recrutement d’un Consultant international pour guider une initiative de recherche sur la prise en charge par des proches et le confiage

Termes de Références pour le recrutement d’un consultant international pour guider une initiative de recherche : comprendre et améliorer les mécanismes informels de protection de remplacement pour une meilleure prise en charge et une meilleure protection des enfants – Regard sur la prise en charge par des proches et le confiage au Sénégal.

Philippines 2013 Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Response

Information from the Mental Health & Psychosocial Network on the Response to the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines.

Consultancy to assist in the development of a set of tools to monitor the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

The overall goal of this consultancy will be to facilitate an interagency process and support the development of a set of tools to monitoring and track the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children.

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, which drew representatives from Member States, the UN and civil society, to review progress on the implementation of the guidelines and share experiences from various regional perspectives.

UNICEF Consultancy on conducting functional review of the new child care services in two pilot rayons of Baku City, Azerbaijan

UNICEF TOR for Consultancy on conducting functional review of the new child care services in two pilot rayons of Baku City, Azerbaijan.

UNICEF RFP: Designing a 5 year CP violence prevention campaign framework in Malawi

UNICEF has issued a Request For Proposal for Designing a large scale five-year (2013 to 2017) child protection violence prevention campaign framework promoting core child protection messages in Malawi.

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.

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, talk about changes in the field of adoptions and alternative care in Russia during the recent years

Promoting Children's Rights Key to Future Development, Prosperity, Delegates stress as Third Committee Concludes Debate

Summary of the Third Committee debate on children's rights at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York

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.

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.

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.

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 in that country.

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. According to the article, activists and experts inside and outside of Iran have expressed their alarm at the proposal.

Opinion: How the Christian Orphan Care Movement May Be Enabling Child Abandonment

In her personal blog, Kristen Howerton, an adoptive mother and member of the Christian faith community, writes about the dangers of the U.S. Christian community’s involvement in establishing orphanages in developing countries instead of working to keep children with their parents.

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.

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.

Save the Children Technical Assistance Consultancy for the Development of Alternative Care System in Liberia

Save the Children seeks qualified consultant(s) to undertake a comprehensive technical assistance program on alternative care for orphaned and vulnerable children in Liberia. The successful candidate (s) will partner with Save the Children, World Learning and the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) to describe and assess the current system/activities of the DSW, analyze the existing legal framework, guidelines, protocols, and actors, and produce detailed recommendations for the DSW to develop a comprehensive alternative care system.

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. 'Re-homing' also called 'adoption disruption' refers to adoptive parents abandoning their children and handing them out to other adults, often found through internet and social media fora, without any type of formal vetting or procedures.

7th International Foster Care Research Network Meeting – Foster Care in Europe

The International Foster Care Research Network, in collaboration with Fondazione Emanuela Zancan Onlus, International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation, and Fondazione Paideia Onlus, and under the patronage of the Municipality of Padova, will be hosting its 7th annual network meeting in Padova, Italy from 9 to 11 September, 2013.

30 August 2013: BCN Newsletter

A vital source of information for people working on issues related to children without adequate family care

Children’s homes: The nanny state

It is estimated that about 2 million children around the world are living in institutions, though the true figure may be higher. However, according to this article, the number of institutions globally is in decline.

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, GiveDirectly has decided to just give money directly to the poor people who need it, and let them decide how to spend it.

Abandoned babies given away on Pakistani TV programme

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.

End Violence Against Children Campaign

On Wednesday, July 31 2013, UNICEF launched its “#ENDviolence against children” campaign.

Orphanage volunteering 'part of the problem'

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."

Illegal adoptions in Poland: Baby on sale

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.

Kidnapped and Sold: Inside the Dark World of Child Trafficking in China

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.

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.

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

For children separated from their families, the 139 organizations of 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.

Parenting in Africa (PAN) translates key materials

PAN has translated its materials into Portuguese, French, and Kiswahili.

The First Adoption Conference in East Africa

The Child Adoption Network – East Africa is pleased to announce the First Child Adoption Conference in East Africa to be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 21 to 22 November, 2013.

Grants for orphans and vulnerable children in Sudan

International children’s charity Hope and Homes for Children has received grants totalling £543,651 to help establish family-based care services for abandoned children in Sudan.

“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.”

Digital storytelling

One project in the Institute of Development Studies’ “Participate” initiative aims to harness the power of visual imagery and film to communicate the experiences and viewpoints of those on the margins, ensuring that the voices of the vulnerable are included in the post-MDG development agenda. As part of its Child Participation project, Partnership for Every Child Russia is working on the creation of children's digital stories in which children living in group homes in St. Petersburg tell the story of their lives and how they came to the orphanage.

Better Care Network (BCN) Regional Technical & Knowledge Management Specialist

Save the Children East Africa Regional Office (EARO) and Better Care Network (BCN) are looking to recruit a Better Care Network (BCN) Regional Technical & Knowledge Management Specialist.

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 the care of guardians and in need of protection.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession

In this article, 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.

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.

Charts: America's Troubled Affair with Overseas Adoption

Charts that accompany the article Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession, illustrating the trends in international adoptions from Liberia, Kyrgyzstan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Haiti to families in the United States.

South Africa: Fostering Grandparents Can Get Grants

This report by News 24 highlights the ruling of a High Court in South Africa that grandparents who care for their grandchildren are eligible for foster care grants, regardless of income.

Petition for UN Recognition of International Day for Street Children

The International Day for Street Children was celebrated for the third year on April 12, 2013. The Consortium for Street Children wishes to have this day recognized by the UN. To lend your support, please sign the petition.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Russia: Are efforts to help thousands of ‘abandoned’ children being resisted?

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 running into strong resistance from those benefiting from the State funding attached to this system.

The Foster Care System: What Parents Wish We Knew

This new radio report from National Public Radio (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.

Ghana Social Welfare Department Defines Conditions for Placing Children in Orphanages

Ghana News Agency reports on clarifications given by Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare about children’s placement in orphanages and the country’s commitment to reform the child care system to reduce the use of institutional care and ensure inter-country adoptions are conducted in the best interest of the child.

Germany to allow hospital births under false name

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.

The Launch of the Handbook of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

The handbook of the United Nations approved Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children is to be launched on March 7th, 2013 3:00-4:30pm at Room XXII, Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations, Geneva. The handbook provides practical guidance on moving forward on the road to alternative care provision for children. It highlights implications for policy-making where national governments should provide leadership as well as provides links to what is already being effectively done on the ground.

Consultancy: Better Care Network Three-Year Strategic Plan and Organizational Recommendations

The Better Care Network is seeking the assistance of a consultant or a team of consultants, with extensive experience in strategic planning, organizational, network development and child protection and alternative care, to work in close collaboration with the network to develop a three-year strategic plan and recommendations regarding appropriate organizational options to best support the implementation of the strategic plan.

Spread Of 'Baby Boxes' Alarms Europeans

This new radio report by NPR examines the controversial use of 'baby boxes' or hatches reported to be on the rise across Europe and that has received a lot of attention recently, including from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

FairStart Online Training on working with Young Children in Residential or Foster Care

FairStart Training is a free 15 step online program developed by a child psychologist in Denmark, in collaboration with a team of childcare professionals, with support from the European Commission. It is a development program that aims to improve the professional care giving skills of those working with young people in public care (focused on children aged 0-3) through daily practices and organizational development.

Deportation's Forgotten Children

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.”

30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days

The Huffington Post has begun “30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days,” a series designed to give a voice to people with widely varying adoption experiences, including birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents, foster parents, waiting, adoptive parents, and other touched by adoption. Topics of the articles include, but are not limited to, birth family, adoption process, open adoption, close adoption, foster care, and teen pregnancy.

The Launch of the United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

The Launch of the United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity, the first government wide strategic guidance for U.S. Government international assistance for children. The plan is grounded in evidence that shows a promising future belongs to those nations that invest wisely in their children, while failure to do so undermines social and economic progress.

Trying to Close Orphanages Where Many Aren't Orphans at All

This New York Times article by Emily Brennan highlights the consensus 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.

J.K. Rowling: This is Lumos

"Eight million children around the world are living in institutions that deny them the individual care and love. That can damage their brain development and destroy their understanding of right and wrong."

Georgette Mulheir: The Tragedy of Orphanages

In this TED video, Georgette Mulheir, CEO of Lumos, an NGO dedicated to ending worldwide systematic institutionalization, describes how orphanages can cause irreparable damage to children both mentally and physically and urges to end reliance on them by finding alternate ways of supporting children in need.

Rwanda: Government On Course to Meet Deadline of Closing Orphanages

2014 is the time line set to re-unite orphaned children with their families. Already in a period of seven months, two orphanages have been phased out. Officials from the National Commission for Children (NCC) say that in less than two months, two more of the 34 targeted orphanages will have been closed.

Intercountry Adoption: An African Perspective

This publication was prepared as a background document to inform the discussions and debates during the Fifth International Policy Conference on the African Child held on 29-30 May 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This report examines the rationale behind increasing intercountry adoption in Africa, the main thrust of international standards, the extent and magnitude of African intercountry adoption and its problems and challenges. The paper provides recommendations to this increasing trend and aims to establish a more Pan-African position on the topic of intercountry adoption.

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. Despite a period of prosperity in the country, the number of children in orphanages has more than doubled in the past decade, and over 70 per cent of the estimated 10,000 'orphans' have at least one living parent.

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.

Tens of millions of children living in poverty in the world’s richest countries

As debates rage on austerity measures and social spending cuts, a new report reveals the extent of child poverty and child deprivation in the world’s advanced economies. Some 13 million children in the European Union (plus Norway and Iceland) lack basic items necessary for their development. Meanwhile, 30 million children – across 35 countries with developed economies – live in poverty.

Rwanda Child Policy Spells Possible End of Orphanages

In the next few years, the Rwandan government hopes to close the majority of the country’s children’s homes. Rwanda’s so-called "child deinstitutionalization" (DI) policy, which, despite initial concerns, is attracting global support.

Deinstitutionalisation: A Clear Future Policy Direction for Europe

Event to launch two new reports on importance of deinstitutionalization for all persons

Swaziland: Orphan's Doomsday Scenario Fails to Materialize

In 2004 the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) projected a grim future for Swaziland as a consequence of the world's highest HIV prevalence rates. Although the nation is struggling, it is managing to cope.

BBC: Haiti Earthquake One Year On: The Lost Generation

Almost 5,000 children are registered as having lost contact with their families - a list that has grown 60% since the earthquake. About a quarter of the children have now been reunited with parents or relatives, but most of the others will find themselves in orphanages. About half of these homesare not registered with local authorities.

30 December 2010: Better Care Network E-Newsletter

A vital source of information for people working on issues related to children who lack adequate family care.

Before You Pay to Volunteer Abroad, Think of the Harm You Might Do

This article from the Guardian takes a look at the business of orphanage tourism.

Undercover In The Orphan's Home Of 'Hell'

An undercover reporter investigated the Osu Children’s Home in Ghana and discovered countless abuses and child neglect.

BCN Launches Better Care Toolkit for Child Care Practitioners!

Developed to support practitioners around the world in planning for and delivering better care for children who require an out-of-home placement. It contains a selection of practical guides and manuals, chosen as examples of good practice and for their global relevance particularly for low resource settings. They cover the types of policies required to support a quality care system, and practice guidance and tools for the delivery of alternative care.

Second National Conference on Child Abuse

Indian Council for Child Welfare, Tamil Nadu is organizing its Second National Conference on Child Abuse for Multidisciplinary Professionals in September 2010. The goal of the conference will be to enhance awareness on the issue, changes and developments in the response to abuse such as the setting up of the Child Welfare Committees and other mechanisms for rescue and rehabilitation of abused children, and above all far more reporting of violence against children. The conference will take place 16-18 September 2010.

The IV International Forum of Social Workers of Siberia and the Far East

The Russian Union of Social Workers and Social Pedagogues is glad to inform experts in the social sphere about the Fourth International Forum of Social Workers of Siberia and the Far East “Family of the 21-st century. Hope for the Future”. The Forum will take place on 18 – 19 August 2010.

Hague Convention Awareness Training Conducted in Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Womens Affairs Ministry and UNICEF hosted a training for all stakeholders on the 1993 Hague Convention. The training focused on facilitating ways for the adoption of the Hague in line with the laws and regulations of Ethiopia.

How orphanages kill babies – and why no child under 5 should be in one

In this opinion piece, written for the Huffington Post, the author explains her views on the institutionalization of children, particularly infants and children under five years old. She concludes with her recommendations for abolishing baby orphanages.

Call for Proposals for Social Works Institutions: Development of National Social Work Curriculum and Training System in Afghanistan

The National Skills Development Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Afghanistan and UNICEF Afghanistan look to hire a social work institution for curriculum and training development.

BCN Special Listserv on Care and Protection of Children in Haiti

Compilation of news sources, resources and information related to children in Haiti with particular consideration for identification, tracing and reunification for separated and unaccompanied children.

BCN Special Edition Listserv on Care and Protection of Children in Hait

Compilation of news sources, resources and information related to children in Haiti with particular consideration for identification, tracing and reunification for separated and unaccompanied children.

UNICEF Statement on Child Protection in Haiti

Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson calls for all unaccompanied and/or separated children to be registered, traced and reunited with family where possible and appropriate. This includes children who were in alternative care, such as in crèches and “orphanages”, prior to the earthquake.

Preventing further trauma in Haiti!: International community call for use of International Guidelines to ensure maximum protection of children

Call for humanitarian response to uphold recommendations set forth in the Guidelines for Alternative Care in regards to care for children in emergencies, preventing family separation and promoting family based care in their community of origin where possible.

US Department of State Statement on Intercountry Adoption following Earthquake in Haiti

Statement noting potential dangers associated with ICA in emergencies with specific reference to risk of family separation.

Chief Executives of Save the Children UK and World Vision UK respond to adoption as an emergency response

Opinion editorial on risks associated with using intercountry adoption as an emergency response to the needs of children in Haiti

DEC member agencies call for halt to any new adoptions of children separated from their families after Haiti earthquake

Member agencies of the Disasters Emergency Committee are calling for international focus to remain on reuniting children who have lost their families during the earthquake in Haiti rather than adopting them out of the country.

Miami Herald reports that Haitian community wants children to be cared for in Haiti

"The desire of the Haitian people, to the extent that this can be done, is for the children to be cared for in Haiti…That is their preference"

The Neglected Agenda: Protecting Children without Adequate Parental Care Conference

Conference programme, background papers, key policy recommendation from 2009 Wilton Park conference event

BOOK PRESS RELEASE for Growing Pains: How Poverty and AIDS are Challenging Childhood

Summary information on recently published book on community strengthening in response to children needs in context of poverty and AIDS

Council of Europe & SOS-KD to Host Seminar on Children and Young People in Care

Call for participants for seminar at European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, 6-9 December

BCN Call for Better Care Tools

BCN is collecting resources to be included in our new toolkit for practicioners supporting the delivery of better care to children and youth

Keeping the Promise: Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS Satellite Session

UNICEF, together with WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA and WFP, invites you to the Mexico 2008 AIDS satellite session on "Keeping the promise: Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS". The session will take place on Monday, 4 August, from 6:30PM to 8:30PM in the Banamex Conference Center, Session Room 4.

Children & HIV/AIDS: Action Now. Action How Program

International Children & HIV/AIDS Symposium, August 1st & 2nd

34th Biannual Congress of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW): Transcending Global-Local Divides

The 34th Biannual Conference of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) is scheduled for July 20-24, 2008, in Durban, South Africa. This conference will focus on the theme of improving social work education and practice in an increasingly globalized world.

2007 National Adoption and Foster Care Training Conference: Shared Beliefs, Shared Values: Achieving Excellence in Adoption and Foster Care

The CWLA National Adoption and Foster Care Training Conference is scheduled for December 10-12, 2007, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference will feature workshops and information on all facets of adoption and foster care.

IFCO European Regional Training Seminar

The International Foster Care Organisation's European Training Seminar will take place November 18-21, 2007 in Malta. The seminar is aimed at participants from the EU, EEA, CIS, CEE & North Africa, but welcomes people from around the world. It will be followed by the EuroChild annual conference.

Did I Steal My Daughter? The Tribulations of Global Adoption

A personal story about adopting a child from Guatemala.

Adopted Children Immigrant Visa Unit: Announcement Regarding Adoption in Vietnam, November 2007

The U.S. Embassy in Vietnam points to poor regulation as the basis for denying intercountry adoptions.

Why Adopting in Guatemala is Getting Harder

Second only to China for Americans seeking children, Guatemala is tightening its rules on intercountry adoption.

In AIDS' Wake, New Family

Two families in South Africa absorb children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Their story.

First International Conference on Child Sexual Abuse in Africa

The first International Conference on Sexual Abuse of the African Child will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 24–26 September 2007. The aim of the conference is to advance knowledge regarding the various types of sexual abuse and their complexity in the cultural settings of Africa.

Reform of the Child Care System: South East Europe Consultation

A resource site based on the first Regional Consultation on Child Care System Reform held in Sofia in early July. The consultation brought together 120 key social welfare delegates from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, UN-administered Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

The orphanage was taking our pictures and sending them to America

Josephine Morgan comes from a poor family. Her father, hoping for a better life for his children, agreed to an offer made by the head of an orphanage to take Josephine, her sister and her young brother.

Experimental Apartment Declared a Successful Alternative to Orphanages

In Georgia, UNICEF and EveryChild have teamed up to place children in need of alternative care in small, supervised apartments as an alternative to orphanages.

MOZAMBIQUE: Foster Families Extend Charity Years After War

Emerging evidence from Mozambique suggests that children fostered after conflict-induced separation receive love, care and support from local families.

Adoptions From Guatemala Face an Uncertain Future

The United States expects to endorse the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, a multilateral treaty intended to protect children by standardizing international adoption procedures, later this year. Guatemalan Congress recently failed to pass a bill recongizing Guatemala's endorsment of the Hague Convention in 2003. Once the United States enforces the Hague Convention (anticipated early 2008), it will refuse permission to adopt Guatemalan children until Guatemala implements the treaty as well.

Adopting an Institutionalized Child: What are the Risks?

Dana Johnson, member of the Budpest Early Intervention Project and a speaker at the BCN-BEIP discussion day, addresses common questions concerning the adotpion of institutionalized children.

Orphanages in Southern Africa are Closing in Favor of Efforts to Reintegrate Children into Communities

Africa shifts to 'whole village' approach for the care of orphans and other vulnerbale children.

Lubuto Library Project: Bringing Knowledge and Enlightenment to Africa's Street Children

The Lubuto Library Project seeks to fill an important gap in services to vulnerable children in Africa by providing a bridge to schools and social services otherwise beyond their reach.

The Better Care Network Faith-Based Organization (FBO) Outreach Committee

The overarching aim of the BCN FBO Committee is to dialogue with churches, organizations, and leaders in the faith community for the purpose of gathering information about orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) responses already underway, to encourage increased OVC support in general, and promote better care practices.

South Africa: Research is discounting myths about orphans

"According to the first stage of our research, there is no significant difference between children, based on their orphan status," Quinlan said. Orphaned children are doing as well in school and engaging in the same level of risk behavior as their non-orphaned counterparts.

Joint Learning Initiative on Children and HIV/AIDS

The Joint Learning Initiative on Children and HIV/AIDS (JLICA) engages practitioners, policymakers, and scholars in collaborative problem-solving, research, and analysis to address the needs of children living in the context of HIV/AIDS.

UN Study on Violence Against Children

The UN Study on Violence Against Children has been launched! The Violence Study explicitly identifies children living in institutional care as being at high risk for violence. Chapter three of the report contains a sub-section on children in care and justice systems.

Government of Moldova Announces Wide-Reaching Changes to Childcare System

Moldova is set to completely reform their national childcare policy, practice and legislation, eventually replacing large institutions with child-focused, family-based alternatives. President Vladimir Voronin made an official announcement outlining the new strategy in May, 2006.