News

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.

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.

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.

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’


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.

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.

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.

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.