Welcome to the Better Care Network

The website is a vital source of information for people working on issues related to children who lack adequate family care. The website library contains almost 2000 research, policy and programme resources related to the care and protection of vulnerable children. The library is searchable by region, country or specific topics.


No Justice: Torture, Trafficking and Segregation in Mexico
This report from Disability Rights International (DRI) outlines the findings from a two-year investigation into the treatment of children and adults with mental disabilities in Mexico City, particularly those in the care of state-funded and private residential facilities.

Beyond Orphanages: Family and Community-Based Orphan Care Webinar
In August 2015, Child Family Health International (CFHI) held a webinar reviewing the situation of children living in residential care facilities around the world.

A World Without Orphans: A Documentary Dialogue to Engage the Church in the Pursuit of a World Without Orphans
This post on the Missions Dilemma website features an article and 30 minute documentary film on the harmful impact of institutionalization on children.

Family Support and Alternative Care The Baltic Sea States Regional Report 
This report was developed as part of a mapping study aimed at analysing the situation of alternative care and family support in the Baltic Sea Region, assessing the achievements since the 2005 Ministerial Forum and identifying relevant opportunities and challenges for the future.

Family Support and Alternative Care Tallinn Expert Meeting Report 2015 
This report provides an overview of the two-day expert meeting on alternative care and family support in the Baltic Sea Region that took place in Tallinn, Estonia in May 2015.

Family Support and Alternative Care in the Baltic Sea Region Background Paper 2015
This background paper was developed as part of a regional study which gathered relevant data and information on family support and alternative care in the eleven Member States of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS).

Tallinn Recommendations and Action Plan on Alternative Care and Family Support for the Baltic Sea Region 2015 - 2020
Government representatives, experts and professionals from the Baltic Sea Region including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Sweden and wider Europe gathered at a two-day expert meeting in Tallinn, Estonia and, together, endorsed a set of recommendations and action plan on alternative care and family support on 6 May 2015.

Parent–child cohesion, friend companionship and left-behind children's emotional adaptation in rural China 
Using cross-sectional data from rural left-behind children aged 10–17 years in the Henan Province of China, the present study examined the roles of father–child cohesion, mother–child cohesion, and friend companionship in emotional adaptation (loneliness, depression, and life satisfaction) among children left behind by both of their rural-to-urban migrant parents compared to those with only a migrating father.

Orphanage Tourism in Cambodia: The Complexities of ‘Doing Good’ in Popular Humanitarianism
This thesis explores orphanage tourism within the context of Cambodia, adopting a critical geography approach to investigate the intricate and contentious aspects of tourism within this space.

Does sibling relationship matter to self-concept and resilience in adolescents under residential care?
Using structural equation modeling the present study analyzed the associations between quality of sibling relationship and self-concept of institutionalized adolescents, testing the mediating role of resilience in this association, and the moderating effect of the maintenance of contact between siblings.

The Vital Few foster parents: Replication and extension
This study replicated and extended previous research which identified the small proportion of highly productive foster parents who provide a disproportionate amount of care in the United States. This study used a nationally representative sample of foster families (N = 876) with a focus on willingness to foster, and actually fostering, children with special needs.

Social images of residential care: How children, youth and residential care institutions are portrayed?
The current study seeks to examine the social images associated with children and youth in residential care and the respective care institutions in Portugal.

Child abandonment and protection of abandoned children in Lesotho: Prevention strategies
This article, based on research in progress, discusses possible dangers of child abandonment and neglect in Lesotho, using attachment theory as its theoretical grounding.

Effects of cash transfers on Children’s health and social protection in Sub-Saharan Africa: differences in outcomes based on orphan status
This study, conducted in eastern Zimbabwe, addresses the gap in current understanding about the extent to which household-based cash transfers differentially impact individual children’s outcomes, according to risk or protective factors such as orphan status and household assets.

State of the World’s Fathers 2015
The first-ever State of the World's Fathers report, produced by MenCare, a global fatherhood campaign, provides a periodic, data-driven snapshot of the state of men's contributions to parenting and caregiving globally.

State of Africa’s Fathers 2015
This report from Sonke Gender Justice is an adaptation of the global State of the World’s Fathers report, produced by Mencare. The report highlights the research and findings from the State of the World’s Fathers report that are specific to Africa.

State of the World’s Fathers Child Rights Perspective Report 2015
This report was developed by Save the Children to accompany the State of the World’s Fathers 2015 report (SOWF), produced by MenCare. This Child Rights Perspective report is an excerpt of the main SOWF report, highlighting the content from the main report that is related to children’s rights and gender equality.

Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success
This KIDS COUNT policy report highlights the benefits of family care for children and the need to prioritize family settings for all children in the child welfare system in the United States.

Manual of International Standards of Human Rights Applicable to Migrant Children and Adolescents (Spanish)
This report is aimed at synthesizing key concepts and standards regarding the protection of the rights of migrant children and adolescents in the Northern Triangle of Central America.

Shaping Our Care Reform Work Across Africa - Program Learning Event 
Various stakeholders, including Better Care Network, met at an Africa wide Program Learning Event on 20-23 April 2015, organized by Save the Children, under the theme “Shaping our care reform work across Africa,” which brought together country, regional and global experts.

Manifesto For Ethical Intercountry Adoption
The International Social Service (ISS) has launched its Manifesto For Ethical Intercountry Adoption. The Manifesto seeks to promote ethical practices by all adoption stakeholders to better protect children, whether in the receiving country or country of origin, including inter alia, biological parents, adoptive parents, professionals and government representatives.

USAID/ DCOF – Three Country Child Care Reform Exchange Workshop Report
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) supported a sub-regional workshop held in Kigali March 23-26, 2015 to provide structured opportunities for technical exchange on care reform, approaches, methods, and tools. This report summarizes the activities and discussions from the workshop.

The Place of Foster Care in the Continuum of Care Choices: A Review of the Evidence for Policymakers
This report from Family for Every Child explores rising concerns about the expansion of foster care services in low and middle income countries, it begins to fill the gap in understanding, and aims to assist in both states’ and NGOs’ decisions on whether to invest in foster care, and in the kinds of supportive services needed to make foster care safe and effective.

No Way Home: The Exploitation and Abuse of Children in Ukraine’s Orphanages
This report is a product of a three-year investigation by Disability Rights International (DRI) into the abuses experienced by children - both with and without disabilities - in large-scale institutions, psychiatric facilities, and boarding schools in Ukraine, of whom there are nearly 100,000, according to the report.

Reintegration Guidelines for Trafficked and Displaced Children Living in Institutions

This document provides guidelines to reintegrating trafficked and displaced children in Nepal, based on the approach and methodology developed and utilized by Next Generation Nepal (NGN) and The Himalayan Innovative Society (THIS).

The Role of Social Service Workforce Development in Care Reform
This working paper, produced by the Better Care Network and the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, explores the role social service workforce strengthening as it relates to child care reform.

From a Whisper to a Shout: A Call to End Violence Against Children in Alternative Care
This report from SOS Children’s Villages and the University of Bedfordshire provides reviews and assesments of the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children in 21 countries around the world.

Going Home: Children’s Reintegration in Mexico, Moldova, and Nepal
This report from Family for Every Child and partners summarises research on children’s reintegration that took place in Mexico, Moldova and Nepal from 2011 to 2014.

Assessment Tool for the Implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children 
In 2011, SOS Children’s Villages International developed an assessment tool to measure a state’s implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. This tool was used as a basis for conducting research by countries participating in the SOS Children’s Villages global advocacy campaign: Care for ME! Quality Care for Every Child. Country snapshots were produced for 7 countries. They include statistical data reporting the geographical prevalence of formal care institutions, number of children in these facilities, and more.

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

A Solid Investment: Integrating Children Without Parental Care into the Post-2015 Development Framework
In this paper, SOS Children's Villages demonstrates how children who lack or are at risk of losing parental care are highly vulnerable to various forms of poverty and inequality. The paper proposes operational strategies for action as well as targets and indicators designed to monitor progress among these children.

Abandoned by the State: Violence, Neglect, and Isolation for Children with Disabilities in Russian Orphanages
This Human Rights Watch report gives a detailed overview of the situation faced by children with disabilities in orphanages in Russia.

The Right of Children to Live in a Caring and Supportive Family Environment: Examples from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
On 10 September 2014, UNICEF and the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria co-hosted a high level lunchtime discussion on the right of children below three years to live in a caring and supportive family environment: examples from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Zambia - Minimum Standards of Care for Child Care Facilities: Regulations and Procedures
This document contains a set of regulations and procedures which the Zambian Government has established as the "Minimum Standards of Care for Child Care Facilities," in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The document serves as a "blueprint" for applying those minimum standards to ensure the best interests of the child in care facilities.

Orphanage Voluntourism in Nepal and its Links to the Displacement and Unnecessary Institutionalization of Children
This article argues that orphanage voluntourism fuels the displacement and trafficking of children from their families in Nepal and their unnecessary institutionalization.

Partnering with Religious Communities for Children
This document is intended as a guide, primarily for UNICEF staff and partners, to building effective partnerships with larger religious, and local faith, communities and networks, especially religious leaders. 

Child Abuse and Neglect Special Issue
The Child Abuse and Neglect Journal published a special issue on the Positive Role of Religion and Religious Communities in Child Protection. 

Parents Make the Difference: Findings from a randomized impact evaluation of a parenting program in rural Liberia 
This impact evaluation examines the 'Parents Make the Difference' project in Liberia, a program aimed at promoting the wellbeing of young children aged 3 to 7 through reducing harsh punishment, improving parenting practices, improving child development, and increasing malaria prevention behavior.

Guidelines for Kinship Care, Foster Care, and Supported Independent Living in Liberia
The Guidelines for Kinship Care, Foster Care and Supported Independent Living in Liberia are intended to provide harmonized national guidance for child welfare practitioners in order to improve the quality of family-based alternative care services in Liberia, particularly for children without appropriate care (CWAC).

UNICEF: The impact of Ebola on children's care- A case study from Liberia
This case study illustrates the challenges of many children who are facing serious care and protection issues as a result of the impact of Ebola in Liberia and the efforts of international and national agencies to support them.

Provision of Alternative Care to Children Affected and Infected with Ebola in Liberia (DRAFT)
This draft from the Liberian government outlines the protocol and guidelines for responding to children's care issues in the context of Ebola, specifically for the Interim Care Centers for children who have come into contact with Ebola. 

The Child’s Right to Quality Care
In this paper, Save the Children International reviews the implementation of the UN Guidelines on the Alternative Care of Children in the Western Balkan Countries of Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kenya Careleavers Conference Report: “How I Left Care”
Koinonia Old Beneficiaries Welfare Association and Kenya Society of Careleavers report on their annual Careleavers Conference that took place on December 7th, 2013.

Child Welfare Policies, Services And Their Aptitude For Care And Protection Of Vulnerable Children And Their Families
Report on the child care practices, policies, and programs currently in effect in Nepal.

Children and Youth Services Review Special Issue: Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood
In December 2011, the Children and Youth Services Review released a special volume (32) focused on "Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood."

Young People's Transitions from Care to Adulthood in European and Postcommunist Eastern European and Central Asian Societies
This study compares the data on young people leaving care from 9 non-communist European countries examined in the INTRAC document with 14 post-communist countries reviewed in the SOS and INTRAC publications.

Young People Leaving Care: Participatory Research to Improve Child Welfare Practices and the Rights of Children and Young People
This paper discusses participatory research with young people who are leaving public care in Finland to begin independent lives.

Life after Growing Up in Care: Informing Policy and Practice through Research
In this review, the authors highlight evidence drawn from research on life after growing up in care in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, and the United States.

Understanding Care Leavers in Russia: Young People's Experiences of Institutionalisation
This paper presents the findings of a survey of Russian care leavers.

Literature Review: Best Practices in Transitioning Youth Out of Care –Successful Transitions, Success as Adults
This literature review examines literature on the best practices for youth aging out of care that indicate successful outcomes for them as adults.

The Best Interests of the Child in Intercountry Adoption
This study, conducted by Nigel Cantwell and UNICEF, seeks to answer the question: “what is it that enables a policy, process, decision or practice to be qualified as either respectful or in violation of the best interests of the child in intercountry adoption?”

Hague Note on the Financial Aspects of Intercountry Adoption
To address the issues related to the financial aspects of intercountry adoptions, the Hague Convention initiated an Experts’ Group which produced nine Conclusions and Recommendations published by the Permanent Bureau as a “Note”.

Children on the Run: Unaccompanied Children Leaving Central America And Mexico and the Need for International Protection
This report, issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, examines the situation and needs of unaccompanied children who emigrate from Central America and Mexico to the United States, and offers recommendations based on those needs.

Why Care Matters: The importance of adequate care for children and society
This report by Family For Every Child highlights the needs of children without adequate family care, the impact inadequate care on children and society, and why family care is important. 

Stability and Change in Institutional Alternative Care for Children in Israel and Japan
This PhD thesis paper, by Michael Maher King of the University of Oxford, reviews the situations of children in institutional alternative care in Israel and Japan.

Without Dreams: Children in Alternative Care in Japan 

This report by Human Rights Watch examines Japan’s alternative care system for children, describing its organization and processes, current data on the use of different forms of alternative care, the problems found in the institutionalization of most children (including infants), as well as abuses that take place in the system.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caring for orphaned children in China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preventing violence: evaluating outcomes of parenting programmes

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

Syria: Child Protection Assessment 2013

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

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

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

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

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

AZERBAIJAN: Educational reform and prevention of vulnerability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Parenting Gap

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

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

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

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

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

National Survey of Institutions for Children in Rwanda

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

Goa, India: The Foster Care Scheme- Vatsalya

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

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

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

Baseline Survey on Community Child Protection Systems in Uganda

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

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

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

The latest Country Care Reviews: Rwanda, Slovenia and Uzbekistan

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

Social Transfers and Child Protection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit

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

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

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

Outstanding children’s homes

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

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

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

Retrak: Standard Operating Procedures – Family Reintegration

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

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

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

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

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

Returning home from care: what’s best for children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chronic Neglect: Bulletin for Professionals

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

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

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

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

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

England: Family Stressors and Children's Outcomes 

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

Social Security for All: The ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation 

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

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

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

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

Foster Care in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action

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

The Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children Policy Brief

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

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

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

Child Abandonment and Its Prevention in Europe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where have all the children gone?
23 August 2015
This article from the Sunday Times reports on the child-trafficking scandal in Nepal in light of the recent earthquake.

Rise in over-18s staying at home with foster families
22 August 2015
The UK has recently introduced new rules requiring councils to provide support to children who stay in foster families beyond the age of 18.

Better policies are needed to support local adoptions for children orphaned by Ebola
13 August 2015
This article reports on the need for local adoption solutions for the children who have been orphaned by Ebola in Sierra Leone.

The Foster Angels Caring For Congo’s Child Soldiers
03 August 2015
This article tells the story of Mwamini and Sadiki Fracoize, a couple in the Congo who are fostering former child soldiers, and describes the system of foster care for demobilized child soldiers in the country.

No orphanages in Vilnius by 2020
03 August 2015
The capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius, is making concerted efforts to close down all orphanages by the year 2020, according to the article.

Mexico City Bans Cages, Restraints at Facilities for People With Disabilities
30 July 2015
This article, and accompanying video, highlight the results of a recent Disability Rights International and ABC News joint investigation on the “deplorable” living conditions for children and youth, many of whom have disabilities, living in state-run residential facilities in Mexico City, Mexico.

Climate pressures lead to rise in 'new-age orphans' in India's delta
30 July 2015
This article from the Thomas Reuters Foundation explores the developing phenomenon of “new-age orphans” in certain regions of India, whose parents are migrating in search of work due to changing climate conditions, leaving children behind with elderly grandparents or in school hostels.

CSO'S demand amendment of Children's Act
23 July 2015
The coalitions of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in Uganda are advocating for an amendment of the Children Act 2015 to promote adoption within Uganda.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Releases Comprehensive Report on Status of Care for Unaccompanied Children
23 July 2015
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has released a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for the care and protection of unaccompanied children in the United States.

The cognitive dissonance between child rescue and child protection
21 July 2015
This article describes the so-called “orphan industrial complex” and the ways in which it harms children, families, and communities in the Global South.

Greece: The Lack of Cash Hits the Child Protection System
09 July 2015
This post from Opening Doors for Europe’s Children features statements regarding the impact of Greece’s debt crisis on children from Mary Theodoropoulou, the coordinator of Opening Doors for Europe’s Children in Greece and chair of the Roots Research Centre, an Athens-based organisation that works on reforming alternative care for children.

Adoption series: Open adoptions tricky but rewarding
09 July 2015
This article shares the stories of adoptive families in British Columbia, Canada who have entered into “open adoptions,” meaning the adopted children and their adoptive parents maintain contact with the children’s biological parents.

Suit to Accuse New York City and State of Keeping Children in Foster Care Too Long
07 July 2015
This article from the New York Times, recounts several stories of children in foster care in New York City, and the ways in which the foster care system has failed them.

Cambodia faces uphill struggle to reform its orphanages
06 July 2015
This article reports on the money-making system of orphanages and orphan tourism in Cambodia.

Stop The Orphanage Business: Ramesh Danekhu
01 July 2015
Government officials of the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) of Nepal raided an orphanage in Kathmandu that was run by an NGO, according to this article from the Rising Nepal.

Legislation Would Keep Foster Kids From Having to Change Schools
30 June 2015
A new bill has recently been introduced in the United States Senate which would require school districts and child welfare agencies to work together to keep children in their original school when it is in their best interest.

How a Group of Female Inmates Won the Right to Live with Their Children
25 June 2015
This article describes a program at a prison in California, USA that allows incarcerated mothers to live with their young children in a nursery in the prison.

US Man Guilty of Kenya Child Abuse
20 June 2015
A 20 year-old man from the United States, Matthew Lane Durham, has been convicted of sexually abusing children at a children’s home in Kiambu County, Kenya, where he was volunteering.

The Child Protection Index Launched in Moldova
18 June 2015
The report Child Protection Index Moldova 2015: Measuring the Fulfilment of a Child’s Rights was presented at an event on 16 June 2015.

Dr. Whetten I don’t think your research is saying what you think it is saying
17 June 2015
In a recent blog post, Megan Parker, co-founder of the Abide Family Center in Uganda, takes issue with Dr. Katherine Whetten’s study which found that children reared in institutional care did not fare worse than those living in family settings.

Violence is less likely in homes where fathers share chores equally
17 June 2015
This article draws on findings from the State of the World’s Fathers 2015 report to illustrate the ways in which fathers’ involvement in caregiving for children is associated with less household violence.

Fathers need support to spend more time on children and chores – report
16 June 2015
This article from the Guardian presents some of the findings and recommendations from the State of the World’s Fathers 2015 report.

Involved Fathers Are Happier And Help Children 'Thrive', But Lack Supportive Paternity Leave, Reveals Global Study
16 June 2015
This article from the Huffington Post UK highlights findings and recommendations from the State of the World’s Fathers 215 report, the first of its kind.

Beyond breadwinners and authority figures – dads enter the 21st century
16 June 2015
“Fathers’ active participation in family life will likely be one of the most important social developments of the 21st century,” says this article from the Conversation. The article highlights findings and recommendations from the State of the World’s Fathers 2015 report, published by MenCare and launched at the UN Headquarters in New York on 16 June 2015.

Unveiling the State of the World’s Fathers
16 June 2015
The State of the World’s Fathers 2015 Report was launched at an event at the UN Headquarters in New York on 16 June, 2015. The event focused on the role of men in caregiving and how an increase in men’s involvement in caretaking is crucial to achieving gender equality.

Chelsea Clinton calls for paid paternity leave across the globe at unveiling of the inaugural State of the World’s Fathers Report
16 June 2015
Chelsea Clinton, who led the opening remarks at the unveiling of the inaugural State of the World’s Fathers report at the UN earlier today, called for all countries across the globe, including the United States, to ensure paid paternity leave for mothers and fathers.

The children taken from home for a social experiment
10 June 2015
This article describes the experiences of Inuit children from Greenland who were removed from their families and taken to Denmark in the 1950s in an effort by the Danish government to re-educate them as “Little Danes” and to “modernize” Greenland.

Foster care finally comes for children in India
06 June 2015
India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has circulated to the state governments, for the first time, guidelines on foster care following a national consultation on June 3 2015.

Unaccompanied migrant children fall through cracks of Child Protection
02 June 2015
In this article, the author, Gilles Virgili, calls for the inclusion of unaccompanied migrant children in the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted by governments across the world in September.

Ukraine Orphanages Feeder for Child Trafficking
02 June 2015
In her article for Huffington Post’s “The Blog,” Laurie Ahern, President of Disability Rights International, writes about the increased risk of child trafficking experienced by children, particularly those with disabilities, in Ukraine’s orphanages.

Cabinet approves ratification of Convention on Protection of Children
21 May 2015
Ghana’s Cabinet has recently approved the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption and amendments to the Children's Act in respect of adoptions, says the article.

Ruthless $570-Per-Child Traffickers Exploit Nepal Tragedy
15 May 2015
In this article for the World Post (a collaboration of the Huffington Post and Berggruen Institute), UK’s former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, explains the danger of child trafficking that has followed the earthquake in Nepal and calls for the establishment of a humanitarian fund for education in emergencies.

Last child leaves Rwanda's largest and oldest institution
13 May 2015
Hope and Homes for Children announces that the last child has just been moved out of Rwanda’s oldest and largest institution.

Better Volunteering, Better Care Initiative Response to Earthquake in Nepal
13 May 2015
Highlights recent activities of the members of the Better Volunteering, Better Care Global Working Group in response to the earthquake in Nepal, as well as other relevant resources and articles.

Put migrant children’s rights on EU agenda, urges UNICEF
12 May 2015
UNICEF is calling for the rights and wellbeing of migrant children to be at the heart of Europe’s immigration policy.

Want to help the children of Nepal? Don't fuel the orphanage industry
05 May 2015
This post from the London School of Economics Volunteer Centre urges people wishing to volunteer with children in Nepal in response to the recent earthquake to think first about their impact. The post shares several resources on orphanage volunteering, including links to Next Generation Nepal, Orphanages.no, The Better Care Network, Learning Service and UNICEF Nepal as well as a video on orphanage volunteering.

Nepal earthquake could lead to a rise in institutional care
01 May 2015
In this blog post, Family for Every Child highlights how the earthquake could see a rise in institutional care and calls for anyone supporting the situation in Nepal to prioritise families, not orphanages in relief efforts.

Landmark ruling in foster care grants
25 April 2015
This article from iOL news reports on recent changes to South Africa’s laws regarding foster care grants and child support grants.

Call for Papers: Global Social Welfare: Research, Policy, and Practice
17 April 2015
Global Social Welfare: Research, Policy, and Practice brings together research that informs the fields of global social development and social welfare. Coming out of a symposium on The State of the Evidence on Children’s Care hosted by the Better Care Network and the CPC Learning Network, this special issue will highlight the work of 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.

Australian Couple Abandon Surrogate-Born Son in India
13 April 2015
This article, from the Australian Women’s Weekly, sheds light on the abuses of international surrogacy.

Child Abuse in the Name of Voluntourism
10 April 2015
In this article, Anas Aremeyaw Anas continues his work of exposing abuses at the Bawjiase Countryside Orphanage in Ghana.

Manitoba CFS Increasingly Used Hotels to House Vulnerable Children, Documents Show
08 April 2015
According to the article, the Child and Family Services unit of the Manitoba government in Canada has been using hotels to house foster children, despite the province’s promises to end this practice over the last decade.

WCD Minister Orders Speedier Probe
07 April 2015
The Cabinet minister of women and child development (WCD) is dissatisfied with the progress made on the inquiry into the alleged child marriage racket being run at the Mahila Swikar Kendra orphanage in Baramati, India and has therefore ordered a high-level inquiry into these offenses, says the article.

Korean Adoptee in Immigration Battle Fights to Remain in His Country — the US
03 April 2015
Adam Crasper, a man who was adopted from South Korea to the United States in 1979 now faces deportation as he was never naturalized as a US citizen. This article explores his tale in-depth and sheds light on immigration issues related to intercountry adoption.

Foster Care, Support Programs for Young People Should Extend until Age of 21, Anglicare Says
28 March 2015
Anglicare, a welfare organization in Australia, is calling for a drastic change in the foster and state care systems, says the article. The organization is advocating for foster care funding to be extended to 21-year-olds.

Foster-Care Plan for Tribes Filled with Problems
21 March 2015
A small number of Native American tribes in the USA are receiving federal foster care assistance. This article explores why.

Hundreds of Unaccompanied Children Land on Italy's Shores
09 March 2015
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.

Adopted South Koreans Want an End to International Adoptions
05 March 2015
This articles shares the stories of two adoptees in the US from South Korea who are part of a group called Adoptee Solidarity of Korea, which campaigns for an end to international adoption.

Cambodia to Resume Foreign Adoption
03 March 2015
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.

Ebola Orphans in Africa Do Not Need Saviours
28 February 2015
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.

Thailand's Crackdown on 'Wombs for Rent'
20 February 2015
This article from the BBC follows up on two recent “baby scandals” that emerged in Thailand last year.

The Better Care Network joins the Child Protection Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (CP MERG) Core Membership
3 February 2015
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.

Foster Care India Launches Manifesto to Support Every Child’s Right to a Family
January 27, 2015
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.

Government of Somalia ratifies UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
January 20, 2015
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.

The latest edition of the BCN Newsletter is out!
20 December, 2014
Published monthly, the BCN Newsletter is a vital source of information for people working on issues related to children without adequate family care. 

Orphanage owner gets 10 years in prison for sexual abuse
3 December 2014
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.

Saving Kenya's children born of incest
27 November, 2014
"Incest is taboo in this part of Kenya as it is almost everywhere. According to Kenyan laws it is punishable by five years in prison or life imprisonment for sex with a minor. But for centuries the traditional punishment in many Kenyan communities has been death - and among the Bukusu it is not necessarily of the man or woman involved but of the child born from the forbidden union."

They Steal Babies, Don’t They?
24 November, 2014
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.

The disabled children locked up in cages
13 November, 2014
This BBC article draws attention to the issues faced by children with disabilities in state-run homes in Greece.

Community-Based & Policy Level Experts on Orphanage Tourism
5 November, 2014
Globalsl.org 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.


In Liberia, Ebola survivors care for orphans of the disease
27 October, 2014
This article from the Los Angeles Times describes the challenges Ebola survivors face upon returning to their communities.

Russia must rethink orphanage system
17 October, 2014
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.

The State of the Evidence on Children’s Care: A Better Care Network and CPC Learning Network Symposium
1 October, 2014
On the 24th September Better Care Network and the CPC Learning Network organized a 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.

UNICEF: The impact of Ebola on children's care- A case study from Liberia
30 September 2014
This case study illustrates the challenges of many children who are facing serious care and protection issues as a result of the impact of Ebola in Liberia and the efforts of international and national agencies to support them.

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 this 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.

Symposium on Children's Care
On Wednesday, September 24, the Better Care Network and the CPC Learning Network will co-host a one-day symposium entitled "The State of the Evidence on Children's Care." in New York City.

Looked After Children: Website Update

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 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. This film is also featured on the updated website. 

Better Volunteering, Better Care
An interagency initiative exploring possibilities for change in encouraging ethical volunteerism and discouraging volunteerism that sustains orphanages.

A Child of the State
In this TED Talk, poet and playwright Lemn Sissay tells his story of growing up in foster care in the UK.

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.

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".

Children brought to offset shortage of orphans in orphanage
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.

When the Church is Moved
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.

Hanoi officials resettle embattled pagoda's population of orphans, elderly and disabled
Officials in Hanoi have recently investigated a philanthropic institution which housed children and older adults.

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.”

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 has launched its newest website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cambodian Activist’s Fall Exposes Broad Deception

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

Child Adoption: Government accuses private agencies of commercializing adoption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Zealand: Disabled kids 'abandoned'

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

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

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

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

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

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Emergency Response

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

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

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

Jordan: Journalist uncovers widespread child abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International adoptions in decline as number of orphans grows

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

Iran lawmakers pass bill allowing men to marry adopted daughters

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

India’s Women: The Mixed Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Charity that just Gives People Money

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

End Violence Against Children Campaign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grants for orphans and vulnerable children in Sudan

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

Goa cabinet approves foster care scheme for needy children

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

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

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

Opening Doors for Europe's Children Campaign

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

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

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

Caring for Vietnam's 'invisible' disabled children

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

Adoptees help to change adoption culture in Korea

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

Signing Hague Convention: Implication and challenges for Korea

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

Filling up an Empty Nest

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

Grand mufti urges Emiratis to foster children abandoned in the UAE

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

Dubai unveils new fostering rules for care of abandoned children

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

Is Adoption the Answer to Kenya’s Abandoned Children?

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

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

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

Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession

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

South Africa: Fostering Grandparents Can Get Grants

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

Stealing a generation: Cambodia’s unfolding tragedy

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

Ethiopian orphanages used ‘child harvesters’ to find children

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

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

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

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

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

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


Deportation's Forgotten Children by the Los Angeles Times 

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

How Shall We Care for Haiti's Orphans? 

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

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

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

Rwanda: Government On Course to Meet Deadline of Closing Orphanages

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

Ukraine orphans: A life trapped in care

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

Cambodia's Orphanage Business

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

Library of Documents

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

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

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