Who Cares For Children and Why We Should Care

Florence Martin, director of the Better Care Network, presented on the need for better data on children’s living and care arrangements at the 5th International Conference of the International Society for Child Indicators: “From Welfare to Well-being: Child Indicators in Research, Policy & Practice.” The presentation includes a review of the research and literature on children’s care and “orphanhood,” an overview of the use of children’s living arrangements as a measure for determining vulnerability, and a presentation of data extracted from DHS and MICS surveys regarding children’s care and living arrangements. The key findings from the data indicate that there is huge diversity in who children are living with both between and within countries; factors such as age, socioeconomic status, rural or urban location, and gender (to a lesser extent) matter; a significant percentage of children do not live with their parents, even though their parents are alive; and kinship care plays a major role in children’s care. The presentation also highlights the challenges with DHS/MICS data and the need for more information.