November 2017
 
IN A FEW WORDS
"Help them so they can be with their families. That is the most important."
13 year-old Honduran girl  from ' They Need to Give Us a Voice: Lessons from Listening to Unaccompanied Central American and Mexican Children on Helping Children Like Themselves'
An inter-agency group co-facilitated by Better Care Network and Save the Children, in consultation with a range of actors working on care reforms at national, regional, and global levels, has developed a free, web-based, interactive diagnostic and learning tool designed to enable national actors (governments, children's service providers, NGOs, civil society, academics and others) to determine the extent to which their country has effectively implemented the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children and to identify the priorities for change still ahead. 

The Tool was launched at the IFCO 2017 World Conference in Malta on Friday 3rd November in both English and Spanish. Planning is now underway to support implementation of the tool in a few select countries in order to gather learning and develop appropriate guidance and training for country-level actors to implement the tool effectively in diverse contexts.

Access the Tool at www.trackingprogressinitiative.org and learn more about its development, uses, purpose, and audience.
FOCUS ON REFUGEE & MIGRANT CHILDREN
The Focus Section brings together research and other documentation published over the past year or two on a particular theme or region. Its aim is to draw attention to the growing body of knowledge developing on the issue and help busy practitioners keep abreast of learning and changes.

Unlocking Childhood: Current immigration detention practices and alternatives for child asylum seekers and refugees in Asia and the Pacific

This study, conducted by Altai Consulting and commissioned by Save the Children, investigated the challenges and protection concerns of  Syrian  children en route to Europe via the Turkey-Balkans migratory route. The study provides insight on conditions of travel, accommodation, identification and registration of unaccompanied children, as well as the risks of family separation.

Emergency within an Emergency: The Growing Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Children in Greece 

This study from Harvard University's FXB Center for Health and Human Rights analyzes the risk factors for migrant and refugee children in Greece, reporting  an estimated 2,300 unaccompanied children awaiting completion of the asylum process. 

Immigration Enforcement and Foster Care Placements
This discussion paper from IZA Institute of Labor Economics examines how the intensification of immigration enforcement in the United States contributes to higher rates of undocumented immigrant children entering the foster care system. 

Assessing Parental Fitness and Care for Unaccompanied Children
Based on a three-year, multi-sited ethnography with unaccompanied migrant children and their families, this paper published in the The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences investigates how U.S. institutional policies of immigration detention and family reunification impact migrant children and their families. 
 
"They Need to Give Us A Voice": Lessons from Listening to Unaccompanied Central American and Mexican Children on Helping Children Like Themselves
This article, published in the Journal on Migration and Human Security, analyzes the responses of Central American and Mexican migrant children in the United States to one interview question regarding how to help youth like themselves, and provides recommendations based on research and their responses. 

This study published in the BMJ Open Journal examined the mental health of unaccompanied refugee minors during the asylum-seeking process in Norway, with a focus on specific stages in the asylum process, such as age assessment, placement in a supportive or non-supportive facility and final decision on the asylum applications.

In this paper, the University of Bedfordshire and the Children's Society report the findings from a study investigating the priorities of care-leavers who arrived in England or Sweden as unaccompanied minors. 

The manual created by the International Social Service is both a roadmap for policy-makers and a daily guide for professionals working with children on the move,  with emphasis on the need for transnational standards and solutions for sustainable and quality care for children on the move.

This article published in the International Journal of Refugee Law explores the protection of smuggled and trafficked unaccompanied minors under the United Nations Protocols against the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons and calls for a more substantive protection-based framework to address the issue. 

The Way Forward to Strengthened Policies and Practices for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Europe
Based on findings from a consultative process with a variety of actors, this document created by the International Refugee Committee, UNHCR and UNICEF  captures a multitude of concrete recommendations for more efficient and harmonized policies and practices which take into account the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe. 

Realising the right to family reunification of refugees in Europe
This issue paper, published by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, examines family reunification for refugees as a pressing human rights issue and provides 36 recommendations for 
European states to re-examine their laws, policies and practices relating to family reunification for refugees. 
 
This Plan International case study describes the community-based alternative care system developed to address the child protection concerns of unaccompanied and separated Burundian girls and boys in Mahama refugee camp in  Rwanda between 2015 and 2016. 

Shifting perceptions: Participatory research with unaccompanied asylum seeking young people living in foster care in the United Kingdom.
This article appears in the European Conference for Social Work Research and shares the methodology and results of a participatory action research project with a group of unaccompanied asylum-seeking youth living in foster care in  England . The study sought to shift negative perceptions and attitudes about refugees and people seeking asylum due to the lack of foster carers willing to care for this group of young people. 
The Global Conference on Children on the Move provided a space for diverse stakeholders - including representatives from governments, civil society, multilateral institutions and the private sector - to discuss and advocate for a strong global strategy on protecting the rights of children on the move and other children affected by migration. One of the outcomes of the conference was the working document entitled
'Child Rights in the Global Compacts: Recommendations for protecting, promoting and implementing the human rights of children on the move in the proposed Global Compacts.' This document lays out goals, targets and indicators through which key commitments to child rights outlined in the New York Declaration can be transformed in actions for both Global Compacts.

This handbook from the Inter-agency Working Group on Unaccompanied and Separated Children offers comprehensive practical guidance on working with unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) in emergencies. The handbook provides guidance on preventing the separation of children from their families in emergencies as well as working with children after separation. Each chapter guides practitioners at all stages of the process, including: case management and properly identifying UASC, documentation, alternative care, family tracing and verification, and family reunification and reintegration. 

Toolkit on Unaccompanied and Separated Children
The Toolkit on Unaccompanied and Separated Children, produced by the  Inter-agency Working Group on Unaccompanied and Separated Children,  compiles 56 tools for the use of practitioners working with unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). The tools included in the toolkit range in scope and purpose. While some tools include information about key international instruments and guidelines related to UASC, others include supply lists, sample assessment tools or consent forms, checklists, templates for protocol, information about best practices, or guidance on assessment and monitoring. The Toolkit  also highlights standards, guidelines, and practice documents on care arrangements, family tracing, reunification and reintegration. 


VIDEOS
Undocumented children face danger attempting to cross the border in the U.S. from Mexico.  Those who end up in detention live in squalid, prison-like conditions.

Undocumented and Underage The Crisis of Migrant Children

Used in a presentation to train therapists to do pro bono psychological assessments
Unaccompanied children are being misidentified and registered as adults upon their reception on the Greek island of Lesbos,  leaving them especially vulnerable to abuse and unable to access the care and protection they need.

Human Rights Watch investigates from Lesbos


NEW RESEARCH AND UPDATES
Understanding the Situation
The Illusion of Protection: An Analytical Report Based on the Findings of a Comprehensive Study of the Child Protection System in Ukraine
To obtain complete data on the child protection system and related problems, Hope and Homes for Children has conducted during 2015-2016 a comprehensive study of the child protection system in Ukraine. The system of institutional care was the main focus of the study.  The study found that the system of institutional care in Ukraine is not a favorable environment for the development and socialization of children and the closed nature of the system sanctions abuse and violence against them. Moreover, residential facilities fail to provide adequate conditions to meet even the most basic needs of children let alone offer the support, protection and care necessary for them to reach their full potential.

Preventing Unnecessary Loss of Parental or Family Care in Brazil, Guyana, India, South Africa, and Russia
This report from Family for Every Child presents the findings from a study that aimed to explore the application in practice of the 'necessity principle' from the Guidelines on Alternative Care for Children (UN, 2009) by using three quantitative and three qualitative indicators that provide information about whether children and families have received support to the fullest extent possible before a child ends up outside of parental care arrangements in formal or informal care, or living alone.
 
HIV/AIDS and the Socio-emotional Development of Children in Southern Africa
Literature on the effects of HIV/AIDS on children has expanded considerably in recent years. The AIDS pandemic became rife in Sub-Saharan Africa in the early 1980s and has had negative impacts on different segments of the population. The purpose of this chapter [from the book Assisting Young Children Caught in Disasters] is to highlight the impacts of the pandemic on young children, particularly those aged eight and below, and identify interventions that have been shown to be efficacious in terms of the socio-emotional welfare of children. Implications for early childhood educators are also included.

The Adoption
This 17-part podcast series from BBC Radio 4's 'The World at One' tells the story of the adoption process of two children in the UK, sharing the views of the birth parents, grandparents, social workers, foster carers, potential adopters, and others. The series gives remarkable insight into adoption in the UK.

The Children Behind the Wall
This publication from Lumos describes the institutionalization of children the world over and its impacts, calling for an end to institutions and highlighting some of the particular groups of children who are most deprived of liberty. It discusses the harms of institutionalization, why children become institutionalized, the scale and cost of institutionalization, and more. The publication concludes with a reference to a UN-led global study on Children Deprived of Liberty and recommendations for the European Union and other actors to address children's deprivation of liberty.

Does family reunification from residential care facilities serve children's best interest? A propensity-score matching approach in Ghana
This study, published in the Children and Youth Services Review, assesses whether 157 children who spent time in a Ghanaian residential care facility but who have been reunified with their families scored differently on a battery of standardized child wellbeing measures than 204 children still living in residential care facilities using propensity score matching models. Results suggest that outcomes, including overall hope (as well as hope pathways and hope agency) and access to basic resources as measured on the Child Status Index, differ between children who were and were not reunified. These results underline the importance of supporting children's physical and psychosocial developmental needs.

Children admitted to out-of-home care
There is a current focus in Australia on improving levels of family preservation and reducing the number of children entering out-of-home care (OOHC). However, national-level data regarding admissions to OOHC have been limited. This bulletin from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare presents previously unpublished national trends in the number and rate of children admitted to OOHC by age and Indigenous status, from 2011-12 to 2015-16. It also explores key aspects of the OOHC experience during 2014-15 and 2015-16, for children admitted to OOHC in 2014-15 (excluding New South Wales). This may provide insights into the permanency planning process in Australia.

The Verbatim Formula
The Verbatim Formula is an applied performance research project which is currently working with looked after children and young people in the UK. It records the words of participants and shares them through performance. 
The project's website includes an audio collage which presents a small selection of the testimonies collected from care experienced young people, foster carers and social workers during the project. 
Policies, Standards and Guidelines
This evaluation of the Moldova-UNICEF Country Program of Cooperation was conducted between August 2016 and February 2017.  The main objectives of the CPC 2013-2017 evaluation were the following: (a)  to assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, coherence and impact of the CPC; (b)  to generate useful knowledge for the development of the new country programme and Strategic Note; and (c)  to build the capacities and empower stakeholders through fostering participation in evaluation.

Case Management Practical Guide: A set of Methodological Guidelines for the Regional Social Assistance Structures
This guide was produced by Partnerships for Every Child in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Moldova, through Advancing Partner & Communities. The guide is designed for social workers employed in the social services addressed to families and children in Moldova. The guide contains a standard version of the case management methodology that is unified and basic for all social services used by all social workers involved in the provision of social assistance services. In this version, the case management methodology focuses on family strengthening and the development of family's competences, with the ultimate aim of achieving every child's well-being. This guide is part of a series of methodological materials developed to support professionals in the field of social assistance which also includes The Family Support Service Practical Guide: A set of Methodological Guidelines for the Regional Social Assistance Structures.

Childonomics Introduction to the conceptual framework and methodology
The Childonomics project has developed an instrument that can help to reflect on the long-term social and economic return of investing in children and families. The instrument provides an approach to economic modelling that can be used in a number of ways to inform decision-making. It enables consideration of the different types of costs of services and approaches that support children and families (particularly those in vulnerable situations) and links them to the expected outcomes of using these services.

When the State Doesn't Care: A Guide to Accessing Justice for Violations of Children's Rights in Care Institutions in Eastern and Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus
The aim of this guide from CRIN is to enable advocates to access the legal and practical tools needed to secure an end to, and compensation for, violations of rights suffered while in institutional care. It draws on successes from outside the region and demonstrates the growing movement among civil society organizations within the region to take legal action to defend the rights of children in state care.

Responding to Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused: WHO Clinical Guidelines
This guideline from the World Health Organization aims to provide evidence-based recommendations for quality clinical care for children and adolescents who have, or may have, been subjected to sexual abuse, in order to mitigate the negative health consequences and improve their well-being. The objectives are to support health-care providers to provide quality, immediate and long-term clinical care and to apply ethical, human-rights-based and trauma-informed good practices in the provision of such care. 
Learning from Practice
International actors and representatives from Armenia , Ghana , Moldova , and Uganda convened in London September 11-15, 2017 to learn and share experiences to inform the alternative care reform process in the four countries. MEASURE Evaluation, with support and funding from USAID's Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF), facilitated a workshop for countries to review and adapt a structured tool designed to assess countries' status on implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. Check out the Care Reform Workshop Report and v iew the presentations from each of the four countries below.
Implementation of deinstitutionalization of child care institutions in post-soviet countries: The case of Azerbaijan
Institutional care has proven to be detrimental for child development. This study, published in  Child Abuse & Neglect, examined the status of the State Program on Deinstitutionalization and Alternative Care (SPDAC), a public policy aimed at transforming 55 institutions covering 14,500 children during 2006-2016 in  Azerbaijan. The success of this public policy was crucial for the country's entire child welfare system. The primary finding of a lack of political will raises the question of how to create political will and how to motivate government officials to invest in the welfare of children.

Handbook of Attachment-Based Interventions
This handbook showcases science-based interventions that have been demonstrated effective in promoting attachment security, this is a vital reference and clinical guide for practitioners. A consistent theme is working with children and parents who have been exposed to trauma and other adverse circumstances. Leading authorities describe how their respective approaches are informed by attachment theory and research, how sessions are structured and conducted, special techniques used (such as video feedback), the empirical evidence base for the approach, and training requirements. Many chapters include illustrative case material.

The purpose of this study, published in the International Academic Journal of Information Sciences and Project Management, was to investigate the determinants of the effective utilization of cash transfer for orphans and vulnerable children by caregivers in Tigania West SubCounty in Kenya which has 1320 beneficiaries in the programme. The findings of the study revealed that the gender of the caregiver, the size of the household and the quality and availability of complimentary services were strong determinants in the effective utilization of the cash transfer. 

This brief paper highlights some of Young Lives key findings on violence affecting children, exploring what children say about violence, how it affects them, and the key themes that emerges from a systematic analysis of the children's accounts. Young Lives is a unique 15-year longitudinal study of children growing up in poverty in Ethiopia, India (in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Vietnam.  

COUNTRY CARE REVIEWS

In this issue, we highlight the care-related Concluding Observations adopted by the  Committee on the Rights of the Child at its  76th Session held 11-29 September 2017, with a particular focus on sections addressing children's care.
 
Click below to read the Country Care Reviews for the following countries:
VIDEOS
Better Care Network and Child's i Foundation have produced a series of six videos capturing practice-based learning on children's care issues in Uganda. In this newsletter, we highlight the video on Preventing Family Separation.  In this video, Juliet Birungi, a social worker at Abide Family Center in Jinja, Uganda, describes the Center's work to preserve families and prevent family separation. Each video in the series is accompanied by a one-page discussion paper.

IN THE MEDIA


Lusaka Times,  12 Nov 2017

Markets Insider,  10 Nov 2017


BANGLADESH & MYANMAR: Traffickers prey on lost Rohingya children in Bangladesh camps
Reuters,  7 Nov 2017

UK & GLOBAL: The babies who suffer in silence: how overseas orphanages are damaging children
The Telegraph, 6 Nov 2017

BANGLADESH & MYANMAR: 'I miss them so much': Myanmar's lost Rohingya children plead for their parents
The Guardian, 4 Nov 2017

CAMBODIA: After the number of Cambodian orphanages skyrocketed, government reforms are looking to place more children with their relatives
The Phnom Penh Post, 2 Nov 2017

IRELAND: The Lost Children of Tuam
New York Times, 28 Oct 2017

ARMENIA: Armenia, a campaign to end violence against children  
Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, 24 Oct 2017

Korea Exposé,  24 Oct 2017

EVENTS

Let Children be Children: Panel Event
4 December 2017, Brussels

100&Change: The Finalists Live
11 December 2017
JOB POSTINGS, CONSULTANCY OPPORTUNITIES & CALLS FOR NOMINATIONS
CRS 4Children Project and Award Management Officer
No application deadline posted 

UBS Optimus Foundation Program Director
No application deadline posted

Plan International USA, CBCP in Emergencies Project Manager
No application deadline posted

Application deadline is  5 December 2017

UNICEF Child Protection Officer, NOB, Lebanon Beirut
Application deadline is  7 December 2017
 
UNICEF Child Protection Specialist (Ending Child Marriage)
Application deadline is 10 December 2017

UNICEF Child Protection Specialist (Information Management System)
Application deadline is 10 December 2017