October - December 2016
Happy New Year to all and our best wishes for 2017! 

"As the primary duty bearer, the government needs to strengthen and prioritize alternative family care models by allocating sufficient resources, and reinforce monitoring and supervision of the care system as a whole. It is a precarious existence for Kenyan children to live in obscurity, daily susceptible to any number of child rights violations." 

Stephen Ucembe - Institutional Care for Children in Kenya, Global Perspectives, Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World


The Focus Section brings together research and other documentations published over the last year on a particular theme or region. Its aim is to draw attention to the growing body of knowledge developing on a particular topic, and to help busy practitioners keep abreast of learning and changes in practice.

An important new book was published in October 2016 providing added insights on the critical situations and experiences of care leavers in different contexts. Entitled
it explores key policy, practice, and research issues relevant to young people who have left, or are moving out, of alternative  care in over 15 countries,
primarily high income but also some middle-income ones. (Argentina, Australia, China, Denmark, England and Northern Ireland, Germany, Jordan, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vietnam). The contributions explore issues  for particularly vulnerable groups of care leavers, including involvement with the youth justice system, disability, support ser vices and approaches within different types of welfare systems, as well provide comparative analysis of policy and practice in different jurisdiction. As well as the book, individual chapters can be purchased online. Of particular interest are the following three chapters:

Youth Leaving Care in Developing Countries: Observations from Vietnam
This chapter examines the adjustments for policy, research and intervention in non-Western developing contexts, focusing in particular on Vietnam. The authors outline the policy context; the characteristics of the system of child protection; and the strategies employed to assist vulnerable young people to move from care (typically orphanages or street shelters) to life on their own. 

Young People Transitioning from Residential Care in South Africa: Welfare Contexts, Resilience, Research and Practice
Relying on South African care-leaving research, this chapter reviews the state of South African youth regarding poverty, employment and education. This chapter also includes case studies of transitional support programs serve to illustrate emerging practices. 

Care Leavers Looking Back on Residential Care Experiences in Jordan 
This study is a retrospective discussion of the experiences faced by young Jordanian adults who grew up in residential care before entering adult life. These young adults use their life experiences to demonstrate the challenges that people exiting residential care face. 

Edited by Tuhinul Islam and Leon Fulcher,  Residential Child and Youth Care in a Developing World: Global Perspectives  is the first volume of a series of four, bringing t ogether contributions from local practitioners, educators and researchers across all regions on their countries' residential child and youth care traditions, policies and practices, as well as knowledge about children's needs, rights and personal upbringing there. This first volume provides case studies and diverse perspectives on residential care in 18 countries and territories (Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Greece, Spain, Finland, Jamaica, the English speaking Caribbean, Argentina and New Zealand.)

The editors state that they hope to  stimulate discussion about the continuing development of residential care in different parts of the world and where the future of residential care services might lead. They provide their own perspectives in an introductory and concluding chapters, and they  call for "a multi-dimensional approach that replaces a simplistic de-institutionalisation strategy."

Residential Child and Youth Care in Saudi Arabia: a Case Study of Abandoned Children and Young People
In this chapter, the author highlights that residential care remains a popular option in Saudi Arabia for providing care for children. This chapter includes discussion of the regular approaches used in the care of abandoned children and young people born without parents.

Preparing Jamaican Children in State Care for Independent Living: A Situation Analysis
The challenges young people in Jamaica face as they age out of care is the focus of this chapter written by Priya Anayokar, et. al.  The researchers review three Jamaican studies, which highlight challenges for young people, service providers and policy makers.  The reviews found that while there are state mechanisms in place, more needs to be done to ensure these mechanisms are followed.
Institutional Care of Children and Young People in Malaysia: Searching for the 'Right' Direction
Faizah Haji Mas'ud discusses the state of residential care in Malaysia.  Mas'ud covers Malaysian welfare policy, types of children's services, as well as challenges and issues Malaysia faces in providing residential care to children.
Residential Child Care in Spain: from Normalisation to Specialization 
Jorge F. del Valle and Amaia Bravo discuss the history and state of residential child care in Spain including the transitions that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s. They also discuss types of residential care programs and qualifications of residential care staff.  Del Valle and Bravo review recent literature in the area and discuss current challenges in Spanish residential care.
Institutional Care for Children in Kenya
Stephen Ucembe uses his personal experiences and his experiences as a social work professional to discuss institutional care in Kenya.  He highlights the factors that influence the use of institutional care for children in that country, including international aid and volunteerism, as well as the negative impact of institutional care.

Child Protection and Residential Care in Greece: An Illuminative Case Study 
This chapter from Global Perspectives is a discussion of child protection, care, welfare, and residential care in Greece.  This chapter covers a brief historical overview of the child protection and care situation in Greece, as well as a discussion of care and prot
ection of children in contemporary Greece.  

Other recent articles:

Resilience and Its Contributing Factors in Adolescents in Long-Term Residential Care Facilities Affiliated to Tehran Welfare Organization
In this study on resilience in adolescents in long-term residential care facilities in Iran, the researchers found that adolescents mean resilience was moderate, with females scoring significantly higher than male adolescents. 

2016 Online Survey to assess the extent of unregistered Children's Homes in Thailand
This document is a report on the 2016 Online Survey of Unregistered Children's Homes in Thailand. There are more than 200 unregistered children's homes in Thailand that have an online presence, and the current registration requirements for private children's homes in Thailand seem to be inadequate if the country aims to work towards implementation of the United Nations Alternative Care Guidelines.

Youth Development Models and Indian Youth: A Critical Literature Review, Case Example and Applications to Youth in Alternative Care
This article aims to assess the relevance of Western youth development models to adolescents in institutional care in India.  The authors review three frameworks for positive youth development.  

Understanding the Situation
Family for Every Child presents the key findings of a scoping study on the links between education and children's care. The study involved a literature review in English, French and Spanish; key informant interviews; and consultations with 170 children, carers, teachers and other stakeholders in  GuyanaIndiaRussia and  Rwanda.

This study examines the link between Rejection Sensitivity, Attachment Pattern and Socio-Emotional Adjustment among adolescent's living in orphanages in India and those living with their parents. 

Researchers examined differences between male primary caregivers (fathers) and female primary caregivers (mothers) for youth involved in the child welfare system in the United States. Fathers and mothers did not differ in terms of depression or parenting behavior, but there was evidence that mothers had more problems with drug use compared to fathers. Children with male primary caregivers were more likely to have experienced physical abuse but less likely to have experienced emotional abuse or witnessed domestic violence than children with female primary caregivers

In this assessment, researchers compared the generalized anxiety, conduct and peer relationship problems and their associated risk factors among children orphaned by HIV/ AIDS and those due to other reasons in the Indian city of Hyderabad and found that a significantly high proportion of AIDS orphans deal with generalized anxiety, conduct and peer relationship problem as compared with other orphans.  This assessment highlights the need to address the poor mental health of orphans in India.

The results of this qualitative study with Nepalese child adoptees in Spain reveals dynamics and feelings experienced by internationally adopted children. This study provides researchers with a greater understanding of the feelings and bonds of the complex life situations involved in being an internationally adopted child. 

This study from the United States used a mixed-methods multiphase, iterative process to illuminate the congruencies and incongruencies between the young adults' accounts of their foster care experiences and the legalistic, system-focused view of their experiences.

In this editorial, Laura Brigs discusses the issues that children from Central America face while attempting to apply for refugee status in the United States. 

This study from South Africa focuses on the psychosocial well-being of youth affected by HIV and AIDS.  Child pro-sociality was evaluated using the Prosocial Scale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.  

In Sierra Leone, as in conflict and postconflict settings around the world, youth are coping with their exposure to violence during conflict as well as the poverty and displacement that follow war and the stigma that can persist long after involvement with armed groups has ended.

Foster Care Outcomes for Children With Intellectual Disability
This study explores three areas related to foster care outcomes in the United States
1) previous disrupted or dissolved adoptions among youth with and without intellectual disabilities; 2) demographic or disability related disparities of youth with intellectual disabilities who were and were not discharged from care; and 3) foster care outcomes of youth with and without intellectual disabilities. 

Policies and Standards
Transnational Mothers and the Law: Ghanaian Women's Pathways to Family Reunion and Consequences for Family Life
How migration policies affect family mobility and relationships is a new and emerging area of study within transnational family literature. This chapter from the book Family Life in an Age of Migration contributes to this literature by providing an in-depth examination of Ghanaian migrant mothers' encounters with Dutch family migration policies and the impacts such policies have on their pathways to family reunion and the consequences for family relationships. 

Re-Defining Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Russia
This article  discusses the concept of "Unaccompanied and Separated  Children" and how this concept is applied in Russian law.  

The Role of Informal Leaving Care Peer Support Networks in Romania
Drawing on research from Romania, this chapter of  Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care  discusses the role of informal support for young people leaving care, in particular, support from other care leavers. 

This report stresses the need for child-sensitive policies and programming stating that providing these policies would help children and adolescents adhere to treatment plans and live healthier lives. It includes a discussion of social protection and social cash transfers as a means for improving outcomes for HIV-affected children and families.

This briefing produced by The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS discusses the burdens children facing HIV and AIDS in certain highlighted countries (Guyana, Uganda, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Ukraine). Children face the double burden of exclusion. Children affected by HIV and AIDS are often forced to confront the stigma of their parents' conditions along with the lack of resources and interventions for children.

This book published jointly by FAO, UNICEF, and Oxford University Press presents the findings from evaluations of the Transfer Project, a cash transfer project undertaken in the following sub-Saharan African countries:  Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It concludes that cash transfers are becoming a key means for social protection in developing countries. 
According to this article, providing direct or indirect income families with children who risk losing parental care improves the well-being of those children and reduces their risk of losing parental care.  This article includes the results of a cross-country research project in Sub-Saharan Africa regarding the impact of social protection on loss of parental care, 

This article discusses the major population displacement that unfolded in Africa's Lake Chad Basin Children fleeing violence are facing multiple risks from violence and exploitation. In northeast Nigeria alone, an estimated 20,000 children have been separated from their families.

Agenda item 26 of the Seventy-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly Social Development Report of the Third Committee
On December 19, 2016, the UN Generally Assembly adopted the resolution on the Follow-up to the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family and Beyond.  Under this resolution, the General Assembly encourages governments to continue efforts to realize the objectives of the International Year of the Family and to develop strategies that strengthen the capacities of families.
Learning from Practice
This report from Family for Every Child examines what family means to children and adults in the following countries: Brazil, India, Guyana, South Africa, Egypt, Mexico, Russia, Kenya. The storytellers use evidence from 59 short films made using digital storytelling techniques.

This report records detailed discussions which occurred during this conference organised by Udayan Care in March 2016 in India, with a focus on South Asia. It provides background information on alternative care, including a definition and an overview of the alternative care situation in the region.

This study explores social, environmental, individual and family characteristics associated with emotional and behavioral difficulties among homeless children living in the Paris region in France.

The authors conducted a qualitative study using focus group discussions among 39 HIV-infected adolescents receiving care at HIV clinics in western Kenya and 53 caregivers of HIV-infected children. Participants felt that while knowledge and access to treatment were increasing, many community members still held negative and inaccurate views about HIV, including associating it with immorality and believing in transmission by casual interactions. 

This is a discussion of the experiences of forced migrant youth from Myanmar aged 12 to 17 who have grown up as temporary residents along the northwest border of Thailand.
In this issue, we highlight the care-related Concluding Observations adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child at its 72nd and 73rd Sessions, with a particular focus on sections addressing children's care.
Click below to read the Country Care Reviews for the following countries:


Child Abuse Case In Myanmar Highlights Broken System
Children promised a job or a new home face child abuse and exploitation.

Child Abuse Case In Myanmar Highlights Broken System

This is a video highlighting the education being provided to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

See how Lebanese public schools are coping with the challenges resulting from the increased demand by Syrian refugee children for schooling.

In this video from United Aid for Azerbaijan, several experts and public officials discuss the importance of deinstitutionalization. 

UAFA Deinstitutionalization
UAFA Deinstitutionalization

Interfaith video campaign on family based care in Indonesia
Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik, partner of Save the Children in Indonesia, has produced with partners a video campaign on family based care that is being displayed in a major chain of cinemas in Indonesia. The video contains a message on the importance of family based care for children by representatives of all religious leaders and the Ministry of Social Affairs. 

Family First


Czech Republic: Czech bishops raise questions about government's preference for foster care
CatholicCulture.org - Catholic World News 9 Jan 2017

France: Children of the "Jungle" left in limbo
The Australian, The Times  5 Jan 2017
Uganda: Most Children's Homes Illegal
The Monitor - AllAfrica.com  4 Jan 2017

India: Bengal forms anti-child trafficking panel
Daiji World 5 Dec 2016

Pakistan: ICT to have child protection law soon 
International News 17 Nov 2016

Nigeria: The Nigerian school for orphans of jihadists - and their victims
The Guardian, 17 Nov 2016

Daily Times 20 Oct 2016

Recthie T. Paculba - Philippine Information Agency 17 Oct 2016

Thomson-Reuters Foundation 12 Oct 2016.

Greece: Greece to Begin Schooling Migrant Children
VOA 5 Oct 2016

Canada- Zimbabwe: Grandmothers to Grandmothers network helps African AIDS orphans
Peter Edwards - The Star 1 Oct 2016
Pakistan: Street Children in Balochistan
Sana Samad - The Nation  27 Sep 2016

Germany: Boy to man: A 16-year-old refugee's journey to reunite with his parents
Allison Pond - Desert News News OK 26 Sep 2016

Japan: Greater support needed to improve, expand foster parent system
The Yomiuri Shimbun - The Japan News 26 Sep 2016

U.S.: Family With 19 Kids Raises Awareness About Teen Adoption
Megan Reuther - WHOtv.com 21 Sep 2016

UK: Foster care workers vote to form first ever trade union
Clive Coleman - BBC 20 Sep 2016

U.S.: Report: Foster kids in dismal conditions
Illinois Homepage.net 12 Sep 2016, Illinois US


Child Safeguarding within Faith-Based Organisations
18 Jan 2017 - Keeping Children Safe Webinar

Inclusive cities for sustainable families
6 Feb 2017 United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY US

Leaving no one behind: Promoted child inclusion through quality education for all
8 Feb 2017 United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY US
Caring for vulnerable children - Free Online Course
27 March 2017 - Future Learn Webinar

6-8 April 2017 - Austin, Texas, US

International Society for Child Indicators (ISCI) 6th Conference: Children in a World of Opportunities: Innovations in Research, Policy and Practice
28-30 June 2017 - Montreal, Canada

29-30 June 2017 - Austin, Texas, US

Deadline 15 January 2017

UNICEF Seeks Child Protection Specialist (Community Based Child Protection and Psychosocial Support), P-4, NYHQ, # 23558
Deadline 26 January 2017

Revised deadline 30 January 2017