August 2019

“[A well cared-for child is one with] a family that loves them, wants them, makes an effort to reach an understanding with them… to ask about and look for him if they are absent from the house.”

- Boys attending day care centre, aged 12-17, Egypt, from Who Cares? Child and family perspectives on effective care, who provides it and why it matters
Understanding the Situation

The  U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report sheds light on the practices of modern slavery around the world and highlights specific steps governments can take to protect victims of human trafficking, prevent trafficking crimes, and prosecute traffickers in the United States and around the world. The report includes several references to the links between orphanages and trafficking in relation to Nepal , Nigeria , Cambodia , Haiti , Sri Lanka , Moldova , and other countries.

In this chapter of the Handbook of Emotional Development , the authors discuss animal models that support developmental theories underscoring the importance of the caregiver–infant relationship for emotional development, explore how varying degrees of neglect may be differentially associated with subsequent emotional outcome, and review empirical work in this area from a developmental perspective by addressing how early neglect may impact the development of biological and behavioral mechanisms that underlie emotional functioning across multiple developmental periods.

This current systematic literature review from the Children and Youth Services Review aims to examine what is known about foster parents' needs, satisfaction and perceptions of foster parent training in several countries.

Related Topics: Foster Care
For this study, ten multilevel meta-analyses were performed to examine factors that can affect instability of foster care placement in Western countries . The findings can be used to improve interventions for the prevention of placement instability in foster care, and further investigations.

Related Topics: Foster Care
This report from the UNICEF Office of Research (Innocenti) highlights how children’s movement in the Horn of Africa is driven by different motivations, exposes children to different forms of harm (particularly for those traveling without their families), and presents multiple barriers to accessing services.

This theoretical-empirical study from Acta Educationis Generalis is based on two particular case studies of families bringing up children from institutional care in Slovakia .

Related Topics: Foster Care
This small pilot project was conducted to start to understand and compare the situation of grandmothers caring for children in a diverse range of countries when their parents are in prison. Research was conducted in the UK , Trinidad and Tobago , Romania , and Ghana .

Related Topics: Kinship Care

The Stability Index, first launched by the Children’s Commissioner in 2017, is an annual measure of the stability of the lives of children in care in the UK . This report provides the national overview of the latest data analysis (relating to 2017/18) and findings.

Related Topics: Foster Care

‘Children’s Voices: Children’s experiences of instability in the care system’ is published alongside the  Children’s Commissioner’s third annual Stability Index  and features interviews with 22 children in England who are in care or care leavers.

Related Topics: Foster Care
This article reports on a study of the relationships between child protection system contact and small area-level deprivation in New Zealand . The study found that, compared to children living in the least deprived quintile of small areas, children in the most deprived quintile had, on average, 13 times the rate of substantiation, 18 times the rate of a family group conference, and 6 times their chance of placement in foster care. Findings suggest that action is needed to address the causes of deprivation, provide services that respond to families living in poverty, and undertake further research to examine the interactions between demand and supply of services across deprivation levels.

This paper from the Asian Development Bank Institute Working Paper Series explores the impact of international migration on school enrollment of children staying behind in Tajikistan, by using data from a large nationally representative household survey. The results show that migration of household members reduces the probability of enrolling in school by 10 percentage points for children who belong to households with migrants, while the effect of parental migration is much larger. Receiving remittances reduces the adverse impact of migration by only 1‒3 percentage points.

Related Topics: Children and Migration
This article from Marquette Law Review focuses on how children and parents interacting with the child welfare system in the US experience the removal process, the genesis of a foster care case.

This report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare presents analyses of selected outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who live in households with members of the Stolen Generations (people who were forcibly removed from their families as a result of government policies across Australian jurisdictions). In general, the study found that children living in these households were more likely to experience a range of adverse outcomes than other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, demonstrating a transfer of intergenerational poverty and trauma.

After almost five years of detailed research and analysis, the reports of the Permanently Progressing study (phase one) were published on 20 June 2019. The study investigated decision making, permanence, progress, outcomes and belonging for a large cohort (1,836 children) of all children in Scotland who became looked after in 2012-13, when they were aged five or under.

Related Topics: Foster Care
This review from Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services examines the legislative history leading up to extended care, the research on youth leaving foster care, youth preferences for extended care, the competition of extended care with permanency options, and the effects of extended foster care on transition-age youth in the US .

Related Topics: Foster Care
Policies, Standards, and Guidelines

The content of this Call to Action, produced by SOS Children’s Villages International, comes from what was heard from young people with care experience in ten European Union countries: Austria , Bulgaria , Croatia , Estonia , Hungary , Italy , Latvia , Lithuania , Romania and Spain , as well as from the professionals working with them. It outlines three primary actions to realize careleavers' rights in the law and in practice and to allocate adequate funds for realizing these rights.

This document provides a guide to looked after children statistics published by the UK Department for Education. The key areas covered in this guide are: (1) Data collection and coverage, (2) Data processing, (3), Information on published statistics, (4) Data quality and uses. The statistics are based on information on looked after children reported by all 152 local authorities in England .

Related Topics: Foster Care
This paper presents the current vulnerabilities faced by children and the scenario of child protection in India . While discussing the legal provisions prevailing in the country, it sheds light on the socio-cultural barriers that are creating resistance within the society in making the Alternative Care model (and the process of deinstitutionalisation of children) a success. Lastly it suggests viable options that may be helpful for the same.

The present Manual from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) aims to facilitate mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) experts and managers in designing, implementing and evaluating community-based MHPSS (CB MHPSS) programmes, projects and activities for emergency-affected and displaced populations in humanitarian settings. The manual includes information and guidance on supporting unaccompanied and separated children, among other vulnerable groups.

This report, which was authored by Taylor Fry with support from Their Futures Matter (TFM) - a landmark reform of the Government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia to deliver improved outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families - and stakeholder agencies, presents key results and insights from the TFM Investment Model, an actuarial model of future outcomes and costs of providing key government services to children and young people in NSW.

This chapter from Former Foster Youth in Postsecondary Education will help the reader to understand the design and outcomes of the foster care system in the USA . The first half explores the historical roots and modern structure of the foster care system and the second half describes federal policies related to youth in foster care.

Related Topics: Foster Care
Learning from Practice

There is extensive research demonstrating clearly the importance of a safe and caring family for child wellbeing and development. While there is consensus on the importance of effective care in families for children, there is a lack of discussion and agreement about the precise components of this care. This report from Family for Every Child contributes to debates on the components of family care by providing perspectives from nearly 200 children and over 80 adults from Brazil , Colombia , Egypt , Mexico , Russia , Rwanda and Zimbabwe . The report demonstrates that there are many commonalities in perspectives on and experiences of care across contexts.

In words, images, facts and figures, this report details the results that UNICEF achieved in 2018, together with its generous partners and supporters, a dedicated global workforce and children and young people themselves.

The aim of this report from Save the Children is to provide policymakers, service-providing organizations and child protection practitioners and child rights advocates with an easy to use reference document, to augment the implementation of support programmes for children and families in vulnerable circumstances. The goal was primarily to provide a practical, easy to use sharing document, which can support the realization of interventions in Eastern Europe that have proven to be efficient, effective and sustainable.

Related Topics: Strengthening Family Care

This volume from Princeton University and the Brookings Institution explores universal social programs designed to serve entire communities as they move toward achieving population impact in reducing child maltreatment, strengthening parental capacity, and improving infant health and development. The articles in this volume examine current US child welfare policies, offer recommendations for strengthening families and preventing child maltreatment, and review existing programs and approaches to support children and families, including one program that prevents children from experiencing long stays in foster care.

This paper from the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action summarises findings from an initial scoping study, which seeks to review how child protection outcomes are captured when monitoring multi-purpose humanitarian cash programmes in Lebanon , Turkey , Jordan and Somalia . The paper proposes a theory of change of the possible links between cash and child protection to inform the development of a monitoring strategy, including hypotheses that humanitarian cash might contribute to prevention of family separation, reduction of family violence, and supporting foster and temporary caregivers to care for separated and unaccompanied children.

The sole purpose of the study was to determine the factors influencing utilization of cash transferred to orphans and vulnerable children in Runyenjes Subcounty, Embu County, Kenya . The study concluded that demographic characteristics had the greatest effect on the utilization of cash transferred to orphans and vulnerable children, followed by frequency of cash transferred then attitude of beneficiaries while home factors had the least effect to the utilization of cash transferred to orphans and vulnerable children.

This report by War Child aims to bring global attention to the challenges related to the reintegration of children associated with armed forces and groups, and promote better policy, practice and funding in the future. The findings are based on a literature review and primary research in Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo , and interviews with government departments, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society in Colombia , Iraq and South Sudan .

This open access research from the journal of Social Sciences aims to contribute to the understanding of the reasons for becoming a foster family in Portugal .

Related Topics: Foster Care

In this issue, we highlight the care-related Concluding Observations adopted by the  Committee on the Rights of the Child  at its  81st Session  held 13 - 31 May 2019, with a particular focus on sections addressing children's care.
Click below to read the Country Care Reviews for the following countries:

This report, with accompanying videos, explores what family means to children and adults in five countries ( Colombia , Guatemala , Indonesia , Rwanda and Zimbabwe ) using the digital storytelling technique. Fifty-five films were made, of which 33 were made by children.

This article and corresponding video from Vice News explores the orphanage industry in Uganda .

18 August 2019
Cape Town, South Africa
27 August 2019
Windhoek, Namibia
27-29 August 2019
Tartu, Estonia
15-17 September 2019
Muscat, Oman
15-17 September 2019
Glasgow, Scotland
14-15 October 2019
Geneva, Switzerland
17-18 October 2019
Baltimore, MD, USA
28-31 October 2019
Kampala, Uganda
Jobs & Opportunities

12 August 2019
16 August 2019
31 August 2019
4 September 2019

Newsletter participants, currently 4,294 in total, work on issues related to the care and support of vulnerable children across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. The purpose of the newsletter is to enable members to exchange information on matters of mutual concern. If you would like to share a document, raise a specific issue, request a newsletter subscription, or reach out in any other way to the Network, please send the information to us at  or visit our website at  

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