Feb/Mar 2023
Latest Updates on Children's Care

This section includes resources, news and other key documents related to children's care in the context of the current humanitarian crisis affecting Ukraine and surrounding countries. This section is updated daily. For more resources, visit the growing collection of documents in the BCN Ukraine Response Repository.

This interagency statement published on March 5th, 2023 expresses deep concerns at reports that many children displaced by the war in Ukraine have been forcibly transferred, deported, and adopted by Russia. It condemns these practices and makes recommendations to governments and international bodies to immediately address this situation.

As of 27 March 2023, this joint statement has been endorsed by 51 organisations, agencies, and networks.

In this Human Rights Council report the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine outlines the main findings since the outset of its mandate. The body of evidence collected shows that Russian authorities have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in many regions of Ukraine and in the Russian Federation.

This report published by the Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Lab (HRL) documents Russia's relocation of at least 6,000 children from Ukraine to a network of re-education and adoption facilities in Russia-occupied Crimea and mainland Russia.

This International Social Service document provides guidance on how to apply international standards when working with children and their families impacted by the crisis in Ukraine.

This report was compiled by the World Bank, the Government of Ukraine, the EU and the UN and provides an analytical foundation for a comprehensive financial and operational strategy and plan to support the early recovery and long-term reconstruction of Ukraine.

According to the assessment, damage in the social protection area mostly consists of destroyed or partially destroyed infrastructure, such as residential care units, sanatoriums, or social service delivery centers.

This survey was conducted in Ukraine from 19 December 2022, to 17 January 2023. Its purpose was to determine the situation regarding potential opportunities for the implementation of legally guaranteed rights for children with disabilities and members of their families and the relevant practices and to study the urgent problems in the wartime.

This Human Rights Watch report documents the consequences of Russia’s 2022 war against Ukraine for children and staff who had been evacuated from institutions in areas of eastern Ukraine, at the front line of the war at the time, to a dozen institutions in the Lvivska region and three institutions in Łódź, Poland. 

Related Topic: Preventing Separation

This is a brief overview of the situation regarding the rights of people with disabilities in Ukraine one year after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This summary is part of a European Disability Forum (EDF) project.

This communication provides insight into how the EU managed to enable and coordinate a response to the largest displacement on European soil since the Second World War. It also identifies priority areas where continued efforts are needed to guarantee the rights provided for in the Directive.

It also includes a section that addresses deinstitutionalization.

At its resumed eleventh emergency special session, the UN adopted a new resolution calling for an end to the war, only hours before the conflict entered its second year on Friday, 24 February 2023.

In this joint statement, the co-signatories call on international, European Union and national authorities, to prevent and respond to child protection risks that threaten the well-being of children within and those fleeing Ukraine.

The Better Care Network will continue to share tools, guidance, information, and other resources regarding children's care and protection during the COVID-19 pandemic as practitioners, policymakers, and other key stakeholders work to respond to the needs of children and families impacted by this crisis. For more resources on COVID-19 and children's care, visit the growing collection of documents in the BCN COVID-19 Resource Center.

This World Bank report provides a first comprehensive review of global data for young people who were under the age of 25 during the pandemic. It shows that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted human capital accumulation at critical moments in the life cycle, derailing development for millions of children and young people in low- and middle-income countries. 

Related Topic: COVID-19

This case study tracks the impact of family support services to a Ugandan mother and her family during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to prevent family separation.


Related Topic: Preventing Separation
Understanding the Situation

This study was conducted as a part of a multi-stage, multi-country project designed to enhance the identification, prosecution, and prevention of orphanage trafficking crimes. It was the second of four stages to be conducted in Cambodia as one of three jurisdictions included in the study. This report contains a summary of findings from this stage two case data and case study analysis.

Related Topic: Volunteering and Tourism

This paper was produced as part of the regional learning platform on care in Eastern and Southern Africa and aims to contribute to a better understanding of the nature and characteristics of Kafalah in Eastern and Southern Africa and identify effective strategies to support Kafalah.

This UNICEF/CTWWC paper argues that climate change is the greatest current and future threat to children’s care in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. Responding to this threat requires urgent coordinated action related to care reform policies and interventions and climate change responses.

This study, conducted by researchers from the University of Angers and the TEMOS laboratory, examines international adoptions by French people in more than twenty countries from 1979 to 2021. The researchers analyzed thousands of diplomatic files from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the subject and found reports of various illicit practices in the process of adopting children. 

Related Topic: Child Exploitation

Save the Children developed this learning agenda in order to assess the use of cell phones as information and feedback mechanisms for children and youth on the move placed in foster families in The Gambia and to determine whether it is effective and secure. 


Related Topic: Foster Care

This End Violence Against Children briefing paper summarises comparative research showing reductions in the approval and use of corporal punishment in some countries which have reformed their laws to prohibit all corporal punishment. It compares findings from Sweden, Finland, Austria, Germany, Aotearoa New Zealand, Romania, Poland, Kenya, Denmark, Japan, and Wales.

Related Topic: Child Abuse and Neglect

Authored by the ODI in partnership with UNICEF, this paper contributes to global knowledge on the benefits of inclusive social protection by synthesising existing research from a displacement and child-centred perspective, focusing on eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa and in the Horn of Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Sudan and Uganda). 

Children with disabilities and children on the move are often neglected in data collection, policies and programming.This global UNICEF report asks key questions about growth, development, safety and security when children with disabilities migrate or have been displaced.

This UNICEF report is the largest compilation of statistics on children with disabilities to date, it builds on data from more than 1,000 sources. It documents the scale and characteristics of children with disabilities globally and begins to shed light on the types of adversity they often face. It includes internationally comparable data from 43 countries and areas and covers more than 60 indicators of child well-being. 

This Family for Every Child report examines what happens after unaccompanied children have arrived at their European destinations and is based on interviews with key informants, a literature review, and research in three sites (Lebanon, Greece and Germany).

Related Topic: Children and Migration
Policies, Standards, and Guidelines

UNICEF's DIPAS is a roadmap for greater cross-sectoral coordination for disability inclusion to be mainstreamed across the organization at every level to meet the needs of the world’s 240 million children with disabilities.

This is the UK government's implementation plan in response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care - an independent review of the UK's care system in order to build recommendations for how the system can be improved and to continue feeding in a wide range of views - published in May 2022. 

Related Topic: Strengthening Family Care

These WHO guidelines provides evidence-based recommendations on parenting interventions for parents and caregivers of children aged 0–17 years that are designed to reduce child maltreatment and harsh parenting, enhance the parent–child relationship, and prevent poor mental health among parents and emotional and behavioural problems among children.

Related Topic: Child Abuse and Neglect
Learning from Practice

Family for Every Child's new Participatory Evaluation Toolkit places the knowledge and experience of local civil society organisations (CSOs) at its centre. It offers an alternative to traditional evaluation dynamics, by drawing on the strength of local solutions and the resulting toolkit reflects practitioners’ experiences and needs.

După 60 de ani de activitate în calitate de instituție rezidențială pentru copii cu dizabilități, Școala-Internat Auxiliară Hîncești (SIA Hîncești) din Moldova și-a închis, în cele din urmă, ușile în mai 2022. Închiderea SIA Hîncești și reintegrarea copiilorrămași în grijaacestei instituții este un semn de bun augur și un exemplu pentru ceea ce este posibil pentru alte instituții rezidențiale pentru copiii cu dizabilități din Moldova și din întreaga lume.

After 60 years of activity as a residential institution for children with disabilities, the Hîncești Auxiliary Boarding School (SIA Hîncești) in Moldova finally closed its doors in May 2022. The closure of SIA Hîncești and the reintegration of the children left in its care institutions is a good sign and an example for what is possible for other residential institutions for children with disabilities in Moldova and around the world.

This brief by UNICEF and the Rwanda National Child Development Agency outlines the background to, rationale for, and objectives of the ‘Inshuti z’Umuryango’ (IZU) or ‘Friends of the Family’ programme in relation to Rwanda’s wider child protection strategy. 


Case Studies

This learning brief was developed as part of the CTWWC 2022 annual report and shares learning from across different contexts.

It is intended to showcase how the transition of care services is happening and how it can be supported.
Other Ways to Engage With the Community
The Directory of Organizations page lists organizations, agencies, foundations, and networks working in the field of children’s care.

If you would like to feature a profile of your organization in our Directory of Organizations, please fill out this form with information about your organization and we will review it.
The Transforming Children’s Care Collaborative Platform brings together a wide community of actors working to strengthen children’s care and care systems to establish more strategic sector-wide collaboration spanning the global to the local level.

Its aim is to support learning exchange, agree on common principles and approaches, leverage and build on one another’s work, and undertake joint advocacy based in evidence to secure greater and more sustainable impact for children, families and their communities. 
Resources in the BCN Library can be searched by topic or by region/country using the advanced search function or visiting the country/region pages of the website.

Additionally, some of these country pages feature country care snapshots. This consists of dashboards and interactive graphs providing a high-level overview of the status of care reform efforts country by country using key indicators.

This webinar was hosted by the Evidence for Impact Working Group of the Transforming Children’s Care Collaborative on March 30, 2023, and examined the Early Institutionalization Intervention Impact Project in Brazil.

This webinar gives a comprehensive overview of the World Bank’s Human Development Flagship report, Collapse & Recovery: How COVID-19 Eroded Human Capital and What to Do About It, which reviews global data showing that the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed human capital at critical moments in the life cycle, scarring millions of children and young people in low- and middle-income countries.

This UNICEF ESARO webinar examines the impacts of climate change on children's care and explains how care reform strategies and programmes need to adapt to address these new realities. The webinar explored how climate change affects communities in Eastern and Southern Africa.


The Children’s Trust Fund Alliance shared their findings from a project that engaged with parents as planners, recruiters, and interviewers to reach out to 100 parents across the U.S. who have experienced an initial visit from their local child welfare system.

Related Topic: Preventing Separation

The forum on Faith and the Family: Propagating and Preventing Child-Family Separation across Time and Context hosted this webinar exploring the theological dimensions of child-family separation. Is there a theology of the child within the Christian faith? How has the care and protection of children been understood within Catholic social teaching?

Alexander is one of many Ukrainian teenagers who fled to Moldova unaccompanied during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This UNICEF video captures his story.

Deneisha Moss, Programme Lead for Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion Children’s Programme at CHIP explains the importance of protecting the identity rights of children.

In this short video hosted by the Regional Learning Platform on Care Reform for Eastern and Southern Africa, practitioners from across the region discuss why supporting kinship care is so important, the support needs of kinship care families, and lessons learnt in supporting kinship care.

In this webinar hosted by Coram Voice, presenters discuss the importance of trusting relationships with personal advisers, having a trusted adult and making sure care leavers have networks of support around them as they leave care.
Claire Galofaro, Juliet Linderman, Martha Mendoza 31 Mar 2023
Sarah El Deeb, Anastasiia Shvets, Elizaveta Tilna 17 Mar 2023
Kimberly Kindy - The Washington Post 17 Mar 2023
Sanchia Berg, Katie Inman - BBC News 11 Mar 2023
Eurovision News 14 Feb 2023
Mark Townsend - The Guardian 02 Feb 2023

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Newsletter participants, currently 4,824 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 contact@bettercarenetwork.org or visit our website at www.bettercarenetwork.org. 

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