September 2020
Launching the New Practitioner Library
‘As a social worker, from where I sit, I can't plan that these are the cases I'll deal with today. I have to be armed with a variety of knowledge, with a variety of skills, so that I'm able to give the right services to those that come.’ 

- Grace Mwangi, Lumos Program Consultant, from 'Preventing Separation through Community Based Social Work'

The BCN Practitioner Library is an online library containing resources relevant to practitioners and organised around the components of the care system. The portal is designed as a puzzle, demonstrating how the care system is the sum total of many integrated parts that work in synergy to ensure children have access to adequate care. It points to the importance of the systems strengthening agenda whilst simultaneously providing practitioners with access to relevant resources and learning. 

As you explore the care system puzzle, you will find basic information about each component and subcomponent and related resources. You can filter the resources by type, such as articles, videos, tools or podcasts, to help you locate the resources best suited to your needs.

The Practitioner Library will continue to be developed and grow as new resources are identified and published. We encourage you to share your resources to be added to this practitioner resource hub!
Kenya Practitioner Learning Video Series
Comprised of videos and accompanying discussion guides, this practitioner learning series from Better Care Network features the learning from practitioners working across a range of care-related programs and practices in Kenya. Below are the first four of ten videos in the Kenya series.

These videos and their accompanying discussion guides, along with the Cambodia Practitioner Learning Video Series and the Uganda Practitioner Learning Video Series, can be found in the Practitioner Library.

In this video, Ruth Wacuka and Samora Korea, two key leaders of the Kenya Society of Care Leavers, discuss the importance of care leaver networks, to enable care leavers to have a collective voice and to build a peer-to-peer supportive platform that aids in the transition of young people into independent living.

In this video, Grace Mwangi of Lumos shares key lessons from her experience working in community-based social work with children and families at risk of separation in Kenya.

Related Topics: Strengthening Family Care

In this video, Peter Kamau from Child in Family Focus discusses his organisation’s approach to engaging with the directors of privately-run charitable children’s institutions (CCI’s) to secure their buy-in for transition and the reintegration of children into families, in line with government policy.

In this video, Grace Mwangi of Lumos discusses her work with mothers of newborns to support and build their capacity as caregivers and prevent abandonment of infants.

Related Topics: Strengthening Family Care
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

This document - developed in coordination by Better Care Network, Save the Children, The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action and UNICEF - provides practical guidance to actors in humanitarian and development contexts on the adaptations and considerations needed to support children who are either currently in alternative care or are going into an alternative care placement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This report from Save the Children is one in a series presenting findings from Save the Children's Global COVID-19 Research Study. The results presented here focus on the implications for Child Protection issues.

This thematic policy brief from Save the Children and Plan International aims to seek and secure commitment from regional and national leaders in Asia-Pacific to urgently prioritize and invest consistently in the protection of girls, who are disproportionately exposed to multitude forms of violence and their devastating consequences.

In this discussion paper from the journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, the authors propose a novel and pragmatic conceptual framework for the protection of vulnerable children in England and Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report finds that children in Uganda are increasingly vulnerable and at risk from an increase in violence and abuse, stress, poverty, and hazardous coping strategies such as child labour and child marriage during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, vulnerable children have less support than usual. 

This Independent Children’s Rights Impact Assessment identifies significant concerns around decision making and scrutiny and highlights the impact on children and young people of the responses to COVID-19 in Scotland.

This report from the Fostering Network presents findings from a rapid response survey for foster carers and fostering services across the UK that sought to understand fostered children’s experiences of education during the pandemic.

This paper is divided into two parts: The first details the evidence from the ground, painting the picture of life for children during the pandemic in different European countries with statistics and examples, and giving a set of recommendations on measures that national governments across Europe can take to help protect children from the worst impacts of the crisis relating to the economic impacts on families, loss of services, access to education and targeted measures for children in migration. The second part focuses on recommendations to the EU institutions on how EU policy and funding can support and complement these national-level actions in these challenging times.

This short article calls attention to heightened risks for practitioners in the fields of intercountry adoption and international surrogacy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and asserts the need for caution.

The goal of the present study was to better understand the impact of the pandemic and associated response measures on vulnerable children and families and provide data-informed recommendations for public and private service providers working with this population.

Understanding the Situation
Using a phenomenological research design, this study from the Children and Youth Services Review delves into the motivations and challenging experience of foster carers in South-Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Related Topics: Foster Care

This report from First Focus on Children presents analysis of the U.S. spending on children and children's services, including child welfare, in 2020. This year’s Children’s Budget includes, for the first time, a deeper analysis of how the federal budget impacts children in spending when it comes to U.S. international affairs budget, which is spent across seven departments and agencies, including the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This qualitative study from the Journal of Refugee Studies sought to understand the causes of separation among Syrian families in Jordan and the obstacles to family reunification.

This report from Save the Children describes key trends in migrations in the Balkans region, detailing information about the number of people on the move, demography (age, sex, country of origin, etc), behavioral patterns, and routes in use - with a focus on children, particularly unaccompanied children.

This chapter from Prisons and Community Corrections provides an overview of one of the key factors implicated in young people’s contact with the criminal justice system: the criminalisation of children with care experience. Further, it presents the state of Australian and international research in this often overlooked area.

In this case study from the journal of Medical Perspectives on Human Trafficking in Adolescents, we meet Maya, an adolescent girl in foster care in the U.S. who is trafficked for sex. Her story highlights many unique risk factors that make children in foster care more vulnerable to traffickers.

Related Topics: Foster Care, Child Exploitation
Policies, Standards, and Guidelines
This article from the journal of Global Social Policy compares how the global policy of deinstitutionalisation (DI) of child welfare travelled, was translated and institutionalised in two post-Soviet countries – Russia and Kazakhstan.

The National Child Policy of Uganda has been developed to coordinate the efforts of the different sectors that have a direct and indirect mandate on children and deliver a comprehensive package of services encompassing all the four cardinal rights of the child (to survival, development, protection and participation) in a multi-sectoral approach. 

The objective of this Agreement between a Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations and the Australian Government is to overcome the entrenched inequality faced by too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so that their life outcomes are equal to all Australians. Target 12 of this Agreement is to "by 2031, reduce the rate of over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care by 45 per cent."

Learning from Practice

The main purpose of this follow-up evaluation from the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA), University of Johannesburg was to assess first, whether participants in the Sihleng’imizi Family Strengthening programmes in South Africa had retained what they had learned and were able to implement these learnings nine months following termination of the intervention; second, to compare these findings with the control group that had not been exposed to the programme; and finally, to consider the policy implications of combining cash transfers with family care programmes. 

This article from the journal of Adoption & Fostering describes a major development in child care practice in Wales that has occurred over the past two years. The Adopting Together Service (ATS) involves a unique, innovative and multi-layered collaboration between the voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs – non-governmental charities) and regional adoption teams (statutory agencies) to secure permanence for children who wait the longest to find families.

This report from Child Trends summarizes some of the major accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned from the Foster Youth Strategic Initiative, which aimed to ensure that older youth in foster care in Los Angeles County (LA) and New York City (NYC) in the U.S. become self-sufficient and thriving adults.

This paper from the journal of World Development investigates whether the Government of Zimbabwe’s Harmonized Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) Program, which combines cash transfers with complementary services, affects youth exposure to physical violence.

By synthesising the research evidence, this study from the The UCL Institute of Education seeks to address the questions of whether early childhood parenting programmes are effective in improving parenting and enhancing children's development; and which factors of the programme design and implementation contribute to the successful outcomes of parenting programmes.

Related Topics: Parenting Support
The goal of this paper from New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development was to conduct a review of studies from 2008 to 2019 that evaluated community‐based caregiver or family interventions to support the mental health of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub‐Saharan Africa, across four domains: (a) study methodology, (b) cultural adaptation and community participation, (c) intervention strategies, and (d) effects on child mental health.

Related Topics: Psychosocial Support

This conference, hosted by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at University of Cambridge, sought to explore how diverse perspectives can inform a new ethics of adoption and the care of orphaned or abandoned children in Muslim communities. Watch the introduction and three sessions of the conference here.

Related Topics: Adoption and Kafala

In this webinar, the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action hosts a discussion on adapting family strengthening programs and approaches to COVID-19.

8 October 2020
Center for the Study of Social Policy
13 October 2020
13-16 October 2020
Be Strong Families, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Families Canada, Seattle Human Services, & National Family Support Network
20 October 2020
Center for the Study of Social Policy and the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
26-30 October 2020
Global Social Service Workforce Alliance
June 2021
Brussels, Belgium
Nka (The Swedish Family Care Competence Centre) Linnaeus University and Eurocarers
June 2021
Rimini, Italy
Job Postings and Opportunities

31 January 2020

Newsletter participants, currently 4,532 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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