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Alternative Care in Uganda: Residential care for abandoned children and their integration into family based settings: Lessons for programming and policy.

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Presentation on theme: "Alternative Care in Uganda: Residential care for abandoned children and their integration into family based settings: Lessons for programming and policy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Alternative Care in Uganda: Residential care for abandoned children and their integration into family based settings: Lessons for programming and policy. Robert Common

2 Why Alternative Care? Uganda is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child and to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, both of which state that every child shall be entitled to the enjoyment of parental care and protection and shall, whenever possible, have the right to reside with his or her parents. United Nations Guidelines (A/Hrc/11/L.13 2009) For Alternative Care. The National Strategic Programme Plan of Interventions (NSPPI-2) for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Uganda, The National Alternative Care Framework for Uganda 2011, the Approved Home Regulations, The Childrens Act of Uganda. Operations Manual for Youth and Probation and Social Welfare Officers (2010): Value 2 (Operations Manual) A family is the best place for a childs growth and development, and therefore childrens homes should only be used as last resort in childcare

3 VISION Have in place functional child protection systems that provide care and protection to all children including those deprived of parental care Overall Goal Provide a national framework for delivering and facilitating access to appropriate alternative care options for children deprived of parental care

4 Time line and milestones: – Child Protection Working Group established and operational – Alternative Care Task Force established (2010) – Alternative Care Framework developed & Childrens Act Updated – Home Assessment toolkit developed, piloted and being rolled-out – All regions sensitised to the problem and the framework (TSOs) – Baseline study on institutional and alternative care completed – Central database of childcare institutions created (ongoing) – Foster care & domestic adoption piloted ( – Capacity building being increased (Government & Civil society) – Media campaign / website:

5 Why? The damage and situational analysis: Approximately 800 orphanages / residential care institutions of which only 35 are licensed by Ministry of Gender Approximately 50,000 children in orphanages / institutions 85% with no pro-active resettlement programmes 75% without social work capacity Over 80% do not have a child protection policy Over 50% have completely unacceptable care standards Over 55% of children in orphanages are there illegally Less than 5% orphanages have the required carer to child ratio Nearly 70% have inadequate child records 95% of orphanage funding comes from the West From the UNICEF/MGLSD Baseline Study on Institutional Care in Uganda May 2012

6 Key Elements: All children in institutional care to have an exit strategy in line with the continuum of care – reunification, kinship care, community based alternative care, fostering, domestic adoption Each district to have an Alternative Care Panel - making collective decisions on all resettlements, foster care, adoptions and other forms of alternative care plus decisions on childrens homes in their district Each District to have an Alternative Care Fund which can be used to support families during resettlement (allocated case-by-base basis) Establish a Central Adoption Agency – advocate, promote and recruit Ugandan families / match children in care (central list of children available for adoption / matches parents) Recognises the need for temporary residential accommodation – short term / transitional / specialised (special needs / children affected by street migration / children in conflict with the law etc) Child Care Institutions to transform themselves and become key partners in delivering the Framework.

7 Childs i and its practice: We have set up the model of best practice recognised by MoGLSD Key achievements are: -70% of children resettled successfully from our transitional home into their families (over 130) -Average stay in the centre is 4.2 months -Set up the first comprehensive programme of domestic adoption in Uganda to high standards within the ACF guidelines in its fourth year, it now has a waiting list of over 20 parents -Piloting long term fostering -Developing short term or emergency fostering programme for 2014 -All underpinned by strong supervised case management, developed CMS in 2013 -Run a national campaign on behalf of MoGLSD around domestic adoption and fostering, now one of Ugandas fastest growing Social Media brands -Leveraging learning and now training others in programming and best practice (around 100 social workers trained a year on ACF) at our Award Winning Social Work Centre of Excellence What does good practice look like?

8 Watch Katie - Childs i Foundation Video Link:


10 The Panel: An example of good practice CiF set up the first Panel in Uganda on behalf of MoGLSD and chaired by them Independent members, PWSO, Police, Lawyers, Child Psychologists, Social Workers, Adoptive Parents that oversee and quality check case work Part of Government Policy A great source of support and advice for social workers Approve Fostering and Adoption decisions, as well as releasing children for adoption after tracing. Includes international adoption

11 Watch Alternative Care Panel meeting parents who want to adopt Video Link: [awaiting Youtube upload link]

12 How do we respond to the challenges? Engagement of Child Care and Protection Practioners, in partnership with government and other duty bearers. Different organisations and people need to understand and play their part responsibly in the delivery of the continuum of care. Embed processes (Alternative Care Panel for instance) through pilot programming and demonstrating, learning and replicating success by early adopters. Alternative Care is part of a wider system of Child Protection and needs to integrated into a cohesive system that appreciates points of difference in practice MoGLSD has demonstrated how this can work through the first Working Together Conference.

13 Who underpins the successful delivery of Alternative Care? What are the next steps? State - EG MoGLSD, other National Ministries and District Government A wide range of multi sectorial stakeholders EG International Structures and Actors More research to develop evidence base to enhance practice and learning Children's services providers Local structures mandated to support and deliver Alternative Care such as the Alternative Care Panel Clear jurisprudence on Guardianship orders Working Together in the best interests of the child and doing things right.

14 Watch Alternative Care Workshop Kampala - October 2013 Video Link: [awaiting Youtube upload link]

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