Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondWhy doesn't someone help my mother as they pay for the care worker? I advise care workers to treat all children equally, with parity, and to have the same approach to all of them.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsI think, I believe that children want to live with their families. Never use violence on children. Care for children with love and compassion.

Skip to 0 minutes and 37 secondsIt's really important that they can cheer me up when I'm sad. Hello again, and welcome to the start of Week 1 of your course. The focus of our first week is the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. And more specifically, why the guidelines were first developed. You'll also reflect on some of the main principles contained within the guidelines, including those of necessity and suitability. This will involve thinking about the children in your country, and how it is decided whether or not it's necessary for them to be separated from parents.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 secondsThis will prompt us to start thinking about what are some of the circumstances that lead to children and young people being assessed as being vulnerable and at risk, and possibly in need of alternative care. We'll also start to think about the range of alternative care available in your country, and how suitable it is, in terms of responding appropriately on a case by case basis. Both to the specific reason for the child coming into care, and to each child's needs, circumstances, and wishes. We'll then move onto the concept of gatekeeping, and explore this systematic process that involves making decisions about care that is in the best interest of children who are at risk of losing, or already without adequate parental care.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 secondsWe'll start to think about different elements of gatekeeping, something we will continue to explore throughout the course. And how different tools and mechanisms can help people and organisations, who are responsible for the care of children, make decisions through a consistent and informed process. A process that most importantly includes the participation of children and young people themselves in decisions about their own lives. We really hope that you enjoy the week.

Welcome to Week 1

In Week 1 you will start by learning about why the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children was developed and some of the underlying principles the Guidelines are built on.

Throughout the next six weeks we will have the opportunity to listen to children and young people with care experience. This video contains some important messages that were sent to us by children and young people from different countries in response to the question: what would you like care workers to consider when they support children and young people in care? Although we recognise the quality of some of these videos are variable, we think it is very important we have gathered these opinions and ideas from different regions of the world. In this video, Shpetim, Maria, Victoria, Rico and Fitri give us their answer to that question. This is followed by Jennifer Davidson introducing us to the topics we will cover in the course this week.

These include the importance of the need for formal alternative care and applying the “necessity” principle as well as providing high-quality alternative care and applying the “suitability” principle.

You will also be introduced to the concept of “gatekeeping” and how different processes and mechanisms can assist in meeting the requirements of the Guidelines and making decisions for children that are in their best interest.

During this week, we will hear from experts who introduce, and begin to explain, the Guidelines and the concept of “gatekeeping” as a means of improving better decision-making about children’s care. We will also be hearing from children and young people who have had care experience. We will start to explore the content of the Guidelines and ask you to engage in discussions about if and how care decisions made in your country meet the two principles of “necessity” and “suitability”.

By the end of the week

By the end of the week you should feel comfortable engaging in the following issues:

  • Why were the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children developed and some of the underlying principles they are built on;
  • What are the “necessity” and “suitability” principles;
  • What are some of the principle components of “gatekeeping” and why are they important.

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This video is from the free online course:

Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

University of Strathclyde