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Looking back on Week 2

Recap video by Chrissie Gale
Well done. You’ve almost reached the end of Week 2. Let’s remind ourselves of what we have learned this week. We looked further into the topics covered in the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. This included the guidance that financial and material poverty should never be the only justification for the removal of a child from parental care or from receiving the child into care, or preventing his or her reintegration. These are really important points for us to consider, especially when we know the Committee on the Rights of the Child encouraged the development of the UN guidelines, because they had evidence this concern was not being substantially addressed in many countries.
We explored in greater depth the meaning of the necessity principle and what that means in terms of making sure children only find themselves in alternative care, if it really is in their best interest, and it is the most suitable option for them. We also heard from international practitioners about the different levels of prevention. They spoke about opportunities that might help avoid the use of formal alternative care, and they stressed the importance of families being able to access universal services, such as health, education, help with housing, employment, and as well as social security. And also specialist provisions, such as family strengthening programmes or specialist healthcare for those with disabilities.
To be helped to be able to make well-informed decisions, we learned about gatekeeping processes and the tools and mechanisms that can help with fully assessing a child’s situation. This included examples from Rwanda, and we would really encourage you to look at the publication we referenced, Making Decisions for the Better Care of Children, as it contains practical ideas and evidence of promising practise. It gives us ideas for how to. What about Asha and Lan? How are decisions being made, and are they in the best interest of Asha and Lan and their family? Let’s see what happens next week. Just a couple more steps to complete, and that will be the end of this week’s course.
Please don’t forget to keep posting your comments. It’s a great way of sharing your ideas and also learning from each other. Thank you.

Hello and well done for all your commitment in working through Week 2 of your course ‘Getting Care Right for All Children’.

This week we further explored the content of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children.

We are so pleased that many of you have been posting comments and sharing your thoughts and ideas around the topics we covered including how the use of formal care must only be used when it is proved to be absolutely necessary.

We started to explore the “necessity” principle in more detail and learnt how important it is to make sure there is as much information as possible about the child and their situation so a well-informed decision can be accurately made.

We learnt about the three different levels of prevention and, particularly with regard to primary prevention, the need to prioritise investment in community level support services for families when there is a risk of separation. We also considered the importance of assessing the individual needs, circumstances and wishes of a child so that the most appropriate support can be offered to them and their families.

We hope you are finding Asha and Lan’s story interesting and that you are keen to see what happens next week.

We also hope you now feel comfortable engaging in the following issues:

  • How decisions are made when a child may be vulnerable to losing parental care;
  • The three levels of prevention and why recourse to formal alternative care should be avoided whenever possible;
  • Why communities, families and children must be able to realise their right to access basic and specialist services to prevent need for alternative care placement.
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Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

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