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The reasons children come into care

The reasons children come into care by Maria Herzcog

In this video Dr Ian Milligan, International Project Advisor at CELCIS in the University of Strathclyde, talks to Maria Herczog and asks her to share her understanding of why children come into care. Maria has a PhD in sociology and works as an international expert and consultant. For over 30 years Maria has been undertaking research as well as teaching in universities on subjects that include child protection, child welfare and child rights. Maria has a list of publications that includes books, book chapters, and journal articles. For 8 years Maria was a member of the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child, and between 2004 and 2010 she was President of Eurochild. Maria also served on the board of the International Federation of Social Workers between 1994 and 2000.

Maria introduces us to the different reasons children are referred to the alternative care system. She reflects on how the causes for family separation can be complex. Maria tells us about the importance of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) and how the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children assist us in our better understanding of articles of the CRC that specifically relate to alternative care and what should be considered when making decisions about children and their care and protection. Maria notes the importance of investing in high quality community based services for children and their families so that parents can fulfil their obligations to take care of their children as outlined in the CRC. She also highlights the lack of accurate data about why children come into care and how important it is that countries start to collect and analyse this information.

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

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