Children in alternative care

As a general rule, children fare best when growing up in a family setting, although there are situations where it is better to find an alternative for the child. Most often, there is no perfect solution, but both research and experience show that the best alternative in such situations is that the child is brought up in a family-like setting, and as close to their own community as possible.

Childhood’s support within the area of alternative care is focused around preventing children from being placed in institutional care (except when absolutely necessary and in the best interest of the child). Childhood is also working with changing attitudes towards institutional care and seeks to increase the awareness that this kind of care is not optimal for children.

Adolescents who have grown up in institutions or in foster families also need support when they leave these living arrangements and take the step to become independent adults. Without networks and support around them, they often become involved in criminality, unemployment, and drug abuse, which lead to difficulties in finding housing and a job. In many ways, Childhood’s target groups are overlapping; young adults who have grown up in institutions often have children early who then are placed in alternative care. Therefore, supporting families where the parents have grown up in institutions becomes important.

Childhood also funds projects that work with family reunification, as well as on de-institutionalization of children.

 

Belarus

Barnahus in Belarus – child-friendly investigation

Organization: Ponimanieponimanie1
Project: Barnahus in Belarus – child-friendly investigation
Location: Minsk, Belarus
Target group: , children in alternative care

The project Barnahus in Belarus is based on The Children's Advocacy Center/Barnahus model where children victims of sexual abuse are provided with a wide range of services and expertise concerning child abuse cases. In 2010-2012, elements of the Barnahus model were introduced in Belarus. Child-friendly interview rooms have been established across the country. Specialists linked to each room have been trained in child psychology and interview techniques. Local authorities have taken over the maintenance and funding of all interview rooms.

Read more: www.ponimanie.org, www.rasskazhi.by

Contact person at Childhood:
Åsa Wikström
asa.wikstrom@childhood.org

Cambodia

A Better Future for Street Children and Families

Organization: M'lop Tapangmlop tapang
Project:  A Better Future for Street Children and Families
Location: Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Target group: Street children, Families at risk, , Children in alternative care

M'lop Tapangs direct services reach 3 000 street children and their families annually. It includes outreach work with local poor families and children, reintegration to families, into education and job placement and support for drug using youth.

Read more: http://www.mloptapang.org/

Contact person at Childhood:
Joel Borgström
joel.borgstrom@childhood.org

Early Childhood Development

Organization: Mith Samlanhmithsamlanh
Project: Early Childhood Development
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Target group: Families at risk, Street children, , Children in alternative care

Mith Samlanh provides a continuum of care for street children and their families. It includes outreach, run drop in centres and transitional homes, non-formal and vocational training and reintegration into the formal school system, culture programs, drug prevention etc. Mith Samlanhs daily outreach activities reach 1800 street children every year.

Read morehttp://www.mithsamlanh.org/

Contact person at Childhood:
Joel Borgström
joel.borgstrom@childhood.org

Family Reintegration and Family Support

Organization: Friends International, Kalyan Mith programkaliyan mith
Project: Family Reintegration and Family Support
Location: Siem Rep, Cambodia
Target group: Families at risk, Street children, , Children in alternative care 

Kalyan Mith provides support to marginalized children and young people, with a particular focus on street children/youth, by offering a range of comprehensive services including a transitional home, family reintegration and development of family based alternative care.

Read more: http://www.friends-international.org/

Contact person at Childhood:
Joel Borgström
joel.borgstrom@childhood.org

Vulnerable and Trafficked Children

Organization: Komar Rikreaykomar 300
Project: Vulnerable and Trafficked Children
Location: Battambang, Cambodia
Target group: , Street children, Children victims of abuse, Children in alternative care

Komar Rikreay is operating a short shelter for children who are victims of trafficking. The goal is to reintegrate the children into their family or into a family setting, and to support the family to guarantee the sustainability of the efforts.

Read more: http://komarrikreay.canalblog.com/

Contact person at Childhood:
Joel Borgström
joel.borgstrom@childhood.org

China

Latvia

Lithuania

Quality child care in alternative settings

Organization: Ziburio Fondas Project: Quality child care in alternative settings
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Target group: Children in alternative care

 Children who are at risk of being placed in closed institutions, or who are already living there, need intensive and personalized care in a family setting. These children cannot be supported through regular foster care or guardianship solutions which lack professional training and support services. The project introduces the concept of professionally trained foster families who will receive ongoing support and supervision in order to better help at-risk children. There is a strong child participation component, which includes children being more involved in the placement, follow-up and feedback processes. The project can play an important part of the deinstitutionalization process which is underway in Lithuania.

 Read more: http://ziburio-fondas.lt

 Contact person at Childhood: Susanne Drakborg susanne.drakborg@childhood.org

Moldova

Family at core – empowering family support services in Chisinau

Organization: CCF Moldova – Child, Community, Family
Project: Family at core – empowering family support services in Chisinau
Location: Moldova
Target group: Children in alternative care

The project aims to improve the family support services offered by state professionals in Chisinau to families at risk, as well as to prospective foster and adoptive parents. A new service, the Social Assistance Service for Children and Families, has been established within the Chisinau Municipal Baby Institution. The project is estimated to reach 100 families at risk and their children who will receive counseling, training and support services.

Read more: www.ccfmoldova.org

Contact person at Childhood:
Åsa Wikström
asa.wikstrom@childhood.org

South Africa

Boy's Best program

Organization: James HouseJames House
Project: Boy's Best
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Target Group: Children victims of abuse, street children, children in alternative care, families at risk

The Boy's Best program provides multi-systemic support to teenage boys facing a combination of destructive behavior at home and at school, domestic violence and who are engaged in risk behavior such as criminality, school suspension and drug abuse.

Read more: http://www.jameshouse.org.za/

Contact person at Childhood:
Britta Holmberg
britta.holmberg(a)childhood.org

 

ProSeed

Organization: Mamelani Projectsmamelani

Project: ProSeed
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Target group: Street children, Children in alternative care

Project ProSeed  is a youth development program that provides support to former street youth, preparing them for leaving care. The program focuses on building a positive identity, a sense of connectedness to others and resilience through experiential learning, life skills, counseling, education and support in finding employment.

Read more: http://www.mamelani.org.za/

Contact person at Childhood:
Britta Holmberg
britta.holmberg(a)childhood.org

Sweden

Barnrättsbyrån, Child Rights Bureau

Organization: Barnrättsbyrånbarnrättsbyrån 2
Project: Barnrättsbyrån, Child Rights Bureau
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Target group: , Children in alternative care, Street children

Barnrättsbyrån is a low-threshold service open for all children, regardless of their complex of problems that feel that their rights have been violated. The project is a resource with legal and psychosocial expertise that complements existing services and help children and young people to navigate in the system and access the help they need.

Read more: www.barnrattsbyran.se

Contact person at Childhood:
Britta Holmberg
britta.holmberg@childhood.org

Maskrosbarn Summer Camp

Organization: Maskrosbarnmaskrosbarn5
Project: Maskrosbarn Summer Camp
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Target group: , Children in alternative, Street children

Maskrosbarn organizes summer camps for children to parents with alcohol and/or mental problems. The camps give the youth an opportunity to spend part of their summer holiday without feeling responsible for their parents and share their experiences with other young people in a similar situation. The project results in strengthened resilience and reduced sense of loneliness among the participating youth.

Read more: www.maskrosbarn.org

Contact person at Childhood:
Britta Holmberg
britta.holmberg@childhood.org

Ukraine

USA

Residential Maternity Program

Organization: Children’s Harborchildrensharbor
Project: Residential Maternity Program
Location: Florida, USA
Target group: , families at risk, children in alternative care

Children’s Harbor, founded in 1996 and located in southern Florida, provides a comprehensive direct services model to children in need, via community based services for the prevention and intervention of abuse and neglect; a family-style residential setting for foster care children; outpatient mental health services for children and families; a step-down foster care program, including a foster care teen maternity residence.

Childhood supports the Residential Maternity Program.

Read more: www.childrensharbor.org/

Contact person at Childhood:
Joanna Rubinstein
joanna.rubinstein@childhood-usa.org