BCN Newsletter: 08 August 2012


To the Better Care Network,


Welcome to the latest edition of the BCN Newsletter! 


In this edition, you'll find the latest research and resources on alternative care and related programming and policy guidance.  In particular, this newsletter includes:


  • Latest report on Children Affected by HIV in Residential Care;
  • Tracer Study on graduates of FXB's family and community stengthening programs;
  • Updates on Child and Family Group Conferencing in Guatemala;
  • Family Reintegration Technical Briefing for Children on the Street;
  • Blogging on the situation of institutional care in Ghana;
  • and more!



The Better Care Network Secretariat  
Children Affected by HIV and Residential Care
Tracing Outcomes of Family Strengthening
Reintegrating Children on the Street
Program Update from Guatemala
Changing Institutions in Ghana
Job Postings
General Information

NEW REPORT: Children Living with and Affected by HIV in Residential Care


 Desk-based research from UNICEF, EveryChild and Maestral International

Evidence suggests that the phenomenon of residential care has been growing in recent years due to a complex interplay of different factors, among them HIV and AIDS. To date, there is no systematic information on the numbers of children living with or directly affected by HIV who are placed in residential care, the reasons for and the impacts of their placement on individual children, their families and communities and on the residential care facilities themselves.


In recognition of the need to know more about these issues, UNICEF commissioned EveryChild and Maestral International to provide technical assistance and evidence collection in relation to the care of children living with HIV in residential care. Through a combination of desk-based research and in-country data collection, the focus of this exercise is primarily on the extent, quality, impacts and responses to residential care for boys and girls (0-18 years) living with or directly affected by HIV. This report provides information from the desk-based component of this study, which is based on an extensive review of published and grey literature, and information gathered from experts working in this field.


To read the full report, visit: 




FXB Graduate Tracer Study: Tracing the Evolution of the FXB-Village Model and Its Impact on Participating Households

For over 20 years, FXB International has refined its community-driven "FXB-Village" model into a structured program of household support and economic strengthening designed to empower particularly vulnerable families to escape extreme poverty and ensure the enduring wellbeing of the children in their care.


Results from their recent graduate tracer study indicate that from their starting point at baseline as the poorest households in their communities, the FXB-Village participants in all three study areas are, on average, now faring at least as well as nearby households in most aspects of wellbeing. The dimensions measured include income, savings, nutrition, child health, water, sanitation, housing and education.


Read the full report at: 


RETRAK Technical Briefing: Family Reintegration for

Children Living on the Streets  

Retrak's technical brief on family reintegration for children living on the streets, acknowledges the difficulties which street children face at home and on the streets. But it also demonstrates that successful family reintegration is possible for street children when there is a focus on the individual child, building positive attachments with care-givers and strengthening families capabilities.


Read the full report at:


Family Group Conferencing to Preserve Families and Prevent

Child Institutionalization  

Helping families and their kin develop care plans for orphaned and vulnerable children was the objective of the family group conferencing (FGC) training that took place in Guatemala City from July 10-12, 2012. This family preservation approach for developing strategies to prevent the institutionalization of children emphasizes the strengths of families and their capacity to solve their own problems and develop their own care plans.


Read more at:

NEWS: From Harm to Help in Ghana and Beyond  

In her recent blog, Martha Manu accounts the efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and her own NGO, KaeMe, to reverse the trend of reliance on institutional care for children in Ghana. Manu examines the impact of external donors in the proliferation of orphanages and the ever expanding commitment of government and civil society partnerships in country to reverse the trend through investments in family reunification and family strengthening.  KaeMe's committed to working together with the DSW and aims to find a loving home for every child living in Ghanaian institutional care facilitites and to develop a database and information management systems  to facilitate reunification, foster care or adoption.


Read more at:


International Foster Care Organisation seeks Development Director

The International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO) is seeking to recruit a suitably qualified and experienced individual to assume the position of Development Director. The Development Director will manage IFCO's operations going forward and will work with IFCO's Board of Trustees to establish an operational unit to provide administrative support.  Closing date for applications: close of business on 3rd September 2012.


For further information about this opportunity, please visit: or


Hague Conference's Intercountry Adoption Technical Assistance Programme Seeks a Consultant to Support Haiti's Implementation of Hague Convention


The consultancy, to being in Autumn 2012, will provide support to the Institut Du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBERS) with the Reform of the International Adoption System in Haiti. The consultant will work under the daily supervision of the General Director of IBESR and general direction and responsibility of the Permanent Bureau. He/She will promote a co-ordinated approach in his/her work with management and staff of IBESR, as well as with the partners of IBESR and the Permanent Bureau (e.g. UNICEF and relevant international NGOs). The Consultant will also be responsible for consulting with both the Central Authorities of States of origin and receiving States interested in supporting the improvement of the Haitian intercountry adoption system.


To learn more, please visit:


SOS Children's Villages Seeks UN Representative in New York

SOS seeks a dedicated and dynamic individual to join their team as the representative in New York. With staff in Vienna, Brussels and Geneva, the Liaison & Advocacy Department represents SOS Children's Villages internationally, develops international advocacy initiatives and steers the strategic development of advocacy for the organization. 


Read the full posting at:


General Information


The newsletter participants are working on issues related to the care and support of vulnerable children across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.  The purpose of the newsletter is to enable members to exchange information on matters of mutual concern. If you would like to share a document, raise a specific issue, or reach out in any other way to the Network, please send the information to us at  In the interest of keeping messages consolidated, we will manage announcements on the newsletter and send out a few messages each month.


We would like to involve as many people as possible who are concerned with better care issues in the Network. Please advise anyone who would like to be added to the listserve to send us a message at  with "lnewsletter request" in the subject line. Alternatively, visit the homepage of the Better Care Network website, and click on the upper right box where it says "click here to sign up for our email announcements".