BCN Newsletter: 18 February 2013 


To the Better Care Network,


Welcome to the latest edition of the BCN Newsletter! 


In this edition, you will find the latest research and resources on alternative care and related programming and policy guidance. This issue of the newsletter includes:

  • Request for Information: Inter-agency Group Research on Reintegration
  • The World Family Map: Child Trends maps global trends in family structures, socio-economic and processes;
  • Ethiopia: documentation of a Foster-to-Adopt pilot by Bethany Christian Services;
  • A new Manual drawing the evidence on What Works to Tackle Child Abuse and Neglect from 5 countries in Europe; 
  • Fair Start Online Training on working with children in residential or foster care;
  • NEW Section! The Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on alternative care to Algeria and Turkey.
  • Upcoming Public Dialogue Day on Addressing Inequalities and the International Consortium for Social Development Conference!

Questions? You can reach us at Thank you for your continual subscription and partnership in promoting positive and appropriate alternative care options for children!


All the best,


The BCN Secretariat



Request for Information: Reintegration Research
The World Family Map
Ethiopia: Foster-to-Adopt Pilot
What works in Tackling Child Abuse and Neglect
FairStart Online Training
CRC Concluding Observations Algeria and Turkey
Public Dialogue Day on Addressing Inequalities
International Consortium for Social Development Conference
General Information


Research on Children's Reintegration

The Inter-agency Group on Children's Reintegration is currently carrying out a desk-based research on reintegration. The Group is headed by Family for Every Child and its membership includes representatives from BCN, UNICEF, USAID, the CPC Learning Network, World Vision, IRC, UHI Centre for Rural Childhood, Save the Children, and Maestral International.

The Group is seeking published and unpublished research reports on reintegration or evaluations of reintegration interventions spanning the full range of separated children, including those affected by emergencies, in alternative care, and trafficked or migrant children.

It is also requesting practitioners to complete a short survey (less than 30 minutes) on reintegration to complement this literature review. The survey aims to identify commonalities and differences in reintegration programming for children in different contexts, draw out unpublished literature, identify major areas of concern for those working to improve practice in reintegration, and identify potential participants for key informant interviews.

All relevant literature and the short survey are due 15 March, 2013.

Please send all literature to and visit to access the complete survey.



The World Family Map

Mapping Family Change and Child Well-Being Outcomes 

The World Family Map Project is a new initiative by Child Trends to monitor the health of family life around the globe and to learn more about how family trends affect the well-being of children. Recognizing the centrality of the family to child and adult well-being and the changing dynamic and structure of families today, the project will issue an annual report using internationally comparative data for low-, middle-, and high-income countries to map trends in family structure, family socioeconomics, family processes, and family culture in every region of the world. For its inaugural 2013 edition, the map covers family trends in 45 countries, representing every region of the world, as well as a majority of the world's population. 

This edition also features an essay, Two, One or No Parents? Children's Living Arrangements and Educational Outcomes Around the World, which explores the links between family structure and children's educational outcomes in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. The data shows that throughout the world children who do not live with either parent often exhibit the worst educational outcomes: they are particularly disadvantaged in terms of educational enrollment and performance relative to children in two-parent families, and also experience a disadvantage when compared with children in single-parent families. Children living in two-parent families in middle- and high-income countries on the other hand were more likely to stay on track in school and demonstrate higher reading literacy than children living with one or no parents. However, the study also indicated that the positive effects of living with two parents were much less consistent in low-income countries, with few differences between children living with one versus two parents in many low- income countries once all family and individual background factors were considered, and that there was even an advantage to living with a single parent for some educational outcomes in some countries.

To read the full report, please visit:




Ethiopia: The Development of the Bethany Christian Services

Foster-to-Adopt Pilot Project 

This report provides initial documentation of a pilot program launched by Bethany Christian Services in 2009 in Ethiopia.  An estimated 5 million Ethiopian children (0-17) have lost one or both parents, as a result of HIV and AIDS, other diseases such as TB and malaria, extreme poverty as well as famine and migration. The report states how this situation has left families financially stretched beyond their limits in providing traditional models of support to vulnerable children and resulted in increased reliance on institutional care. In order to address this situation, the Bethany Christian Services launched a pilot program in 2009 that aimed to move children from institutional care to family-based care by developing local alternative family care for non-relative children using a foster-to-adopt approachThe project used foster care as an intermediary service, preparing families for permanency through the new concept of non-relative domestic adoption. It was carried out in three cities, Addis Ababa, Awasa, and Adama.


A partnership was established between Christian evangelical communities in Ethiopia and U.S. based faith congregations to provide sustainability to the project through the long-term commitment that churches make with partner communities. Ethiopian churches were engaged to identify and recruit local foster families, increase community connections, and support families to care for vulnerable children. The approach drew from the communities' Christian faith and presented that faith as a resource that the community can use to extend care to non-relative vulnerable children within their communities. Bethany hired and trained social workers and partnered with Kingdom Vision International, a local faith based orphanage, to deliver services to families who cared for the children. More than 110 families were recruited during the first project cycle and the goal was to place 75 children into local Ethiopian families. Foster families were prepared from the outset for adoption in the long term. The report highlights some of the initial lessons learnt and underlines that a formal project evaluation is to be undertaken.





What Works in Tackling Child Abuse and Neglect?

A Manual for Policy Makers, Managers & Professionals  

This Manual is the main outcome of the European Commission Daphne III program, Prevent and Combat Child Abuse: What works?, involving regional exchanges and research from five countries (Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands), and bringing together the evidence and practice-based knowledge on addressing child abuse and neglect. Drawing from the evidence gathered through these processes, the Manual aims to bridge the gap between international standards and the evidence and practice-based knowledge regarding the quality of the systems, services, and professionals needed to implement them effectively. 

The Manual underlines in particular the need for a sustainable care continuum for preventing and responding to child abuse and neglect, embedded in a national framework. It recommends that government invest in both universal and targeted prevention strategies with proven effectiveness. The project results show that universally accessible parenting programs as well as public media education program are effective in preventing child abuse, and that these services need to be offered as early as possible. In addition, effective targeted preventive programs should be available and accessible to support parents and teach them positive parenting skills, such as home visiting and parenting education. Responses should be designed not only to stop the abuse and neglect but also to change the home situation such that the child can grow up safely and with future prospects. Interventions should therefore be family-oriented and must at least partly take place in the child's own community ('home and community based'). Evidence and practice on using out-of-home placement options for children whose safety is at stake is also reviewed, with recommendations on choosing suitable foster families, coaching them, and providing placement stability for children with multiple placement changes, and resorting to residential care only for limited cases where such a setting is specifically appropriate and involves the best interest of the child. 

To access the full report, please visit:




FairStart Online Training on

working with Young Children in Residential or Foster Care

FairStart Training is a free 15 step online program developed by a child psychologist in Denmark, in collaboration with a team of childcare professionals, with support from the European Commission. It is a development program that aims to improve the professional care giving skills of those working with young people in public care (focused on children aged 0-3) through daily practices and organizational development. The training is designed to be integrated into the daily work of the staff of the institution or foster care agency, with 15 two-hour training sessions that can be conducted during staff meetings or whenever convenient. The stated objective of the program is to offer children placed in professional care a secure base for playing and learning, and the contents and principles of the training are centered around what it calls "The Secure Base Model of professional care giving". 


The training aims to develop coherent care giving practices to promote secure attachment in children, increase early brain activity and development through daily stimulation, and support the development of family like groups in order to promote normal attachment, peer relations and social skills. It works by combining staff's increased knowledge and understanding of child development, in particular Attachment Theory, with practical exercises for them to reflect upon the implication of this knowledge on their care giving practices and arrangements. Interactive methods and media are used, including video recordings, photos and development plans. A handbook for the institution or agency's manager and instructor is also available on the website.


The training material is free of charge and available in eight languages at: 



Care related Concluding Observations by

the Committee on the Rights of the Child

The Better Care Network Newsletter is beginning a new section to highlight recently adopted Concluding Observations by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its examination of State Party reports, with a particular focus on sections addressing Family Environment and Alternative Care. Links to two country reports and the text of the relevant sections of the Concluding Observations will be provided in each newsletter. 


In this edition, we are beginning with two of the countries examined during the 60th Session of the Committee held from the 29 May- 15 June 2012, Algeria and Turkey.


To access the Concluding Observations on Algeria, please visit:


To access the Concluding Observations on Turkey, please visit:




Public Dialogue Day on Addressing Inequalities


Global Consultation on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: A Live-streamed Public Dialogue


The Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, led by UNICEF and UN Women with the support from the Governments of Denmark and Ghana, will host a live-streamed Public Dialogue to discuss and answers questions addressing inequalities such as, "Why do inequalities matter?", "What impacts do they have for societies and individuals?", "How can they be addressed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda?" The event will culminate with meetings to review final reports and findings of the discussions on how to address inequalities in the post-2015 agenda. 


The Public Dialogue Day will be live-streamed via the consultation's website on Monday, February 18th 2013 from 9:00am-3:00pm Central European Time. This will be an interactive event and online participants are invited to submit questions to the panel in advance using Twitter (@Inequalities2015) and its hashtag #Inequalities2015. 


Panelists include speakers from Save the Children, Feminist Taskforce of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, CAFOD, DAWN, African Child Poverty Forum, South Centre, Beyond 2015, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme, Social Watch, ODI, Amnesty International and the National Confederation of Dalit Organizations, as well as noted academics and UN agencies.


Please access the following website for the full event program and list of panelists:




The 18th Biennial International Consortium for

Social Development 2013 Conference, Kampala, Uganda

Opening New Frontiers in Social Development: Facing Opportunities and Challenges


Building on the importance of good governance that the Dhaka symposium underscored, the 2013 ICSD conference will be held on July 15-19, 2013 in Kampala, Uganda co-sponsored by Simmons College (Boston, MA) and Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda). The conference will examine new and emerging issues in social development. Long standing concerns including the Millennium Development Goals, policy limits, institutional autonomy, poverty and hunger, global climate change, continuous marginalization and social exclusion, social justice and human rights issues, mobilization of governmental, non-governmental, and civil society institutions that address the widening gap between rich and poor will be explored by leading scholars from all over the world. With Uganda as the location for this conference, attention will be drawn to the importance of the developing world and its contribution to these issues.


More specific aims and objectives of the conference include: 

  • Identifying emerging issues in social development
  • Identifying region-specific issues and challenges in social development
  • Discussing and analyze the roles, responsibilities and opportunities for social development
  • Exploring regional, national and global opportunities through collaborations and sustainability toward social development

Registration is open until May 15, 2013.


Please visit the following website for more information about the conference and registration instructions:





The newsletter participants, currently 3,205 in total, 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 newsletter to send us a message at with"newsletter request" in the subject line. Alternatively, visit the homepage of the Better Care Network website at and click on the upper right box where it says, "click here to sign up for our email announcements." Thank you.