Care during COVID-19
COVID-19 has brought with it both risks and opportunities related to children’s care and protection. Risks that hard fought child welfare reforms could be undermined and the political will to prioritise transition into family based care may disappear. Opportunities to highlight the importance of planned closure of institutions, to develop high quality family-based alternative care, and to support kinship carers and care provision for children on the move.
Care during COVID-19 is a space for local civil society organisations involved in children’s care to engage on emerging issues related to COVID-19 response and recovery, and work together to help protect hard-fought gains in children’s rights. This community aims to facilitate discussion and learning exchange, as well as identify common issues, advocacy opportunities and programmes to pilot to support children and their families during the pandemic.
The community focuses on the care spectrum, including:
- Children in Families: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought stressors for families that could lead to family separation. Let's discuss solutions for enabling safe and caring families, and preventing family separation, in the context of COVID-19.
- Children in Alternative Care: Learning and sharing ideas and resources on how to support and protect children in a range of alternative care settings, and the unique challenges and considerations that COVID-19 brings.
- Children outside of care: Share ideas on steps to prevent children living outside of adult care, and in the interim, how to support and protect children without appropriate care.
- Other care-related issues and updates: Share any piece of general information about care-connected issues and COVID-19, as well as information on country updates and emerging child protection issues
Join Care During COVID-19 to start contributing to this community, as we work to protect and move forward children’s rights during the pandemic.
Approximately one in ten children around the world live in kinship care. This form of care is both the most widely used and the most valued option for children who cannot be cared for by their parents. Yet it is also neglected by policymakers and practitioners, placing children at great risk.
Kinship caregivers are often expected to look after children with no or minimal support, and greater emphasis is placed by many governments on more formalised forms of care outside of children’s families. The failure to support kinship care exposes already highly vulnerable children to further risk, including mental health problems, poverty, discrimination and exploitation.
This is why we have launched this community of practice to support practitioners to raise awareness of the issues associated with kinship care; share knowledge; help evidence the benefits; and solve problems by further identifying support needs and how we can overcome challenges.
RISE Learning Network
The RISE Learning Network promotes and facilitates learning around prevention and response to sexual violence against children.
Sexual violence against children has devastating long-term impacts on children’s physical, mental and reproductive health and social wellbeing, as well as their education and ability later to find work and safe relationships in supportive communities. It can leave them stigmatised, ostracised, without support or choices and vulnerable to further exploitation. Improving outcomes for children affected requires a holistic, flexible and individualised response.
The RISE Learning Network aims to increase knowledge and strengthen practice and policy by developing an open, vibrant, locally accessible global learning network.
(Re)Integration of Children on the Move
The Community of Practice for the project brings together professionals with an interest in integration and reintegration of children on the move, especially between the Middle East and Europe. The Community will be a space for the exchange of ideas and knowledge on the issues related to integration and reintegration, providing a forum for individual organisations to demonstrate and share good practice, and enable peer to peer support opportunities for ongoing professional development.
The overall goals of the Community of Practice are to:
- Encourage the development and extension of specialist knowledge relating to the (re)integration of children on the move, between and within the Middle East and Europe.
- Support the development of practical guidelines / toolkit to support the integration and reintegration of children on the move.
Lived Experience Platform
Our vision for the Lived Experience Platform is to create a collaborative and safe space for care-experienced people to connect and access support to become self-advocates. We launched the Lived Experience Platform, a dedicated space on Changemakers for Children aimed at bringing the voices of those with lived experience to the forefront of care reform.
In the pilot phase, we are first inviting organisations and networks who advocate for and with people with lived experience of care to sign-up to the Lived Experience Platform. As a member of this platform you can:
- Access advocacy and learning opportunities to share with your lived experience communities
- Exchange knowledge on programming and participation approaches for and with care experienced people
- Share your expertise and respond to the challenge of developing a virtual space for the lived experience community and input into its direction and required processes.