Alternative forms of care for children without adequate family support: sharing good practices and positive experience

Maio 21, 2014 às 8:00 pm | Publicado em Estudos sobre a Criança | Deixe um comentário
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The focus of this presentation is the potential preventive role of the Guidelines for the alternative care of children: seeing how we can find solutions for children who are without parental care – or are at risk of being so – without having recourse to alternative care assuch. Although these Guidelines logically deal more especially with questions of the quality of care, the emphasis first of all is on prevention. Indeed, as the drafting process advanced, not only NGOs but also governments involved were increasingly adamant that preventive efforts at all levels – primary, secondary and tertiary – be highlighted, in other words: tackling general conditions that enhance the risk of family breakdown, working with individual families to avoid that outcome, and securing a child’s return to parental care underappropriate conditions wherever possible. It is important to bear three things in mind. First, the Guidelines are precisely that: they create neither new rights nor binding obligations, but are intended as suggestions for policy orientation agreed on the basis of current knowledge and grounded in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They are a key document, but they are not necessarily definitive, any more than the Convention itself is the “final” document for all time. Second, the Guidelines are by no means directed solely at governments but to all services, organizationsand professionals involved with alternative care issues, including in an indirect manner suchas those who deal with the broader context of social policy. The third point is that the Guidelines seek above all to promote individualised responses tailored to the situation andneeds of each child who has been, or risks being, placed in out-of-home care, and that areconsonant with his/her human rights. Respect for two fundamental principles underlies the approach: 1) the ‘necessity principle’, to ensure that placement in an alternative care setting is limited to cases where itis genuinely warranted, and 2) the ‘suitability principle’ whereby, if such alternative care is indeed deemed to be necessary, the solution is constructive and appropriate for each child concerned.


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