Studies, Reviews and Research

Identifying basic characteristics of formal alternative care settings for children. A discussion paper – March 2013

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NGO Working Group on Children without Parental Care

This discussion paper  is the outcome of an initiative launched in July 2010 to contribute to building understanding and promoting discussion about the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children accepted by the UN General Assembly in December 2009. It is concerned only with the categories of formal settings considered in the UN Guidelines. A wide variety of formal settings providing care to children are in place throughout the world, and these settings are currently referred to in confusingly different ways. The global promotion and implementation of the Guidelines would therefore benefit greatly from a clearer and widely-accepted idea of what each of these categories implies. Using commonly-agreed, standardised terminology ensures first and foremost that everyone concerned understands exactly what is being advocated. It also facilitates data-collection and comparative research that can assist in performance assessments and in determining the appropriateness and potential applicability of lessons learned. A standardised approach could also be especially helpful in informing the review of States Parties’ reports by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.  This discussion paper is designed to provide an initial basis for consultations that could lead to such a harmonised conceptual and terminological stance.

This document is an output of the NGO Working Group on Children without Parental Care in Geneva (a sub-group of the NGO Group for the CRC), commissioned and financed by Better Care Network, Family for Every Child, International Social Service, Save the Children and SOS Children’s Villages International


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