Best Practices Strategy

Foster Care India: Redefining India’s Continuum of Care

It is perhaps human nature that we gravitate toward stories with inspiring plots and resolved endings. Those of us tirelessly advocating for vulnerable children love stories of children placed in families happily ever after. In reality, care for orphaned and vulnerable children is typically much more complex than a singular solution. As the Faith to Action Initiative explains in the document A Continuum of Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, “Preventing unnecessary separation, strengthening family care, and reducing placement in orphanages requires the existence of a ‘continuum’ of approaches and support services. Family-based alternatives range from reunification with the child’s [...]

Foster Care India: Redefining India’s Continuum of Care2019-05-15T17:44:39-05:00

Coptic Orphans: Strengthening the Church Family

Living as a religious minority anywhere in the world can present unique challenges. It can impact daily life, impeding access to education, livelihood opportunities, and economic stability. That is what led Egyptian-born Nermien Riad to found the organization Coptic Orphans. Since its establishment in 1988, Nermien has encountered thousands of orphans and vulnerable children from Egypt’s Coptic Christian community and has seen that for children without a father, life is especially challenging. When husbands and fathers are not present, children and mothers do not have a voice in Egyptian society. Further, despite the country’s rich Christian heritage, around only 13 [...]

Coptic Orphans: Strengthening the Church Family2019-05-15T17:53:56-05:00

Bethany Christian Services Announces New Program in Haiti

Bethany Global, a division of Bethany Christian Services (BCS), announced the launch of social services in Haiti that will serve and support foster care. Partnering with a local church in Port-Au-Prince, Bethany is currently recruiting families to undergo its rigorous foster care training program, and anticipates serving 60 children by summer 2016. In spring 2014, Bethany launched a small project in Haiti called Operation Exodus, working with vulnerable families living in the tent cities around Port-Au-Prince. This project serves to strengthen families through economic and psychosocial support. Relocation to safe housing is a priority, but so is financial sustainability, skills [...]

Bethany Christian Services Announces New Program in Haiti2019-05-15T17:55:18-05:00

The Role of Parent Education and Support in Strengthening Families and Improving Child Well-Being

We all know that parents and other individuals responsible for the daily care of children (usually referred to as “caregivers”) need good parenting and caregiving skills to support their children’s healthy development and well-being. Most parents and caregivers do fairly well raising their children without receiving any parenting education or external support. However, some do need it. This is particularly important for parents and caregivers with little education, who don’t have access to health and social services, and who are dealing with different stressful situations in their family, such as poverty, disability, substance abuse, domestic violence, illness and death, and [...]

The Role of Parent Education and Support in Strengthening Families and Improving Child Well-Being2019-05-15T17:57:58-05:00

CAFO Webinar on Empowering Caregivers

This Wednesday, January 13th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the fourth in a  monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. This webinar is called “Empowering Caregivers: Practical Parenting Training (Adolescent Edition)" and will take place on Wednesday from 11am – 12pm Eastern.  Research and common knowledge both suggest that the most influential relationship in a child's life is with his or her caregiver.  A strong caregiver relationship can limit the effects of trauma, increase a child's [...]

CAFO Webinar on Empowering Caregivers2019-05-15T17:59:25-05:00

New Better Care Network Working Paper on Gatekeeping

Published jointly with UNICEF, Better Care Network has recently released a new working paper focused on the role of gatekeeping in strengthening family-based care and reforming alternative care systems. Gatekeeping refers to systematic procedures aimed at ensuring that alternative care for children is used only when necessary, and that the type of care provided is suitable to the individual child. This Working Paper reviews different approaches to gatekeeping in five countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Moldova, and Rwanda. In each context, the working paper explores what has and has not worked, analyzes lessons learned from practice, and reflects on the implications for improving policy [...]

New Better Care Network Working Paper on Gatekeeping2019-05-15T18:03:39-05:00

Displacement and Family Separation for Syrian Refugee Children

According to the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR, the world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since WWII, having surpassed 50 million people who have been forced to leave their homes as refugees, as asylum seekers, or as internally displaced persons (IDPs) within their home countries. This massive increase is driven largely by the civil war in Syria, which will reach the five-year mark in a few months. According to World Vision, “The crisis in Syria affects more than 12 million people—more than those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined.” Of [...]

Displacement and Family Separation for Syrian Refugee Children2019-05-15T18:04:51-05:00

CAFO Webinar on Family Reintegration

This Wednesday, December 9th, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the third in a  monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. This webinar is called “Family Reintegration: Achieving Balance Between Empowering Families and Safeguarding Children”  and will take place on Wednesday from 2 PM – 3 PM Eastern.  Kate Riordan, Senior Advocacy Advisor at Family for Every Child will explore how to keep families intact and reunite separated families with proper safe-guarding; how to prevent the factors that [...]

CAFO Webinar on Family Reintegration2019-05-15T18:06:57-05:00

Putting the Lonely in Families: The Journey of SFAC

The transformation of a child who is reintegrated into a family is always worthy of praise and thanksgiving. Yet few things are as noteworthy as the hundreds of children’s lives impacted by an adult or adults who decisively recognize that God puts the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Meet Mick Pease. Mick is the Director of SFAC (Substitute Families for Abandoned Children), a UK-based Christian organization that advocates for improved services for orphaned and abandoned children, with an emphasis on alternative options to residential care. SFAC provides training for nonprofit and faith-based organizations, social workers, volunteers, and substitute families around [...]

Putting the Lonely in Families: The Journey of SFAC2019-05-15T18:10:50-05:00

CAFO Webinar on Gatekeeping

This Wednesday, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the second in a new monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. October's webinar focused on child protection policy. You can view this webinar here. The second webinar is called “Gatekeeping: Reducing Unnecessary Entry Into Alternative Care"  and will take place on Wednesday, November 4th from 2 PM – 3 PM EST. Dr. Delia Pop of Hope and Homes for Children will explore effective methods for identifying families at [...]

CAFO Webinar on Gatekeeping2019-05-15T18:15:17-05:00

Finding Life After Institution

In Kenya, a movement of remarkable new leaders is working to assist young adults who have aged out of institutions and are trying to find their way in life. This network of people is the Kenya Society of Careleavers (KESCA) organization, “by and for adults (18+ years), who spent all or part of their childhood in children homes, orphanages, and/or rehabilitation centers.” The systems that “raised” them often provide no mechanisms for navigating life after they leave the institution, and with no familial support network, life can be devastatingly bleak. Magnifying this is a culture in which family and community [...]

Finding Life After Institution2019-05-15T18:20:44-05:00

Strengthening Children and Families Through Agricultural Development

Roots. They dig deep into the soil, drawing up water and nutrients so the rest of the plant can flourish and bear fruit. If roots are infected, or too shallow, or lacking essential nutrients for survival, the entire plant will become susceptible to disease and fail to thrive. Similarly, children rooted in chronic poverty are far more susceptible to exploitation and abuse. When we talk about the root causes that create vulnerable conditions for children and orphans, we often have to dig deep into the brokenness lying beneath the soil’s surface. While digging into the soil of my neighborhood in [...]

Strengthening Children and Families Through Agricultural Development2019-05-15T18:27:18-05:00

Fostering Hope in Guatemala

In Guatemala, when a child becomes an orphan, is a victim of abuse or exploitation, or is separated from family-based care, the primary response, historically, has been to place that child in a residential care facility. In 2013, UNICEF reported that 5,800 Guatemalan children were living in orphanages with large disparities of caregivers and children. Unfortunately, research shows that there are long-term, and sometimes permanent, negative effects institutional care can have on a child physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socially. Buckner International, a Christian organization working with orphans, vulnerable children, and families, is helping to change those prospects for many children [...]

Fostering Hope in Guatemala2019-05-15T18:29:33-05:00

An Introduction to Better Volunteering on Behalf of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

In recent years, a trend has been on the rise where travelers and short-term mission groups volunteer in residential care facilities with children. When traveling to economically poor countries, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the difficulties that orphans and vulnerable children face, and it is natural to want to take action, but how we engage can make a world of difference. Motivations for volunteering are diverse, and most visitors have good intentions. Many Christian groups have made these types of visits to orphanages during short-term missions trips to provide care for orphans. Other volunteers make this part [...]

An Introduction to Better Volunteering on Behalf of Orphans and Vulnerable Children2019-05-15T18:35:11-05:00

Continuum of Care Resources Now Available!

Faith to Action is excited to announce the launch of three new resources on the continuum of care. The continuum of care provides an overview of a range of alternative care options for children who have been separated from parental care. In keeping with research and evidence-based guidance on the importance of family in the life of a child, the continuum places a high priority on family care while also recognizing the role that temporary residential care and small group homes can play in the spectrum of options to meet individual situations and needs. The continuum of care highlights [...]

Continuum of Care Resources Now Available!2019-05-15T18:41:08-05:00

Quietly Investing in the Zimbabwean Church

Where would you go if your family were on the verge of separation because you could no longer afford to feed your children? What if your support system—family, friends, community—were all in the midst of similar circumstances themselves and unable to help you? Whom would you trust? In Zimbabwe, Forgotten Voices highlights how the local church is in a unique position to support family preservation, and how this kind of work is pursued with tenacity and faithfulness. Otto Monroy, Vice President of Forgotten Voices, believes that strengthening the church is a critical approach to orphan care. Forgotten Voices partners [...]

Quietly Investing in the Zimbabwean Church2019-05-15T18:42:38-05:00

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families

For any child longing to be reunited with his or her family, the emotional and psychological hurdles can be enormous. This is particularly true for children being reintegrated with their families and communities after living on the streets—due to a range of issues, including family breakdown, death of a parent, and poverty. Street children, in some ways, live their lives in the shadows. They are often forced into unpaid labor positions or a lifestyle of begging. Yet despite the aspects of life that are largely unseen, the stigma attached to a child who has lived on the streets can [...]

Reducing Stigma: Retrak’s Model of Reunifying Street Children With Families2019-05-15T18:44:01-05:00

Protecting Children in Post-Earthquake Nepal

It’s hard to visit Nepal and not be awe-struck by God’s handiwork: the soaring mountains, the fields of golden mustard, the laughter and artistry of Nepali people. Yet this same beauty has at times made Nepal particularly vulnerable to poverty and natural disaster. The mountainous topography makes infrastructure a constant challenge, and for decades scientists have been predicting a major earthquake. These vulnerabilities then breed exploitation and conflict. My first visit to Nepal in 2003 coincided with a lull in the midst of the nation’s decade-long civil war. I was immediately captivated. And I was unaware at the time [...]

Protecting Children in Post-Earthquake Nepal2019-05-15T18:45:22-05:00

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention

My name is Deborah. I am 23 years old. Less than a year ago, I was standing at the gates of an orphanage about 15 minutes away from Abide. I had my two daughters with me, Lydia and Martha. My husband died in a traffic accident when Martha was only 18 months old. After he died, I looked everywhere for a job. My landlord had finally kicked us out because I was six months behind on rent. He was generous to let us stay that long. That day, I decided to take my girls to an orphanage. I stood [...]

The Power Of A Single Story: Why Orphan Prevention2019-05-15T18:49:25-05:00

Webinar on Transition to Family-Based Care

Next Wednesday, July 22nd, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will be hosting a webinar related to their "Replicable Models of Transition to Family-Based Care," project. Leaders from Buckner International, ACCIR, and the Akola Project, and will join CAFO President Jedd Medefind and answer audience questions, in addition to presenting on their own experiences. The Faith to Action Initiative is hopeful that many organizations and churches will join the webinar and be inspired to make steps toward engaging in and supporting family-based care. The webinar is scheduled for 2-3:30pm EDT. Register for free today! If you're not able to join the [...]

Webinar on Transition to Family-Based Care2019-05-15T18:50:39-05:00
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