Strategies to Strengthen Families

Bright Hope: Providing Family Support through Church Partnership

Children grow best in families. This is true whether a child is born into great wealth or extreme poverty. However, in far too many communities around the world, it is poverty that is preventing children from growing up in the care of a family. Poverty is a driving force that pushes children into orphanages or thrusts them out into a life on the streets, creating social orphans and vulnerable children. Fortunately, local churches and faith-based NGOs around the world are partnering together and responding to the needs of these children in the best possible way: supporting families to provide for [...]

Bright Hope: Providing Family Support through Church Partnership2019-05-15T17:37:32-05:00

A Place to Call Home, A Person(s) to Call Family

Millions of children in Africa are growing up in orphanages, residential care centers, and children’s homes. Most of these institutions identify themselves as “homes” and “family” to these children. But are these residential care institutions really “home” or “family”? I grew up in an institution, and it didn’t feel like a family and I didn’t have the feeling that I was home. On the contrary, the place gave me a feeling of emptiness, uncertainty, and confusion. My two siblings (younger sister and older brother) were taken to a hospital, then to an institution after our mother was killed. On her [...]

A Place to Call Home, A Person(s) to Call Family2019-05-15T17:40:42-05:00

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church

Roblealto Child Care Association puts families at the forefront of its work with vulnerable children in San Jose, Costa Rica. Roblealto supports a holistic approach to restore at-risk children to loving and supportive relationships with their parents and provides resources for parents to achieve self-sufficiency for their families. Roblealto’s programs include four child care centers throughout San Jose, group homes, and a youth alumni group to support and empower youth leaving their programs. Child care centers seek to prevent separation of children from their families and strengthen family support systems. They provide a quality education for children and a wide [...]

Family First: A Global Partnership Between Roblealto and Bethany Community Church2019-05-15T17:52:29-05:00

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

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

The Image of God and the Abilities of All

The United Nations declared today, December 3rd, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Around the world on this day, the abilities of all people are to be celebrated, even (and especially) those of vulnerable children. Followers of Christ believe that all human beings are created in the image of God (Imago Dei), and therefore have the capacity and the right to thrive in relationship with one another. Yet while God’s image is within all people, in many parts of the world children with disabilities continue to be relegated to the uttermost fringes of society. Particularly in impoverished communities, resources [...]

The Image of God and the Abilities of All2019-05-15T18:08:19-05:00

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

New Resources Available on Strategies for Strengthening Family Care!

The Faith to Action Initiative is excited to announce the release of new resources on strategies for strengthening family care. A Continuum of Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children explains that the best way to serve vulnerable children is to strengthen the capacity of families to care for them. Family-strengthening strategies and services help address many of the root causes of separation from family care. To better understand and engage this topic, the following resources are now available for your use: Webinar 3: Strategies for Strengthening Family Care is the third in a three-part series providing an introduction to and [...]

New Resources Available on Strategies for Strengthening Family Care!2019-05-15T18:24:28-05:00

CAFO Webinar on Optimizing Your Child Protection Policy

This Wednesday, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) will launch the first in a new monthly webinar series, Knowledge + Practice. These webinars will translate research into actionable information that OVC care practitioners can implement immediately to elevate the quality of the care they provide. The first webinar is called "Optimizing Your Child Protection Policy: Five Key Components For Keeping Children Safe" and will take place on Wednesday, October 21st from 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM EDT. For more information or to register, please visit CAFO's website.

CAFO Webinar on Optimizing Your Child Protection Policy2019-05-15T18:23:10-05:00

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

Fuller Theological Seminary: Equipping Students in Family-Based Care

Fuller Theological Seminary is helping students thoughtfully understand and support evidence-based practices in action as practitioners. Thought leaders around the country at centers of learning like the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller, work to mold the experienced, as well as the inexperienced, into practitioners who go into the world to implement orphan care practices that align with the best interests of children.Fuller Theological Seminary’s Dr. David Scott, Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and Children at Risk, and Dr. Sheryl Ryan, Adjunct Faculty in the School of Intercultural Studies, are two leaders helping students understand the importance of family as [...]

Fuller Theological Seminary: Equipping Students in Family-Based Care2019-05-15T18:31:13-05:00

OVCsupport.net Webinar Series: Linking HIV and Child Protection

The following news update comes from OVCsupport.net: There is an increasing focus within the children and AIDS community on the need to ensure that child protection contributes to HIV prevention, treatment and mitigation targets. The 2014 Call to Action for Protection, Care and Support for an AIDS-Free Generation emphasizes that global targets to reduce vertical HIV transmission, increase HIV treatment and prevent new HIV infections cannot be achieved without addressing underlying factors of child abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect, along with other social and economic factors that increase HIV vulnerability. The Call to Action comes at a time of [...]

OVCsupport.net Webinar Series: Linking HIV and Child Protection2019-05-15T18:39:34-05:00

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

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
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