Too many children live without their parents or without a family. These children often end up in residential care, working in detention or on the streets. They are less likely to attend or do well in school, to have access to health and other basic services. As adults, they more also likely to be unemployed, to live in poverty and to be dependent on the state.
We are enabling children to grow up in permanent, safe and caring families. Children should spend most of their childhoods in safe, caring and protective families. For this to happen we need to drive more efforts towards the prevention of family separation and the reintegration of children. We also believe that vulnerable families need support to be able to provide their children with adequate care.
Not all children can be cared for by their parents, some children leave their homes because of abuse, exploitation or parental death, while others hope to find a better life in the city to study or work. Unfortunately, many of these children end up in conditions worse than those they left behind. Some wind up in large-scale institutional care, which can be neglectful, abusive and damaging. Others live in forms of alternative care that are often short-term and poorly regulated.
We are ensuring a range of high-quality, appropriate alternative care choices for children, they deserve the best care and stability possible to be happy and feel cared for. If their families can’t care for them, the alternative options have to be of high quality. Children’s own needs and preferences have to be taken into consideration. As large-scale institutional care doesn’t offer children quality care, we must work to end it, alternative care should be temporary where possible and must be properly regulated with the care and protection of children as the highest priority.
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