Committee on the Rights of the Child 2021 Day of General Discussion: Children’s Rights and Alternative Care - Background Document

The purpose of this background document is to synthesize and present evidence shared in the submissions received by the Committee through the public consultation process of the 2021 Day of General Discussion on Children's Rights and Alternative Care.

The document presents a summary of the submissions. It brings forward the voices and perspectives of children and young people currently in the care system or with experience of the child protection or care system, as well as the voices of care leavers and adults with lived and professional experiences (e.g., parents, caregivers, individuals who have experienced care as children, academics, practitioners and policy makers). It also highlights key overarching recommendations stemming from the submissions. The scope of this paper mirrors the scope of the DGD itself (see section 1.1 above).

The methodology for this paper consisted of an independent consultant undertaking a review, analysis, synthesis and summarization of the submissions received by the Committee through the public consultation process (see details on the consultation process in section 1.3 below). The consultant used a standard qualitative research coding process to identify and examine key themes and perspectives arising from the submissions. The consultant made every effort possible to give equal time, attention and weight to each individual submission. The consultant weighted several criteria and constraints for determining inclusion or exclusion from this background document, such as frequency of mention across submissions, presentation of unique perspectives, provision of innovative models or examples, expression by individuals with care experience, etc. Exclusion from this background document does not mean that a particular point is not valid. Members of the Committee and the public have access to all the content provided in the submissions, even if a particular point has not been mentioned in this synthesis document.

Primary limitations of this methodology were the time constraints for the review, analysis, drafting and revision processes and relying exclusively on the submissions for all content (i.e. absence of independent research to verify submissions and fill in gaps). The nature of the document as a summary of hundreds of submissions also inevitably means that it could not capture all of the specificity, diversity and nuance of each individual submission.

It is important to note that while the document presents a wide range of quotes and perspectives of children, young people and adults with care experience, it only provides identifying information (e.g., first name, age, gender, location) when such information has been provided in the original submission. The endnote associated with each quotation provides the reference to the assigned number and category of the submission from which the quote was taken. Endnotes are also attached to examples of practice mentioned throughout the document.

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