Children Affected by Poverty and Social Exclusion

Around the world, poverty and social exclusion are driving factors behind the placement of children into alternative care.  Families give up their children because they are too poor to care for them, or they feel that it is the best way to help them to access basic services such as education and health care. Discrimination and cultural taboos mean that girls, children with disabilities, ethnic minorities, children with HIV/AIDS and children born out of wedlock, make up a disproportionate number of children abandoned into alternative care.

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Published in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Convention, this report is intended as an advocacy tool to both celebrate the achievements of the past three decades and generate dialogue on the critical work that remains – especially for children who have been left behind.

Kathomi Gatwiri, Lynne McPherson, Natalie Parmenter, Nadine Cameron, Darlene Rotumah - Trauma, Violence, & Abuse,

This article provides an overview of literature investigating the needs of Indigenous children in residential care facilities in Australia.

Ashley L. Landers, Jennifer L. Bellamy, Sharon M. Danes, Alan McLuckie, Sandy White Hawk - Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research,

The literature examining reunification for American Indian children reveals mixed findings regarding racial differences. Studies that isolate the impact of race on reunification while controlling for other covariates are needed, and this study fills that gap.

SNAICC – National Voice for our Children,

The Family Matters report sets out what governments are doing to turn the tide on over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care in Australia and the outcomes for children and their families.


Spotlight: Child Welfare is a collaborative journalism project that aims to deepen and improve reporting on B.C.’s child-welfare system.

Ashley Quinn - Child & Youth Services,

Indigenous cultures have been under significant attack in Canada since first contact with Europeans. This has resulted in significant harm to Indigenous Peoples and particularly to youth in state care, who often struggle with their identity when they are placed in non-Indigenous out-of-home settings. Developing protective ways of countering this is compounded by the lack of understanding of identity development amongst Indigenous youth. This article reviews theories of Indigenous identity development and their implications for Indigenous children, particularly those caught in the nexus of two cultures, as is the case with those in state care.


This report from Lumos defines the global problem of institutionalization of children - including the factors that drive it and the harmful impacts it has on children's physical and cognitive development - and proposes global solutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Eli Shmerling, Mick Creati, Mary Belfrage, Susan Hedges - Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,

The aim of this study was to document the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents in OOHC attending the paediatric service at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) between February 2014 and February 2016.

Alicia-Dorothy Mornington & Alexandrine Guyard-Nedelec - Philosophy and Child Poverty,

This chapter argues that poverty per se should never constitute the basis for removing children from their parents and seeks to understand the British situation, in order to see how poverty is treated in relation to child welfare in Britain.

West Coast LEAF,

This report explores the experiences of 64 Indigenous parents who have had engagement with the child welfare system in Canada. Their stories and expertise provide a wealth of knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of current prevention-based efforts and programs. Their experiences demonstrate that, despite the Ministry for Children and Family Development’s (MCFD) emphasis on improving prevention-based services for Indigenous families, long-standing apprehension-focused practices continue to permeate the system.