Manual on Foster Care for Unaccompanied and Separated Children

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

This Manual sets the minimum standards and policies for the protection and care of UASC within a foster care arrangement. The Manual is based on the premise that children who are displaced from their home countries and separated from their families deserve the best alternative care in the country in which they are residing. The proposed minimum standards and policies aim to ensure that UASC are safe, protected, and have access to resources to support their development and promote their well-being.

Although the Manual may be specific to Malaysia, it complies with the principles and requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and may be adapted for use in other parts of the world. The minimum standards recommended in this Manual are derived from applicable domestic and international laws and policies, particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Malaysian Child Act 2001. Other relevant UN General Comments and Guidelines are also referenced in this Manual accordingly.

This Manual does not prescribe the methods or processes of implementing a foster care programme. It is to be used as a guide to create more individualised policies and procedures necessary for developing formalised foster care programmes in any country. It considers the child’s specific needs within the child’s environment, national laws, regulations, cultural values and religious uniqueness. The Manual outlines the key minimum standards that are important in the evaluation and monitoring of a foster care programme. It may also be used as a reference whenever decisions need to be made during the planning and implementation of a fostering programme for UASC in the host country.