This position statement presents the key asks that are necessary to ensure that the rights and needs of children without or at risk of losing parental care are prioritised by national, regional and international governments as they adopt measures to mitigate the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.
Given their multidimensional conditions of vulnerability that could lead to a downward spiral in the context of the projected socio-economic crises, we ask that:
- Child welfare and protection services, and their staff be designated as essential and resourced accordingly.
- Social protection services that support families’ income and wellbeing are scaled up.
- Inter-agency coordination delivering services to the community is strengthened.
- Safeguarding prevention and support is redoubled to pre-empt and promptly address increased risks of abuse, violence and neglect.
- Progress achieved in quality in alternative care is not jeopardized, but rather enhanced.
- Support and protection of care leavers is scaled up.
- Children on the move are protected and their access to adequate care as national children is ensured.