Hosted by the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations, UNICEF, the Better Care Network and the NGO Committee on UNICEF Working Group on Children without Parental Care, the launch of the handbook ‘Moving Forward: Implementing the ‘Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children’ at UNICEF House in New York on the 11th April 2013 marked a milestone in the affirmation of children’s rights.
Drafted by an international team led by the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) with supervision from an expert steering group that included representatives from International Social Service, SOS Children’s Villages International, ATD Fourth World, Better Care Network, Family for Every Child, RELAF, and UNICEF, the Handbook provides practical guidance on moving forward on the road to alternative care provision for children. It highlights implications for policy-making where national governments should provide leadership as well as contributes examples of what is already being effectively done on the ground. Hundreds of professionals from governments, NGOS, UN agencies, and academics fed into the drafting process, which includes promising practices from over 70 countries. The handbook was field tested in Argentina and Malawi facilitated by RELAF, Family for Every Child, and the Better Care Network Malawi.
The significance and anticipation of the handbook was reflected in its launch in New York, which was attended by more than 85 people, including delegations from permanent missions to the United Nations and social sector organizations.
The speakers at the event were:
- Ms. Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations
- Mr. Makmur Sunusi, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Social Welfare of Indonesia
- Ms. Cecilia Anicama, on behalf of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children
- Ms. Susan Bissell, Associate Director, Child Protection, UNICEF
- Ms. Jennifer Davidson, CELCIS Director & co-author of the Handbook