Recognition of the damaging effects of institutional care on children and its high cost has influenced governments to redirect resources towards alternative family and community-based care practices such as kinship care, fostering, and adoption. Redirecting resources in the context of social welfare reforms requires a commitment from governments to provide adequate financing for effective policy implementation.
Funding availability raises a variety of issues regarding the level and type of support to be provided, the private or public management of services, and the entitlement process. Social welfare should protect the rights of children and their caretakers via fair and clear criteria of support provisions, with transparent procedures for the effective allocation of services.
Social welfare reforms to protect and support children and families need to be built on legal protections and child care policies which reflect the same child centred goals. Alternative forms of community based care, combined with social reintegration programmes and family support services, must be developed to reduce the use of institutions and enable children leaving institutions to rejoin their communities.
The resources in this section focus on country initiatives in reforming their social welfare sector to finance community based care developments.