Costa Rica

This country page features an interactive, icon-based data dashboard providing a national-level overview of the status of children’s care and care reform efforts (a “Country Care Snapshot”), along with a list of resources and organizations in the country.

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List of Organisations

demographic_data

Demographic Data

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4.95 million
Total Population
UNPD, 2018
1.30 million
People
Total Population Under 18
Estimate
26.3%
Population Under 18
 
UNICEF MICS, 2018
3.5
People
Mean Household Size
IPUMS, 2011
36.5%
Prevalence of Female-Headed Households
 
MICS 2011
Upper Middle-Income Country
World Bank GNI Status
World Bank, 2018
21%
Living Below Poverty Line
 
World Bank, 2019
48
GINI Coefficient
World Bank, 2018
0.794
Human Development Index
UNDP Human Development Report, 2018

childrens_living_arrangement

Children's Living Arrangements

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%
Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
52.6%
Living with Both Parents
 
MICS 2018
42%
Living with One Parent
 
MICS, 2018
3.9%
Living with Neither Parent
 
MICS 2018
%
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN

children_living_without_bio

Children Living Without Biological Parents

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90.9%
Living in Kinship Care
 
MICS 2018
3.9%
Living With a Non-Relative
 
MICS 2018
80%
Both Parents Alive
 
MICS 2018
17.5%
One Parent Dead
 
MICS 2018
2.5%
Both Parents Dead
 
MICS 2018

Children at Risk of Separation

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Children Experiencing Violence
NO DATA AVAILABLE
UNICEF & PANI, 2019
Children Experiencing Renunciation of Guardianship
NO DATA AVAILABLE
UNICEF & PANI, 2019
Children Experiencing Abandonment
NO DATA AVAILABLE
UNICEF & PANI, 2019

Formal Alternative Care Arrangements

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0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Family-Based Alternative Care
- - Families/Parents
- - Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Foster Care
- - Foster Families/Foster Parents
2,835 Children
i
In Costa Rica, formal foster homes include subsidized and unsubsidized homes and family-based care (kinship or non-kinship).
Sistema de Información de Alternativas de Protección 2018 y Acreditación del PANI 2017
Formal Kinship Care
- - Families/Parents
- - Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Residential Care
- - Settings
5,254 Children
Sistema de Información de Alternativas de Protección 2018 y Acreditación del PANI 2017
NGO Residences
- - Settings
2,242 Children
i
In Costa Rica, small group homes have a capacity of 10 minors, in the charge of two or three caregivers, and are located in the communities. This care arrangement includes PANI shelters and some NGO residences. Currently, the residential shelters of PANI and some NGOs also serve as transit and emergency reception centers.
Sistema de Información de Alternativas de Protección 2018 y Acreditación del PANI 2017
PANI Subsidized homes
- - Settings
2,702 Children
i
In Costa Rica, small group homes have a capacity of 10 minors, in the charge of two or three caregivers, and are located in the communities. This care arrangement includes PANI shelters and some NGO residences. Currently, the residential shelters of PANI and some NGOs also serve as transit and emergency reception centers.
Sistema de Información de Alternativas de Protección 2018 y Acreditación del PANI 2017
PANI shelters
- - Settings
310 Children
i
In Costa Rica, small group homes have a capacity of 10 minors, in the charge of two or three caregivers, and are located in the communities. This care arrangement includes PANI shelters and some NGO residences. Currently, the residential shelters of PANI and some NGOs also serve as transit and emergency reception centers.
Sistema de Información de Alternativas de Protección 2018 y Acreditación del PANI 2017
Lancet Global Study Estimate of Children Living in Institutional Care
3,337 Children
Desmond, et al, 2020

adoption

NO DATA AVAIABLE
Country
NO SOURCE GIVEN
92
children
Domestic Adoption
Consejos de Adopciones con fines adoptivos por año, 2017
i
per year
26
children
Inter-country Adoption
Consejos de Adopciones con fines adoptivos por año, 2017
i
per year
NO DATA AVAIABLE
Effective
NO SOURCE GIVEN

Parental Survivorship

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94.4%
Children with Both Parents Alive
 
MICS 2018
4.1%
Children with One Parent Alive
 
MICS 2018
0.1%
Children with Both Parents Dead
 
MICS 2018

Progress Indicators

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Country
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
¢ 4.66 trillion
Social Welfare Spending
Informe de Presupuestos Públicos 2019
i
For 2019, the Central Government budgeted ¢4.660.937 million on social spending, 4% more than the adjusted budget for 2018 and 2.9% more than the initial budget for 2018. // Para 2019, el Gobierno Central presupuestó ¢4.660.937 millones en gasto social, 4,0% más que el presupuesto ajustado de 2018 y 2,9% más que el presupuesto inicial de 2018.
¢ 100.48 billion
Child Welfare Spending
Presupuestos Públicos de PANI 2019
Alternative Care Policy in Line with the 2009 Guidelines
 
Limited
Source: UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
Código de Niñez y Adolescencia; Código de Familia; Ley de justicia penal juvenil; Ley orgánica del patronato nacional de la infancia; Manual Programa Hogares Solidarios. Edición 2008; Política Nacional sobre Adolescencia; Política Nacional sobre Primera Infancia; Política Nacional de la Persona Joven Política Nacional contra la Violencia contra Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes; Plan Nacional de de Salud de las Personas Adolescentes (2010-2018); Agenda Nacional de Niñez y Adolescencia (2015-2021); Política Nacional de Niñez y Adolescencia (2009-2021); (Proyecto de ley) de acogimiento familiar y adopción
Centralised Authority on Adoption
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Commitment to Deinstitutionalistion
 
Mostly
National Plan of Action
i
The commitment to deinstitutionalize began in 2017. A working group was formed to use the Tracking Progress Initiative Tool to assess the situation and, from those findings, a plan of action was presented to the government. // Para el desarrollo de la etapa inicial se conformó un Comité interinstitucional conformado por Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Casa Viva, la Asociación Roble Alto, el Patronato Nacional de la Infancia y Unicef, como principal propulsor económico de la estrategia. Como parte de la segunda fase se proyecta elaborar un plan de acción para las áreas de prevención, desinstitucionalización y reconversión del sistema de protección.
Comprehensive Child Protection Law
 
Yes
Código de Niñez y Adolescencia
Continuum of Alternative Care Services Available
 
Mostly
Source: UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
A new form of care is being introduced, "Hogares Solidarios Especializados," which promotes prevention of family separation with support and monitoring. Costa Rica is also developing family-based care models ("foster care")
Data System
 
No
Source: UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
The Sistema de Información de Alternativas de Protección (SIAP) records very basic information for minors in the alternative care system. Efforts have been coordinated with the Department of Information Technologies to achieve an update of the system or create a new technological platform that allows for collection of more information and will obtain data more quickly.
Existence of a Regulatory Body and Regulatory System
 
Yes
Consejo de Atención Integral (CAI)
i
PANI regulates accreditation for residential care settings and has developed guidelines for the supervision and monitoring of children separated from their parents // El procedimiento de acreditación y evaluación de proveedores es responsabilidad del Departamento de Acreditación del Patronato Nacional de la Infancia
Gatekeeping Mechanism/Policy
 
Mostly
Código de Familia art. 158 y 159; Artículo 133 del Código de Niñez y Adolescencia (Denuncia, audiencia, constatación de hechos, medidas de protección)
Means of Tracking Progress with Reforms
 
Yes
Tracking Progress Initiative (Tracking Tool)
Moratorium on Admission into Institutions for Children Under 3
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Moratorium on New Institutions
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
National Action Plan to Guide Reforms
 
Yes
Diagnóstico sobre el progreso de Costa Rica en la implementación de las Directrices sobre las modalidades alternativas de cuidado de los niños, 2019
National Standards of Care
 
Yes
Source: UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
Ley General de Salud; Código de Niñez y Adolescencia (para abrigo temporal y cuido provisional); Política de Primera Infancia; Modelo de Hogares Solidarios (PANI); Proyecto de Ley en la Asamblea Legislativa Sobre Acogimiento Familiar; Modelo de Albergues (PANI); Política Nacional para la Niñez y la Adolescencia; Ley de Centros de Atención Integral
Prevention of Separation Services Available
 
Mostly
Source: UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
C.C.S.S. pension scheme; cash transfers to vulnerable families; (FONABE, AVANCEMOS) education/scholarship programs for vulnerable children; C.C.S.S. support for people with disabilities; Programa extramuros; Atención primaria en servicios de Salud (Control de Niño Sano); Programa de Adolescentes madres; Programa de EISAM (Equipos interdisciplinarios en salud mental) de la C.C.S.S; PROMECUM (Centro educativos de atención prioritaria); Academias de Crianza del PANI; Centros de atención integral de CONAPDIS para personas con discapacidad; Unidades Móviles; Centros de Intervención Temprana; Centros de atención integral del IAFA para personas en adicción.
Support for Careleavers (in Legislation and in Practice)
 
Limited
Source: UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
PANI is not permitted to provide support beyond 18 years old. There is, however, limited support for continuing education (Inciso K of IMAS). It is optional for NGOs to provide continued support - some provide follow-up for a year. Care plans are created starting 6 months before leaving care and there is some prolonged support for careleavers with disability beyond the age of 18.

key_stakeholders

Key Stakeholders

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Country
Government
Effective

Other Relevant Reforms

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Effective
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Social Protection
i
El Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social promueve programas de apoyo a la estructura familiar a través de transferencias monetarias para la atención de necesidades básicas. Igualmente, el país cuenta con el régimen de pensiones no contributivo de la Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, C.C.S.S. También el programa Hogares Solidarios, que es la alternativa institucional de acogimiento familiar, dispone de presupuesto para otorgar subsidios económicos. 
UNICEF & PANI, 2019
Education
UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
Programs and initiatives include: 1. Programa extramuros (assistance service that provides food packages); 2. Non-contributory pension scheme of the C.C.S.S. (differentiated disability support) with social security; 3. Primary care in health services, through the social insurance program Control de Niño San; 4. National Care Network (CEN-CINAI, CECUDI, PANI-CIDAI) with a focus on prevention; 5. Adolescent mothers program; 6. Program of Interdisciplinary Teams in Mental Health (EISAM) of the C.C.S.S.; 7. Programs to support vulnerable families (eg: access to basic services, daycare). // Se identifican programas e iniciativas tales como: 1. Programa extramuros (servicio asistencial que brinda paquetes alimentarios); 2. Régimen de pensiones no contributivo de la C.C.S.S. (apoyo diferenciado por discapacidad) con seguro social; 3. Atención primaria en servicios de Salud, mediante el programa del seguro social Control de Niño San; 4. Red Nacional de Cuido (CEN-CINAI, CECUDI, PANI-CIDAI) con enfoque de prevención; 5. Programa de Adolescentes madres; 6. Programa de Equipos Interdisciplinarios en Salud Mental (EISAM) de la C.C.S.S.; 7. Programas de apoyo a familias vulnerables (p. ej.: acceso a servicios básicos, guardería).
Health
UNICEF & PANI, 2019
i
Territorial governments provide scholarships, as well as the private sector and NGOs. In addition, the Ministry of Public Education supports socially vulnerable populations through the award of school scholarships through the national fund of scholarships (FONABE, AVANCEMOS). There is also the Early Childhood Policy, School Policy and the CEN-CINAI Network. // Los gobiernos territoriales brindan becas de estudios, así como el sector privado y ONGs. Además, el Ministerio de Educación Pública respalda a la población en vulnerabilidad social a través de la adjudicación de becas escolares mediante el fondo nacional de becas (FONABE, AVANCEMOS). Existe también la Política de Primera Infancia, Política Escolar y la Red de CEN-CINAI.

drivers_of_institutionalisation

Drivers of Institutionaliziation

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Country
Push Factors
Effective

Acknowledgements

Data for this country care snapshot was contributed by the Working Group that completed the Tracking Progress Initiative Tool in Costa Rica, facilitated by SOS Aldeas Infantiles (Children's Villages) Costa Rica.

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

List of Organisations

UNICEF,

This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children on the move and COVID-19 in Mexico and Central America (including unaccompanied and separated children); the strategies that UNICEF is using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.

Better Care Network,

This country care review includes the care related Concluding Observations adopted by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

UNICEF Costa Rica y Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI),

Este diagnóstico tiene análisis del progreso de Costa Rica en la implementación de las Directrices sobre las modalidades alternativas de cuidado de los niños.

UNICEF y RELAF,

Este informe, presenta los resultados de ese estudio, examina las condiciones en que se encuentran los niños y los adolescentes con discapacidad en relación con el ejercicio de sus derechos, y propone algunas líneas de acción estratégica para mejorar las políticas y las prácticas en dirección a la garantía y la restitución del derecho de todos los niños, las niñas y los adolescentes a crecer en un ámbito familiar y comunitario, y sin discriminación. 

Christian Alliance for Orphans,

The organizations profiled in these case studies have pioneered effective transitions from residential to family-based care. 

Annie Edwards & Jini Roby - Brigham Young University BYU ScholarsArchive - Family, Home, and Social Sciences,

This one-page presentation outlines the research questions, data, methods, results, literature review, discussion and implications of a study that looked at the effects of a child’s relationship to head of household, age, and orphan status on the severity of discipline they receive in Ghana, Iraq, Costa Rica, Vietnam,and Ukraine.