Not all children can be cared for by their parents or wider family networks. Children may therefore need other forms of temporary care whilst permanent family homes are found for them. This includes kinship care, short and long term foster care, smaller residential care facilities and supervised independent living.

Alternative Care Reports



Prioritising support to kinship care in responses to COVID-19

This short paper argues that a failure to prioritise support to kinship care during COVID-19 will exacerbate the risks that girls and boys face, and lead to poorly targeted and consequently ineffective strategies to prevent and mitigate the effects of the virus. The evidence presented is derived from a literature review which included published guidance developed in response to COVID-19, and evidence on previous experiences with Ebola outbreaks and the HIV pandemic.

View report in English.




The Paradox of Kinship Care

Approximately one in ten children around the world live in kinship care. This form of care is both the most widely used and the most valued option for children who cannot be cared for by their parents. Yet it is also neglected by policymakers and practitioners, placing children at great risk.

View report in English, Spanish, Russian, French, Portuguese and Arabic.



Losing the Care of a Parent

This report explores what family means to children and adults in five countries using the digital storytelling technique.

Digital storytelling uses storytelling methods to gain deep insights into feelings and experiences. Participants create individual stories about aspects of their own lives using still images and sound. Stories range from the impacts on children of family separation, multiple. View report in English and Spanish.


Strategies for delivering safe and effective foster care

The evidence presented in this report suggests that there is no one blueprint of universal elements for successful foster care programmes. Those developing and delivering foster care programmes must carefully examine their specific local context and adapt programmes accordingly.

However, there are some core components that all foster care programmes must have to ensure that they are safe and effective in meeting children’s needs.

Every child deserves the permanent care of a safe family and access to alternative care when needed. Read the full report here.


A spotlight on foster care

In recent years, there has been a rapid expansion in foster care programmes in low and middle-income
countries, often in an attempt to develop more appropriate alternatives to the use of large-scale institutional care for children who cannot be cared for by their own families. Yet research, knowledge and understanding on how to deliver effective, safe foster care programmes in such contexts is often missing (Family for Every Child, 2015a). View the report in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.


The place of foster care

Foster care can be an important part of the continuum of care choices for children. When foster care is administered appropriately, with the proper mechanisms, structures and resources, it allows children to remain in a loving and caring family while authorities work towards family reintegration or permanent alternatives.

This report is the product of an extensive global literature review of over 170 documents, interviews with key global and national NGOs, academic institutions, child protection networks, governments and the social work sector and the expertise of seven Family members. View the report in English.


Why Care Matters

The care of children matters to all of us. But today there are millions of children around the world that are not cared for adequately. It is a global crisis and one that will only get worse. There are an estimated 151 million children worldwide with either one or both parents dead, with at least 13 million of these children having lost both parents (UNICEF 2013).

View the report in English, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish. You can also view the summary in English.