Alliance Members

Welcome

We are Family for Every Child, a global alliance of local civil society organisations working together to improve the lives of children around the world. This is a site for you, the members of Family for Every Child.

This section of the website is for our existing alliance members. Here you will find information on Family's governance, your membership, communications and other members' work. It is also a space to connect with other members and the Secretariat, and access the latest updates and resources.

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About Kafalah

Many Islamic countries apply the kafalah principle to family-based care cases. Kafalah does not involve a change in kinship status, but does allow an unrelated child, or a child of unknown parentage, to receive care and legal protection. Kafalah refers to various means for caring for vulnerable children recognised under Islamic law, which prohibits breaking the blood-tie between the child and their birth parents; a change in parental status, name and inheritance rights are often prohibited in these societies. The term kafalah is also used to refer to providing regular financial and other support to children in parental, extended family or residential care, as is the case in Egypt. It may involve taking a child to live with a family on a permanent, legal basis, and caring for them in the same way as other children in the household, though they may not have the same rights to a family name or inheritance, as is the case in Jordan and Indonesia. Interpretation and use of kafalah and Islamic law vary considerably by context, and when working in a context where kafalah is practised it is important to fully understand how it is interpreted in that setting.

Background of the working group

On the initiative of Hope Village Society (Egypt), a workshop was organised in Istanbul (February 2016), to provide a space to discuss common issues in promoting family-based alternative care faced members in countries with a majority Muslim population. The aim was to identify opportunities for collaboration in practice exchanges, research and advocacy. 16 participants, representing members from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, plus the Secretariat took part. Despite the differences in approach and context, and in part because of them, the members were able to identify a range of needs and opportunities for shared learning, research, practice exchange and advocacy, including on development of law and policy on family care in an Islamic context, strengthening practice with children in alternative care and their caregivers (including foster families).

Following this, six members (from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon) have been working since early 2016. The group again met in Indonesia (in September 2017) to discuss possibilities for joint action and developed a concept note. While fundraising for this joint initiative, a guide on Foster care was prepared to understand the specific Islamic context and to have a step by step process to support the members that drew lessons and practices from other countries. While members continued online meetings and discussions, five members met face to face in Bishkek to develop national advocacy strategies and to sharpen the regional project plans drawing from the concept note that was developed in Indonesia.

In relation to alternative care, all but two members are working on some form of alternative care, with residential care the most common form of alternative care that members work on, followed by foster care. There are six members working in countries with majority Muslim populations and several others working in contexts with large Muslims population - in many of these settings, adoption and foster care are less common and Kafalah far more common.