There are innumerable doubts, difficulties and myths surrounding foster care programs worldwide; ranging from macro questions regarding financing to the professional challenges of delivery to the minutiae abutting each individual case:

How can we fund and recruit foster families? Match them with a child? Approach reintegration with the child’s birth family at the ‘appropriate’ time? When is the appropriate time?

To address these questions, and many more, participants are invited to attend a three-day gathering of global experts on foster care in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this December.

This International Colloquium is being organised and hosted by member Associação Brasileira Terra dos Homens (ABTH) – an expert in the field with extensive experience of foster care programming. ABTH has spent a decade advocating not only for foster care but also for reintegration and community-based solutions; they have helped the Federal Government to include this service in National Policies and have hosted two previous colloquiums on the topic.

Foster care is an important option for some children and a key component of the UN Guidelines for Alternative Care for Children.

Foster care needs to be embedded in a wider system of care and be one of a range of options available to children” Claudia Cabral, Executive Director, ABTH 

Claudia Cabral, Executive Director of ABTH, said: “This colloquium will focus on how to achieve quality formal foster care outside of extended family care.

“We need to know how to work with the family of origin and apply the methodology and practice of foster care – which needs to focus on the interests of the child.

“It is important that the judicial, social and psychological services work together and understand: how to work with the family of origin, how to develop short-term foster placements, the importance of the selection and preparation of foster parents and attachment theory and family dynamics.

“Most importantly, foster care needs to be embedded in a wider system of care and be one of a range of options available to children”

The Colloquium will be held 15-17 December in Campinas, Sao Paulo and specifically aims to:

  • Survey the main challenges for implementation of foster care;
  • Allow attendees, including governments and multi-national bodies, to reflect on these challenges and prepare context-specific strategies to face them;
  • Encourage representatives from countries without foster care programs to explore implementation in a culturally relevant and appropriate way;
  • Enable professionals engaged in this type of work to share and exchange different experiences and examples of practice;
  • Disseminate the latest research.

ABTH will be joined at the Colloquium by other Family members including ChildLinK, Guyana, CINDI, South Africa and Partnership for Every Child (P4EC), Russia.

The Alliance is committed to the implementation of the Guidelines for Alternative Care” Rekha Nathoo, Family President and Director of CINDI

Family President and Director of CINDI Rekha Nathoo said: “The Alliance is committed to the implementation of the Guidelines for Alternative Care which, in accordance with the predominant opinion of experts, stresses that children, especially those under the age of under three, should not be placed in institutions.

“We are thrilled to be able to share our experiences with ABTH at this vital event which we hope will support a vast range of professionals who need information about the implementation of foster care programs.”

For more information or to register for the Colloquium please go to this website or contact Leonardo Leal by email.

ABTH would like to extend their thanks to their funders and partners:

  • Secretaria de Direitos Humanos Presidência da República (The Human Rights Secretariat of the Presidency)
  • Kindernothilfe 
  • Prefeitura Municipal de Campinas (The Municipality of Campinas)
  • Secretaria Municipal de Cidadania, Assistência e Inclusão Social (Municipal Bureau of Citizenship, Welfare and Social Inclusion)

And also to RELAF, CELCIS, Hope and Homes and Conselho Nacional dos Direitos da Criança e do Adolescente (The Brazilian National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents) for their support.