Care for ME!: Improving the Quality of Care

SOS Children's Villages International
12/11/2012: Starvation, humiliating physical punishment and forced labor are commonly used as disciplinary methods in state residential care facilities, according to the National Human Rights Institution in Peru. These violation of the rights of children in care is a global issue. To address this, SOS Children’s Villages has embarked on an ambitious worldwide campaign – to improve the quality of care for vulnerable children.

Care for ME! stems from the results of in-depth research conducted by SOS Children’s Villages across seven countries. This research has uncovered appalling violations of children’s rights across the world. In response to this growing problem, a holistic approach combined with cutting-edge practices in social work is being advocated to ensure that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is always upheld. Needs vary from country to country; however, the message from children living in alternative care, or in vulnerable families, is the same. They are crying out for their rights when they say Care for ME!

Tools for Keeping Children in Care Safe

States and childcare authorities now have a tool to help them improve the quality of care for children. The assessment tool for the implementation of the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children not only indentify the gaps in care , it also provides recommendations based on the experience and the best practices of experts. The in-depth, ground-breaking information now available for the first time provides a clear picture for decision makers across the world. They can easily relate to the detailed knowledge gathered from Armenia, Columbia, Croatia, Lithuania, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

SOS Children's Villages Mali
A girl from SOS Children's Villages Mali. Photo courtesy of Jens Honore.
What each report has in common is the fact that vulnerable families need to be empowered. The separation of parents and children must be prevented. Where alternative care is deemed necessary, individualized solutions will provide the key to quality care. SOS Children’s Villages believes that every child, whether living within a family or in alternative care, has the right to experience the positive, stable and loving relationships that he or she needs for healthy personal development. 

A significant gap exists between the theory behind child rights and the ways they are put into practice across the world. For children without parental care, or those who are at risk of losing their parents, the consequences can be especially severe and potentially irreversible. As Gitta Trauernicht, the vice-president of SOS Children’s Villages International, said “For us it is important that each child can develop his and her individuality in a family setting. We will fight for the rights of children in care and children in families at risk of separation until every child lives in a caring and safe environment.”

SOS: Helping Children for over 50 Years

SOS Children's Villages is an international, non-governmental social development organization that provides care, education and health services to children who have lost or who are at risk of losing parental care. Founded in Austria in 1949, the organization runs more than 2,100 programs that cater to 2.2 million children and adults in 133 countries and territories.

To assure the wellbeing of children, we support caring parents and caregivers through our family strengthening programs.  This is achieved through cooperation involving communities, authorities and various partners.

Guided by the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, SOS Children's Villages advocates for the rights of children and believes that a child’s development is best achieved in a family environment. Donate to SOS Children’s Villages today or sponsor a child to ensure that children’s rights are upheld across the globe.