Miracle Encounters – Family Links, Colombia

Focus 11: Developing family-based alternative care settings

This Project, developed by a local NGO, Kidsave Colombia, in partnership with the Colombian Government, aims to provide children and young people with an opportunity to live within a foster family where necessary. The programme was developed over 27 months from 2006 to 2008. The children and young people involved in this project were from family backgrounds where they had suffered abuse, neglect, lack of affection and poor attachment to their birth parents and many of the children and young people had addiction problems. 

Overall the majority of the children and young people had spent a third of their lives in the care system. The Project had four main components: training and capacity building of agencies; support for children/young people and the foster families to improve interaction and relationship building; awareness-raising to influence the attitudes of political leaders and decision-makers in relation to children/young people without birth families. External evaluation found children and young people were helped to develop social competencies and their social network, which helped to strengthen family integration, with the children and young people showing positive interaction towards both adults and children within the foster family. The feedback from the foster families was also very positive and the programme had exceeded their expectations.

For more information visit: Alternative Child Care and Deinstitutionalisation in Central and South America

International Social Service, Oak Foundation, SOS Children's Villages International, unicef, ATD Fourth World, Better Care Network, Family for every child, ngo group for the crc, PEPFAR, RELAF, Save the Children, USAID