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Moving Forward: Implementing the 'Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children'

Financing care in Cambodia

Focus 13: Financing care to avoid unwarranted placements 

The Government of Cambodia is seeking to reduce reliance on institutions for children requiring alternative care and supports family and community-based care. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation promotes family-based care through the Policy on Alternative Care for Children and the Minimum Standards, however the financing of care remains a major barrier with local and international donors supporting residential forms of care.

The Ministry, with the support of UNICEF, has produced a report in which it sets out a number of recommendations for supporting a financing system that encourages the development of alternatives to institutional care. Overseas donors have been informed of the negative impacts of residential care and the benefits of family-based and community-based care. Family and community-based care has been promoted through online sources, including weblogs and sites frequented by tourists, volunteers and other key stakeholders, with advocacy against ‘orphanage tourism’.

Advocacy materials have been developed for various stakeholders to explain the adverse effects of residential care and promote family-and community-based support initiatives. Social protection measures have been expanded, including social transfer programmes targeting vulnerable households, with the explicit objective of family preservation and reunification and de-institutionalisation of children. Finally, local government has been linked with community-based care programmes and school-support programmes so that they can help make families aware of the available support options that enable them to keep their children at home.

For more information see: A study of attitudes towards residential care in Cambodia

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