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

Minimum standards for residential and foster care in Namibia

Focus 14: Developing reliable and accountable licensing and inspection systems

In order to strengthen alternative care services for vulnerable children in need of protection, care and support in Namibia, an alternative care assessment was undertaken in 2008. It identified that there were large numbers of children in unregulated care. As a result, Residential Child Care Standards were introduced to ensure minimum standards were in place for all residential facilities in the country and allow for their registration and monitoring. These addressed issues such as management and staffing, premises, administration and finance, as well as different aspects of the care giving process including admission, participation, case recording, health, education, leaving care and aftercare support.

Training took place countrywide with all NGOs and government social workers, and a task force was put together to facilitate implementation. Minimum standards for foster care were also developed, and NGOs and social workers were trained on them too. These standards include guidelines for foster care, a social work training manual for assessing prospective foster parents; a training workbook for prospective foster parents; a manual for training prospective foster parents, and a toolkit for support groups for foster parents. The Ministry was also supported to set up a database for potential foster care service providers, and foster children.

For more information visit: http://crinarchive.org/BCN/topic.asp?themeID=1001&topicID=1007&offset=30

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