February 18 2015

New report proposes steps for protecting children in alternative care

New research from the University of Bedfordshire and SOS Children's Villages provides practitioners and policy-makers with recommendations for how to protect children in alternative care from violence.

18 February 2015 - The International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking, University of Bedfordshire and SOS Children's Villages International are pleased to present the new joint report From a Whisper to a Shout: A Call to End Violence against Children in Alternative Care.

The report makes critical observations about the high levels of vulnerability and risk of violence faced by children in alternative care, drawing on evidence from an extensive global literature review and assessments of how well the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children are implemented in 21 countries around the world.

Key findings:

  • Effective implementation of the Guidelines and quality care reduce children’s vulnerability to violence.
  • Competent oversights and independent complaints mechanisms reduce the risk of violence against children.
  • Systematic collection and analysis of data is critical to designing and implementing effective systems to protect children.

Violence can be prevented

Critically, the report concludes that violence is not inevitable and, with an emphasis on providing quality care, it is possible to mitigate the risks of harm for all children.

"We need to be better at listening and responding to children's experiences of bullying, verbal abuse, psychological and physical abuse and neglect; at creating and using evidence-based practice so that destructive patterns of the past are not repeated..." writes Jenny Pearce, of the University of Bedfordshire.

SOS Children's Villages CEO Richard Pichler adds, "Through this publication and on-going and collaborative advocacy efforts, we ask all stakeholders to: re-state, reaffirm and act upon their commitment to bring the issues related to violence against children to the forefront of policy agendas and view all children asfull rights holders and integral members of society, irrespective of their care status."

Learn more about our work to improve care standards here.